One of the fundamental things a Governor should do is champion his or her state. I – and many community and business leaders I have spoken with – feel as if the story being told about Maine from the Blaine House for the past seven-plus years has far too often been negative and unhelpful.
Like any state, we have our challenges, but we also have an incredible story to tell to attract people and businesses. Maine:
- Has unmatched physical and natural beauty, from over 3,500 miles of coastline, to the biggest mountain peaks east of the Mississippi,
- Consistently ranks among the highest in the country for quality of life,
- Has an abundance of renewable energy resources that, with the right new leadership, could make it the first state in the country to produce more renewable energy than it needs, and export the rest,
- Has the highest percentage of smart meter penetration in the country at 97%, making us an ideal place to build the first smart grid and attract innovative businesses,
- Has the fastest growing population of young farmers in the country and an unbelievable, award-winning local food scene,
- Has a world-famous lobster fishery and dozens of other fresh seafood and agricultural products that are of premiere quality and reputation,
- Is 90 miles from one of the largest markets in the world—the Washington-to-Boston corridor—and is within a short 90-minute flight of New York and Washington, DC,
- Is leading the world in the research and development of floating offshore wind turbines that could revolutionize energy generation,
- Has 130 Gigawatts (equivalent of 130 nuclear power plants) of strong, steady offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine within 50 nautical miles of its shores,
- Is the premier recreation destination east of the Mississippi for hiking, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, skiing, sailing, kayaking, camping, and other outdoor activities.
If you ask any of the thousands of Mainers who are living in other parts of the country, they will tell you they would love to come back to live and work in Maine. As the website for Live and Work in Maine puts it: “The competition for talent is global – and high demand talent has the ability to work and live where they choose. Maine’s quality of life should be marketed as a competitive advantage.”
I agree wholeheartedly and would provide the new leadership and hard work required to ensure public resources and private efforts are leveraged to attract people, employers, and visitors interested in traveling for tourism and recreation.
Maine has a great story to tell. We need a governor who is passionate about telling it.