I am writing to you as someone who greatly respects your views, your career, and your love of the state of Maine. In fact, our shared love for this great state is the impetus for this letter.
In the 2010 governor’s race in Maine, thinking you were the opponent who was going to surge past the laughable, and now current governor, Paul LePage, I cast my vote in your favor. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just cast this vote against the Tea Party rhetoric-slinging, bully-mouthed LePage, I cast my vote for you. I was drawn to your independent nature. Pulled in by your years of experience with politics. Won by your broad-shouldered charisma.
But then the unthinkable happened: you and Libby Mitchell divided the center-left votes, and as a result we’ve had four years of a governor who has put Maine on the national media map for all the wrong reasons. In my own household, and countless others, I, a male, voted for you, and my wife, a female (obviously), voted for Mitchell. It was 2000 all over again when as a twenty-year-old idealist, my vote for Nader turned out to be a vote for Bush.
Our two-party political system is a mess. No one doubts that. It just doesn’t seem to be viable for a third party candidate to pull in the votes unless you have the celebrity gravitas of, say, an Angus King. 2010 opened a wound that was just beginning to heal for a lot of Mainers from the 2000 presidential election. This state cannot afford four more years from Mr. LePage, both in terms of his uber-right-winged policies or his foot-in-mouth declarations that tarnish Maine in the national press.
Looking at the most recent polls, the people of Maine are starting to get that 2010 anxiety. Mike Michaud (D) and Paul LePage (R) are close in the polls. Your candidacy is tethering Michaud to the ground. I’m asking that you withdraw from the race, cut the chord you’ve inadvertently tied to Michaud’s campaign, and let this great state rise out of the shackles our current governor has clasped around the wrists of progress.
Again, this letter comes from a place of respect for your career and your desire to make this state even greater. It just seems to me and many others right now that the best way you can serve this state is to withdraw from the race and place all of your support behind Mike Michaud to right this ship.