My concern with using “successful businessman” as the qualifier for governor is that these positions have very different skill sets. Both require leadership and organizational skills, but in business, “the customer is always right,” negotiations are for a win-win, and success means respect and appreciation of your clientele. In today’s politics, a true conservative is attacked by the press and the opposition by simple misrepresentation, lies, and labels. Praise or respect is extremely rare.

I have a great deal of respect for Gov. Paul LePage. He has stood by his principles and has not taken the much-easier “let’s all get along” road. He has been tested under fire and has not wavered. Some people would have you think that he is the most hated man in Maine. However, he received more votes than any other governor for his second term, he is appreciated and respected by conservatives, and he is leaving Maine in a better position than he found it.

I have seen too many conservatives throw principles away for popularity, making the easy and popular choices, and be rewarded by liberals and the press with false praise for their failure to “stay the course.”

I like my politicians successful, tough, and tested. The public sector is much different than the private sector. As a governor, you inherit workers who are vested in programs not because they work for Maine people but because they depend on these programs for employment. Change in government is difficult. It is often a messy and painful process. It takes personal fortitude to engage again and again and requires political skill to prevail.

I like Mary Mayhew — proven successful, tough, and tested, and ready to start work on day one with her feet on the ground.

Diane Vernesoni


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