I’m 32 years old, born and raised in the fishing community of Rockland. I’m fortunate to still be able to call Maine home, the place where I return to after weeks on the road traveling for work.

Many of my peers are not so lucky. As I travel I get the opportunity to often reconnect with friends I grew up with who have since relocated to Boston, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Nashville, among other places. These young people left because they had to. For many, out-of-state colleges offered better incentives, and now out-of-state employers offer better wages and benefits that keep those young people who left from coming home.

In my conversations with those who have left, they often point to the lack of incentives to return to Maine. They love it here, they say, but only to return home for the holidays, family events or the occasional vacation. Maine, they tell me, lacks the infrastructure desperately needed to attract new people and keep those who were born here. It lacks the opportunities afforded by other places, and now, thanks to the recent administration in Augusta, it lacks a positive image on the national and international stage.

These are just a few of the reasons why we need new leadership in Augusta, and why we need Democrat Adam Cote as our next governor. Whether rebuilding communities in war-torn Afghanistan or Iraq, melding soldiers into cohesive units to best protect our country or championing renewable and sustainable energy solutions for Maine and our neighbors, Adam has proven his leadership, most often not through words, but through his actions. It is time for Mainers to elect a vibrant, thoughtful leader as our next governor. That is why I support Adam Cote this election cycle.

David Colson