Let’s cut to the chase: if Democrats are serious about winning back the Blaine House this year, then they’ll vote for Adam Cote in the June 12th primary.
As a candidate, Adam is proposing a progressive and transformative agenda: the establishment of a human capital investment fund (to ensure continuous/effective workforce training), job creation that targets every corner of the state, a single-payer healthcare system, and a determination to see Maine powered 100% by renewable energy within ten years (which would ensure good jobs and the prospect of becoming the nation’s first renewable energy “exporter”). These are only a few highlights of a comprehensive program.
Adam has demonstrated leadership skills over the course of 20 years with the Maine Army National Guard serving in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and 16 years in the private sector as a small business entrepreneur and Renewable Energy attorney. He’s not likely to be impacted by rhetorical headwinds in Augusta.
Throughout the course of the primary campaign, at candidate events and forums, there’s been an expectation shared by a number of people that Janet Mills--by virtue of her lengthy tenure in Augusta--”deserves” to be the Democratic party standard-bearer, that it’s “her turn”. I assumed we were participating in an election, not a coronation. I was, of course, pleased to see Attorney General Mills butt heads with the Governor on several issues (among them the availability of Naloxone, and the use of tobacco settlement funds for Medicaid expansion); it’s reassuring when a public servant does his or her job on behalf of the people. However, I worry that independents Alan Caron or Terry Hayes, and whichever LePage wanna-be the Republicans anoint, will have plenty of issues to choose from in attacking Ms. Mills should she win the primary. For example, until the NRA recently provided her a lifeline by “awarding” all 7 Democrats an “F” grade--prior to this Ms. Mills had consistently been given “A” grades. She’s simply not qualified to lead on gun issues. Likewise, her record on matters involving tribal sovereignty--specifically clean water issues, demonstrates positions more in line with Governor LePage than with mainstream Democrats. However, what concerns me most is her failure to put distance between herself from the disgraced former NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He hosted a lucrative fundraising event for Ms. Mills in Manhattan, and--to my knowledge--she has yet to return the thousands of dollars the event netted her. Hardly a #MeToo moment.
Adam Cote is a fresh face on the political scene. He offers new leadership, and he's not weighed down by "baggage". His broad appeal will help bridge differences, and facilitate a genuine discussion of the issues. Maine voters deserve no less.
I had the good fortune of getting to know Adam for a short while, and I learned that his honesty is rooted in integrity, not in some political strategy. This quality of character won’t vanish once he’s in the Blaine House, but it’s up to each of us to make sure he gets there.
Vote Adam Cote for Governor on June 12th!