Sen. Angus King has our endorsement to represent Maine in the U.S. Senate for another six years. This should surprise no one.

We may not always agree with him, but it’s hard to find a major issue on which we have been at odds with the state’s junior senator.

His is a leading voice in calling for a robust response to climate change — a worldwide environmental, economic and humanitarian disaster that is unfolding before our eyes. He is an impassioned advocate for the federal government’s role in establishing health care policies under which more people would be covered, costs controlled and health outcomes improved.

INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE

And he has played a high-profile role in providing oversight to the Trump administration, especially through his work on the Senate Intelligence Committee, a nearly solitary example of bipartisan cooperation in Washington. Through his questioning of witnesses in the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the last election and his public statements, King has repeatedly urged changing the focus from what happened in 2016 to our vulnerability to cyber warfare by foreign actors who have the ability to steal data and spread disinformation.

As a board, we met with him and his two opponents, singly and as a group. We were glad we did.

Both Republican state Sen. Eric Brakey and Democrat Zak Ringelstein bring important voices to the race that would otherwise not be heard.

Brakey, 30, comes from his party’s libertarian wing, which gives him a political agenda that defies traditional notions of right and left. He is calling for dismantling federal regulations, shrinking government and lowering taxes, while also advocating a non-interventionist foreign policy that would have kept the nation out of the wars in Iraq, Libya and Syria.

ANOTHER APPROACH

Ringelstein, 32, comes from the Democratic Socialist wing of his party, and he advocates significant intervention by the federal government in the economy. His proposals include universal single-payer health care or “Medicare for All,” major public investment in climate friendly infrastructure and getting money out of politics.

The ideas expressed by Brakey and Ringelstein may be beyond the scope of what one senator from a small state can accomplish in six years, but that’s not the point.

Sending someone to Washington with either agenda would be a mandate for fundamental — even radical — change, and would inform the kind of positions they would be expected to take on the budget and all the unforeseen issues that present themselves.

PRAGMATIC

And, in the end, we support King because he’s a reformer, not a revolutionary, and that’s what we need. It’s not because our problems aren’t that big, but because they are so huge that we can’t wait until one side of the political spectrum wins absolute control.

If there is going to be progress made in the near term in fighting climate change or spiraling health costs, it will be through the work of pragmatic reformers like King who are able to seize opportunities in an environment that doesn’t provide many of them. We’re confident that King will continue to provide that kind of representation for Maine.

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