You know the saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

I’m concerned that we might be saying this soon about Maine’s harness racing industry, and I don’t want that to happen.

As people think about Question 2 on the ballot this year, I’d ask them to consider the connection between two Maine traditions — harness racing and agriculture.

Question 2 would allow the construction of new harness racetracks, slots facilities and hotels in Biddeford and Washington County.

We have heard the message loud and clear from Maine’s horse men and women. We need to pass Question 2 to create integrated racinos, which would give the harness racing industry a chance to compete against other types of entertainment.

Wendy Ireland, the director of the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association, has described this as a do-or-die vote. We should heed her warning.

If we allow harness racing to disappear, those who own and drive horses won’t be the only ones to feel the impact. It will have a huge ripple effect on many families, including horse trainers, feed suppliers, veterinarians, hay farmers, blacksmiths and others.

Harness racing supports working farms, open space and our rural way of life. These are all worth fighting for. We can help by voting tes on Question 2.

Rep. Stacey Fitts, District 29

Pittsfield, Clinton, Detroit

 


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