When asked how many homes I had visited during my campaigns for the House and Senate, I checked and found that I have been to more than 10,000 homes in Knox County!

It has been an amazing education for me in many ways. I have heard ideas that help address challenges we are facing, concerns about our future and the fast pace of change, and ideas to bring jobs or keep the ones we have. Folks have expressed concerns about how much of our hard-earned money goes to the health insurance companies that then challenge us about what healthcare we should receive. I have also heard many stories about how wonderful life in Maine is even with our challenges, and how important it is to protect our uniqueness, beauty and natural resources.

My energy can be easily drained by a hot humid day, but on so many occasions I would find myself energized by a conversation with you in spite of the heat. You have shown me that our happiness is determined by our perspective and not by momentary events. The optimism you have shared about working together for change makes the conflict-obsessed pundits look foolish for their immaturity and insincerity.

There is a strong feeling throughout the county that we can't take any more of the bullying and obstructionism of the present governor. He has undone years of good environmental work and created more debt for our state. He has vetoed good bills that had the support of all the parties and then threatened legislators in his own party with attacks during the primaries if they tried to override his vetoes.

In the next session we will have the chance to take the federal money to expand healthcare to approximately 70,000 to 100,000 more Mainers. This is money that Gov. Paul LePage not only rejected, but because of this, we will have to come up with millions to pay for all the uninsured folks using hospital emergency rooms. We will try to get back the highway money that LePage rejected. I know I would like to see enough to pave Old County Road and others in similar condition. My car can't take much more of the current road conditions, but I will keep pushing it through the next 2 1/2 months so I can try to visit everyone.

During my previous term in the House, I worked on bills to protect our most vulnerable folks and to help them through tough times. I helped to get poisons out of children's toys and to establish a fund to have polluters pay to make changes in the way they do business. I heard about fairness issues and worked with the different state agencies to correct injustice when identified. I listened to you in Natural Resources Committee hearings, and at meetings in every part of the district, and found the best ways to make changes that helped in everyday life. We did all this without raising taxes but instead by rejecting legislation that we could not fund, or eliminating inefficiencies and waste.

Whether it was as a captain at Delta Air Lines or as an employer in various small businesses, I have always taken my role to be one of bringing together the folks who are needed to do the job, and understanding their talents. Next is to put them in a position to use those talents. Teamwork is what accomplishes the job. It can be done in a way that benefits everyone involved and it should be done that way.

I know I can be part of a team that starts to identify new ways to solve new challenges. My children are optimistic. They tell me that government has to stop using old ideas in a changing world … I agree!

When Sen. Ed Mazurek decided to retire and asked me to run for his seat, I was honored that he felt I was up to the task. We had worked together during my term in the House and I learned a great deal from him. He told me that there is never a better way to learn about what Knox County needs then to visit as many folks as possible. I will always heed that advice and make myself available to answer questions and hear your ideas. I hope that on Nov. 4 you will give me the chance to be your next state Senator.

Dave Miramant is the Democratic candidate for Maine State Senate District 12 (Knox County except for the town of Washington). He can be reached by calling 236-4845.