A good job is where you work hard and get ahead. You earn enough to pay your bills, support your family, save for retirement, and even take a vacation. It means peace of mind.

This fall I met a sheet metal worker who lives in Farmington who hasn’t worked in Maine in four years. He used to work in our paper mills, but as mills closed, work dried up. Now he heads out of state each week because that’s the best way to support his family. The good jobs in Maine have gotten harder to find and keep. Maine families are faced with tough choices.

For many, one good job has been replaced by two or three that don’t pay the bills.

That’s why I’m running for Congress and why this election matters: to stop our jobs from going overseas and build an economy we can be in charge of, built on the foundation of our hard-working people, small businesses and natural resources. An economy where our downtowns thrive and our rural communities are vital to our success.

We have a real choice this year. Congressman Bruce Poliquin, a top recipient of Wall Street money, has let us down on trade, jobs, taxes, seniors and veterans.

Unfair trade deals have led to job loss and struggling communities. But in 2014, the year Bucksport closed, Poliquin said “free trade is good.” He remained undecided on the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership for years. I opposed TPP from the start. While representing the people of Maine in the Legislature, I championed hard-working families by fighting to eliminate tax deals for outsourcers, and fought to create a “Buy American” initiative to keep our tax dollars here in Maine.

We need good jobs, but last year, Poliquin voted eight times the kill the Export-Import Bank, which helps Maine companies access new markets. Those votes cost us at least 80 jobs, which were sent overseas instead of coming here to a GE plant. When I recently shook hands at 5 a.m. outside the Huhtamaki plant in Waterville, I thought about those jobs and how important they are to our families. In the Legislature, I worked across the aisle to boost economic development in rural areas, creating a program that recently helped a mill in Baileyville add a new machine and 80 jobs.

We need to reduce the tax burden on families and businesses so we can grow good jobs. But Bruce Poliquin, who paid his own taxes late 41 times and used a tax loophole to pay $21 in property taxes on an oceanfront property, voted to let taxes go up on working families in order to fund a huge tax giveaway for multi-millionaires like himself. In the Legislature I worked across the aisle — even with Gov. Paul LePage — to cut taxes for working families and businesses, including the largest tax cut in Maine history.

While Congressman Poliquin voted to cut Social Security, turn Medicare into a voucher program, and underfund veterans health care by $1 billion, I have a record of supporting seniors, lowering prescription drug costs, and helping veterans access the healthcare they have earned.

I want to help Maine people build on our strengths, not Wall Street’s, and focus on the things we do best. Building from our natural advantages means creating jobs that can’t be outsourced. I’ll work to get farmers, foresters, fishermen and manufacturers the support we deserve in Congress, and give a voice to small businesses that are ready to grow. Downtown Skowhegan is an incredible example, brimming with vibrant local businesses featuring locally-made art, antiques, baked goods, dog treats, services, baseball bats, and more.

I believe we can rebuild a strong and vibrant economy based on working families, but we need to change who represents us first. Instead of a reliable vote for Wall Street’s agenda, we need someone we can trust to put us first and be honest about answering tough questions, not unresponsive and evasive about where he stands. We need someone who fights for Main Street, not Wall Street.

I am ready to work with you and for you, and I hope to earn your vote in November.

Emily Cain is the Democratic nominee for Congress in Maine’s 2nd District.

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