As the mayor of the largest city in Maine, I believe it is imperative that we have someone in the Blaine House who understands the importance of Portland to our state. That is why I am supporting Betsy Sweet in the Democratic primary on June 12.

For 35 years, Betsy has been fighting for the kinds of progressive reforms that our city and state need. As the author of the Maine Family Medical Leave Act, she reached across the aisle to ensure that this first-in-the-nation law passed.

She did the same for our landmark Clean Election law, being one of a handful who wrote and fought for its implementation. And now she is the only Democrat running who is using public financing, making clear that all of us will be her first priority, not big donors and monied interests.

I have known Betsy for almost 30 years, having first met her when we both worked on a project to bring student voices into the school reform movement. She hired me for my first political job as the “sign guy” for Tom Andrews in 1990, and I worked side by side with her when I ran the congressional campaign of Dale McCormick, in 1996.

In all those years, what I have seen is a progressive Democrat who is smart, strategic and who will not give up in her quest to make sure working families are taken care of. I encourage you to give her your No. 1 vote on June 12.

Ethan Strimling



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