Maybe you should run for governor. Seems like everyone else is running. You have to wonder about these people, because the problems facing our state today would not tempt any rational person in that direction.

To assist all those who do want to be our next governor, I offer this announcement speech, while inviting them to put this into their own words.

For 68 years Maine has nurtured and educated me and provided good jobs and room to roam. Today, I want to give something back to my state. And the only thing I can come up with to offer is myself.

So I have decided to offer myself to the people of my state. If they think my vision and leadership is what they are looking for, then I want to make the greatest contribution I can. So today, I’m announcing my candidacy for governor.

I know the job well. I have kicked around in politics and government for nearly 50 years. To succeed, a governor must surround himself with good, competent people. I know a lot of good, competent people.

My slogan is simple: Take Maine back to the future. Everything we had, everything we care about, is being lost. I ask you to join me and once again make Maine the way life should be.

Growing up in Winthrop, I was blessed with a small, caring community, outstanding teachers, and fantastic parents. These are not small blessings and I know I was privileged. I want every Maine child to have this experience.

My anchor was set in Mount Vernon 39 years ago and it will not be moved. If I am elected, we can shutter the Blaine House because I’ll commute to the job from Mount Vernon. As governor, I would take my stand in rural Maine from Limington to Lubec to Limestone. If a program, policy, or law does not serve the people of rural Maine, it would not find favor with me.

I am a Republican because my parents were Republicans, but I have demonstrated the ability to work with people of all political persuasions. Some of my best friends are Democrats. I know my party is no better than any other.

I have a healthy skepticism of our political and governing system. I do not believe the government can solve all of our problems. But the people can — including the people who work in government. And it is to the people — in and outside of government — whom I will turn to solve our problems.

Our Mount Vernon home was built in 1796. Oftentimes, I reflect on the people who lived in our house. I believe many of the solutions to our problems lie in a good understanding of our history.

My great-grandfather served as keeper of Lubec’s West Quoddy Head Lighthouse for 32 years. My mom grew up in Lubec. In my pocket I keep a stone from the beach in front of the lighthouse to remind me of Mom and my Down East heritage. Lubec has been left behind — and that bothers me. This rock will be in my pocket every day to remind me that many forgotten places in Maine need help.

Instead of campaign buttons, I ask every Mainer to collect a rock from his or her favorite place in our state and keep it in a pocket — a constant reminder of what is special about our state and a prod to do more as an individual to protect and enhance these special qualities.

Yes, Maine is special. But we are not unique. To compete economically, it is time to wake up to our competition and pull together as a team. Too many of us compete with one another when we need to cooperate. No Mainer is the economic enemy of any other Mainer. I will remind you of this every day.

As a Maine sportsman, I will be taking a couple of weeks off in November to hunt deer. Do not say I never told you this. I’ll get in a bit of grouse and woodcock and turkey hunting too. As an avid angler, I will also be doing a lot of fisheries research, much of it at our camp on Sourdnahunk Lake on the western boundary of Baxter Park.

Of course, education and health care are big issues. Please understand that I do not have all the answers. Two of our three kids moved out of state for better job opportunities, making me sad. As governor, I will make this problem a very high priority, because we want all our kids and grandkids close at hand.

And speaking of grandkids, mine are ages 13, 10, 3 and 8 months, reminding me that I am no spring chicken any more. Keeping up with them is a challenge. I am advancing into senior citizenship with a whole lot of other Mainers. Their concerns will be my concerns.

And at my age, I can promise you only a single term as your governor. We’ll see what we can do — together — in four years. And I will make one more promise: As your governor, I will listen, learn, and lead. Think about it.

George Smith is a writer and TV talk show host. He can be reached at 34 Blake Hill Road, Mount Vernon 04352, or [email protected] Read more of Smith’s writings at www.georgesmithmaine.com.