With so much at stake in the Nov. 8 election, it is clear we need principled and strong leadership in Augusta. Gov. Janet Mills has proven her commitment to a vision of Maine First, through hard work, collaboration and action. As a parent, grandparent, and retired teacher, I am thrilled to see Maine children coming first through the historic investment in public schools that will finally fund the state’s obligation to pay 55% of the cost of K-12 education. This accomplishment represents the first time since voters passed a referendum in 2004 requiring the state to contribute 55% of the cost for public education. The Mills’ administration is also providing pre-kindergarten grants to help schools increase the number of children accessing quality, public pre-K programs. This is such an important initiative for Maine’s children and families, who struggle to find quality pre-school programs. Research shows that investments in early learning have powerful long-term payback. Further support for our children includes expanding health insurance for children and universal free school lunches. Kudos to Gov. Mills for her tangible commitment to Maine’s children and families!

Janet Mills is the first woman governor in Maine’s 202-year history. She is committed to protecting the rights, aspirations and health of all Mainers including over 50% of our population who are female. Gov. Mills is unambiguous in her support of women’s right to choose and access reproductive health care in the state of Maine. Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v Wade, which represented the law of the land for almost half a century, it is clear that we need to elect a governor who supports women’s autonomy over their own bodies. It is shocking to me that my granddaughters will have fewer rights than I’ve had since Roe was passed in 1973.

Mills’ support of women’s rights, environmental protections, responses to climate change, affordable health care for all Mainers, funding public education, Maine’s workforce, and strong economy, are all front and center of her focused actions. These critical initiatives are on the line if we fail to re-elect Governor Mills. Please join me in re-electing this outstanding leader and public servant on Nov. 8!

Judy Gove