Long shot still a shot

To the Editor:

I read with interest Jill Goldthwait’s column last week regarding what she termed the harsh realities for “long-shot candidates.” Coming from a former independent state senator, I found it downright perplexing.

Clearly, Goldthwait knows the two-party system doesn’t work for Mainers, and yet she tacitly props it up by writing off virtually every candidate before the calendar even turns to 2020, if they don’t have “party machinery” behind them.

It was particularly strange, though, the way she dismissed Lisa Savage’s campaign with just a throwaway sentence. Aren’t the decades of advocacy and community organizing Savage has been doing exactly the type of “longstanding network” Goldthwait says statewide candidates are supposed to have? Personally, I’m excited to have a candidate who actually puts Mainers ahead of corporate profits and will be proud to give her a signature to put her on the ballot. Her longstanding advocacy for BIW conversion is a refreshing change from candidates who constantly kowtow to the defense industry, that’s for sure.

And why not consider the role of ranked choice voting in all of this? Finally, we don’t have to worry about “spoilers” and we can focus on each candidate’s policy proposals and ideas, rather than fearing we’ll “split the vote.” How can we talk about politics as usual when the way we do politics has changed?

I think it behooves all of us to take a fresh look at this election — at all of the potential candidates — and think about which candidate we actually want to represent us, rather than cynically eliminating candidates because they “can’t win.”

Russell Wray


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