With all the distractions and name calling in Augusta, you almost never hear anyone in politics talk about the underlying fact that Maine’s economy has been among the worst in the country over the past seven-plus years when it comes to economic growth, job creation, wage growth, and many other metrics.  All of that while poverty, child hunger, and hunger or “food insecurity” among Maine seniors has grown.

Unless anyone thinks “fewer jobs, more poverty” is a great rallying cry, then the 2018 election is going to be about new leadership, new direction, and change.

If you talk to business leaders or anyone who has studied Maine’s financial situation, our fundamental challenge as a state is that – at the moment – we have a shrinking, aging population plus a terrible economic growth rate when compared to our region and the country.

Those two facts mean that our state is currently on a trajectory towards a smaller economy where it gets harder and harder to, (a) make smart investments in education, infrastructure, trade promotion, etc.; and (b) take care of our most vulnerable neighbors as both our faith and tradition say we must.

I am running to serve as governor because I feel a great sense of urgency that our next chief executive must make smart, progressive economic growth our number one priority. My campaign is going to be about listening and learning from people across Maine and laying out specific, positive ideas for how – together – we can build an economy that lifts all Mainers.

We are continuing to listen to and work on policies and will roll out key initiatives, but the following are key elements of a smart, progressive statewide economic growth program for Maine:

Read my plan: "Leave No Mainer Behind: The Maine Human Capital Investment Fund" to learn more about my approach to building a 21st century workforce for Maine.