After being elected by a margin of 11 votes to represent the citizens of Clinton, Detroit and Pittsfield in the 126th Legislature, I came across a fitting quote from President John F. Kennedy: “The margin was narrow, but the responsibility is clear.”

Those words describe why I believe that my constituents have clearly tasked me to make Maine a more business-friendly state, make employment opportunities more abundant and stop the deterioration of the middle class.

Additionally, they are passionate about how dysfunctional our political process has become, and they know that needs to change before anything positive can happen.

I intend to make every effort to bring their demands to fruition and it is only through our collaborative efforts as the elected representatives of Maine can this happen.

Already I have attempted to change the political atmosphere by contacting Ben Grant, chairman of the Maine Democrat Party, regarding the tracker that the party has placed on the governor. I have been unsuccessful in convincing Grant that it would be in everyone’s best interest to remove the tracker.

I believe that the negativity that this activity is generating will serve to hamper our efforts to work together as legislators for the common good.

As a Democrat, all I ask of the party chairman is to afford us, the members of the 126th Legislature, the opportunity to get off to a fresh start without this outside interference.

I believe it will take a collaborative effort by Maine citizens to give Grant the message that I heard loud and clear during the campaign: “Stop the bickering.”

Help us, the 126th Legislature, to get off on the right foot.

Rep. Stanley B. Short Jr.

House District 29

Clinton, Detroit and Pittsfield