It was an honor to serve the city of Portland for eight years in the Maine Legislature. I’m proud of the work the Legislature accomplished. That said, it’s hard not to think about what we could have attained with a different leader in the Blaine House.

For eight years, Paul LePage created a state of perpetual crisis, making our work on housing, health care and climate that much more difficult. He made collaboration and bipartisan work nearly impossible.

LePage wasted opportunities to help Mainers through more investment in affordable housing, better access to health care and economic development strategies in renewable energy. Our state grew exhausted from dealing with so many of his embarrassing and harmful statements; many of these outbursts landed Maine as the butt of jokes on late-night shows. Finally, he caused real harm through his refusal to help Mainers struggling with opioid addiction or helping children access nutritious food in our schools.

Now, Paul LePage is running again with an attempt at a shiny new veneer, implying that he’s a different man, less bombastic and mellower. Come on, Maine, let’s not go back to his erratic, helter-skelter drama.

Thankfully, we don’t have to.

Janet Mills won the Blaine House convincingly in 2018 and immediately got to work repairing the trauma and damage LePage inflicted on our state.


Gov. Mills’ administration marked a return to sanity. It felt like she was reuniting our large Maine family. She built a great Cabinet, including Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention; Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal, and Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. She opened and rebuilt relationships with our state employees and the Legislature. She listened and was open to all of our ideas.

On housing, Gov. Mills was able to undo years of LePage’s unnecessary obstruction with the stroke of a pen. Beyond that, she has gone on to enact the single largest investment in affordable housing in the state’s history in 2020 – followed up by even more funding in 2022, including $22 million for emergency housing relief to unhoused people in Portland. She also signed into law one of the most innovative zoning reform laws in the nation, designed to ease the state’s housing crunch.

On health care, Gov. Mills expanded access to more than 90,000 Mainers, in stark contrast to LePage blocking health care access for years of his tenure.

After LePage spent eight years attacking and defunding public education, Gov. Mills became the first Maine governor to ever meet the state’s obligation to provide 55 percent of school funding in the state.

And after LePage declared war on LGBTQ+ Mainers by supporting the cruel practice of so-called “conversion therapy,” Gov. Mills signed into law a ban on the practice, and oversaw several additional changes to make Maine a more inclusive state.

LePage’s campaign strategy relies on Mainers forgetting the eight years of chaos and mismanagement to which he subjected the state. Well, let me remind you what his policies mean for Mainers: In 2013, Paul LePage proposed a $400 million property tax increase to pay for his tax cuts for the wealthiest Mainers.

His failure of leadership was underscored by tantrum-throwing and threatening to veto every piece of legislation sent to his desk until he got his way.

If the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing and expecting different results, then we have no reason to believe giving LePage a third term won’t drag us right back to the chaos that was the hallmark of his tenure.

Fortunately, we have a tremendous leader to re-elect. Gov. Mills is someone we can trust, we can be proud of, someone who is working to move our state forward and ensure Maine is a place for all Mainers. This November, we can’t go back to the mismanagement of Paul LePage. We must choose thoughtful, collaborative leadership by re-electing Gov. Mills.

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