Why I support Adam Cote

To the Editor:

Ten years ago, I was staying in Portland while I finished up classes at USM. One day, my neighbor invited me over to her house to meet an Iraq War veteran who was running for the U.S. House of Representatives and trying to end the war in Iraq.

That night, I met Adam Cote, the man we need to be our next governor.

I met a person who was calm, confident and humble; someone who was deeply thoughtful and who really listened; someone who was smart, principled, and understands how to bring people together to fight for common goals; someone who didn’t think in terms of quarterly profits but in terms of what our state needs to be a leader for the next century.

Over the years, I got to know Cote, and I began to realize that his is exactly the kind of leadership and vision that Maine needs. I was one of the earliest people to encourage him to run for governor, and I can’t endorse him more strongly. But my thoughts keep turning back to that night 10 years ago.

I heard stories of his service in the Maine Army National Guard. I heard about his work in the 1990s to bring war criminals to The Hague for trial. I heard about the lunch tent in Mosul, Iraq, where Cote survived a suicide attack that killed 22 and wounded almost 80. I learned how he and his men and women sprang into action and saved dozens of lives tending to the wounded that day.

I learned how he helped build schools in Iraq. I learned that he was brought in to turn around a troubled unit, and they left with some of the highest marks in the Army.

There are so many stories like this. So many, in fact, that he was honored by President Obama twice, once with a bronze star, once as one of 12 people in the country honored for his work on climate change.

Cote will be a tireless advocate for Maine. He has a comprehensive plan to get us off fossil fuels and onto wind and solar power, creating thousands of jobs in the process. Having spent more than 17 years as a renewable energy expert, he is the only person in the race who knows how to do this. He has worked to advance renewable energy in Maine for nearly two decades. He will fight to expand Medicaid and protect sovereign rights. He will focus on creative ways to grow our economy, including expanding broadband and workforce training. Most important, he will be a calm, thoughtful and intelligent counterpoint to the unpredictable rages of Paul LePage.

The truth is that Cote’s story resonates as well. Having been raised in Sanford and worked his way through school at Colby and the University of Maine School of Law, Cote is equally comfortable in classrooms, union halls and the state house. He has genuine love for our state and a real empathy for those who are struggling.

This is about environmental leadership, climate leadership and turning Maine into a leader in the economy of the future.

It’s also about Maine stepping up, as we have since our founding, to be an example to the rest of the world of what we can do right and how we can all come together.

I believe that Cote is the only Democratic candidate who can win in November. He has the bold, progressive vision to move Maine forward, the leadership to inspire change, and he is at his core a consensus builder who will work to bring everyone together to do what’s right for Maine and our country, just like he’s been doing for his whole life.

Tim Rich

Bar Harbor

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