I had the opportunity to meet Adam Cote recently at an event in Waterville. The field of Democratic candidates for governor of Maine is strong; Cote, a decorated veteran and businessman, is particularly impressive. I spoke with him personally about why he’s running, and I also observed him interacting with a voter who identified himself as a Republican and wanted to know why Cote deserved his vote.

The interaction was polite and respectful, a welcome change from the nasty rhetoric that has dominated American politics for the last year. After Cote asked what the voter cared about, I heard him respond with “jobs is really a people issue, not a partisan one.” He proceeded to share conversations he’s had with farmers in the County about growing hops as a rotation crop with potatoes. That crop in turn could be purchased by Maine brewers and distillers to make products that are completely from Maine. Cote believes that building an industry around Maine crops and Maine innovation is the way to create Maine jobs, and he has the business experience to help make that happen.

It’s these kinds of connections, this kind of listening, that we need in our state. Adam Cote is a strong leader and positive, caring person. I’ll be supporting him for governor of Maine in the Democratic primary in 2018.

Elisabeth Stokes

Mount Vernon