I will be voting for Janet Mills for governor, despite her vetoing and otherwise watering down so many of the best things the Maine legislature passed during her tenure. I haven’t forgiven her consistent opposition to Indigenous sovereignty and tribal rights, her veto of the phase-out of the youth prison, her opposition to a publicly-owned utility company, and her eagerness to erase a sweet, completely optional LGBTQ+-positive school lesson off the Department of Education’s website when right-wing bigots raised their hateful alarm. But voting is harm reduction. I vote to prevent even-worse harm, and then we have to do many things beyond voting.

Maybe I’ve become a double-issue voter: health care and reproductive rights. On Mills’ first day in office, she took up the federal government’s generous offer to pay 90% of the costs of expanding Medicaid (MaineCare), ultimately expanding health care to some 90,000 more Mainers. In contrast, LePage was so cruelly dedicated to stopping the poorest Mainers from getting to the doctor that he vetoed legislation to expand MaineCare not once, but five times. And when Mainers then passed it at the voting booth by nearly 60%, he used extreme measures to block their will. As for reproductive rights, a post-Roe v. Wade LePage governorship is terrifying.

I am also supporting my dad, Ed Glaser, for Knox County Commissioner but, living in Rockport, he isn’t on my ballot. When he first told me he was planning to run, I said, “Don’t you want to, like, really retire?” I guess not. He still works on the pilot boat out of Rockland harbor, likes to keep busy, and even after six years on the Rockland City Council, still wants to be involved with shaping public policy. He has some good ideas about consolidating costs, sharing resources and creating more community conversation and collaboration within Knox County. Though I haven’t always been content with his votes on Council, one of the things I most admire about him is that he truly enjoys connecting with and exchanging ideas with all sorts of people with all sorts of political views. Overall on the Council, he has moved Rockland in a positive direction, and Rockland is now leading the way in the Midcoast in a number of crucial ways, including on pesticides, short-term rental restrictions and passing the strongest diversity resolution around.

Becca Shaw Glaser