With less than two months until Maine’s gubernatorial election, the race is starting to garner serious attention from voters. As more and more Mainers are speaking up about the direction the state should take in November, a number are making clear their deep gratitude for Governor Mills’ accomplishments, from climate progress to fully funding public education to her excellent management of the economy:

Francine Rondina, East Boothbay: Governor Mills managed the budget so well that the state was able to provide my husband and I with $850 checks each so we could perform some needed maintenance on our home….This commitment to helping ordinary people like us in so many ways (protecting a woman's right to choose, expanding health and dental care and safely guiding Maine through the Covid pandemic) is why we are voting for Janet Mills for Governor.

Steve Rowe, Portland: Thanks to [Governor Mills’] strong leadership as governor during the COVID pandemic, Maine has one of the nation’s lowest infection and death rates. She also championed expansion of health care; increased investments in public education, and investments in energy efficiency. Real leadership is not about political bluster or constant criticism of opponents. Real leadership is about setting a vision with goals and inspiring others to work toward those goals. That’s precisely what Gov. Mills has done.

Layne Gregory, Falmouth: Gov. Mills has taken a leadership role in Maine, and the nation, to reduce carbon emissions. She created the Maine Climate Council, which is implementing strategies to meet Gov. Mills’ goal that Maine will be carbon-neutral by 2045. She removed Maine’s moratorium on clean wind power, which was instituted under her opponent’s administration. She also withdrew Maine from an offshore drilling coalition. These actions are exactly what we need, and just the opposite of what her opponent did when he was the governor.

Ruth Monsell, Damariscotta: As a teacher for many years, I champion her commitment to education. She is the first governor in Maine history to fully fund the state’s obligation to public education from kindergarten through grade 12. She also supports universal pre-K coverage and has created a budget that will put it within reach.

Voters are also absolutely terrified of the possibility that Paul LePage will be re-elected, undoing the progress we have made and launching an attack on our rights:

James Bilancia, Brewer: Paul LePage proudly declared himself “Trump before Trump” and moved to Florida. And LePage’s nasty, embarrassing behavior hasn’t changed one bit…Republicans, including LePage, overwhelmingly oppose a woman’s right to control her own body and reproductive health care. If the extreme Republicans take over in Maine, there is every reason to believe they will see it as a mandate to launch a full-scale assault on a woman’s right to choose in Maine as well as voting rights and other rights, just as they have already tried to do. We don’t need to go back to the constant, exhausting chaos of Paul LePage and his extremist party.

Nancy Fannon, South Portland: Gov. Mills is a proven advocate for women and for women’s reproductive freedom. Meanwhile, her opponent has been a vocal critic of abortion rights, and I fear he will roll back abortion access in Maine if he’s given the opportunity.

Deanne Danforth, Wilton: Paul LePage’s political ad says “He will turn things around.” Turning things around would undo Gov. Mills’ many accomplishments and common-sense approach to governing…Janet’s the first Maine governor to fully fund state school costs, provide free community college and increase teacher pay, and she’s cut taxes for retirees and provided significant property tax relief. She expanded health care for thousands of Mainers through the Medicaid expansion. LePage blocked the expansion. Paul LePage will take us backward.

Linda Hjortland, Bath: Paul LePage is having a hard time telling the media clearly where he stands on the issue of women’s reproductive rights, but he seems quite comfortable telling the conservative Christian Civic League. In a CCL candidate questionnaire, LePage answered with a clear and simple “yes” to the question, “Should access to abortion be restricted?”...Don’t let LePage take women’s health care back to the dark days of back-alley abortions. Abortion never goes away; it just becomes exceedingly dangerous.