Adam Cote: A Proud Mainer, Combat Veteran, and Democrat for Governor

Since most of the other candidates running for governor have been running for office for years or decades and I have not, I thought it would be helpful to share some information about my political background. While my leadership experience is different and comes from 20 years of service in the Maine Army National Guard including three combat tours and 16 years working as a renewable energy entrepreneur and attorney, I have been an active, involved Maine Democrat for 26 years. There have been several times during my military career where the Hatch Act prevented me from being publicly active politically, but – I registered to vote in 1991, joined the Colby College Democrats in 1992, supported and volunteered for a bunch of Democratic candidates over the years, and founded the Maine Young Democrats in 2006. I switched my registration to Republican to vote for John McCain over George W. Bush in the 2000 Republican presidential primary, but other than that, for the last 26 years, I have:

1991: 
Registered to vote as a Democrat 

1992-1995: 
Served in the Colby Democrats

1992: 
Caucused for California Governor Jerry Brown Presidential campaign in Sanford 

1994: 
Volunteered for Joe Brennan's Gubernatorial Campaign

1996: 
Enlisted in the US Army, deployed to Bosnia

1998: 
Returned from Bosnia deployment and started law school at the University of Maine

2003-2005: 
Called up, prepared and deployed to Iraq War as member of the Maine Army National Guard's 133rd Engineering Battalion 
Paulina had our first child while I was deployed and I had several shoulder surgeries on return

2006: 
Worked with Maine Democratic Party to found/start the Maine Young Democrats

2007-2008: 
Ran for Congress and came in second, won over 15,000 votes in Democratic primary
Supported Chellie Pingree in the general election 
Served as Sen. Barack Obama’s Maine Veterans Coordinator in the general election

2010:
Supported State Senator Libby Mitchell’s gubernatorial campaign and advised her on renewable energy policy

2011 - 2016: 
Fulltime, active duty with the Maine Army National Guard, including deployment to Afghanistan; Prevented from active, public political involvement by the Hatch Act
Supported Mike Brennan's successful 2011 Portland Mayoral campaign behind the scenes as part of his kitchen cabinet

2013: 
Honored at President Obama’s White House as one of 12 veterans nationwide recognized for their private sector work as a “Champion of Change” for “working to advance clean energy and climate security”

2014:
Supported my friend Congressman Mike Michaud’s gubernatorial campaign

2016:
Left fulltime active duty in the Guard in December (and Hatch Act requirements)

2017:
First Democrat to announce run for Maine Governor in April 2017
Asked to work with former President Obama’s Organizing for America (OFA) to rally support for protecting health care under the Affordable Care Act with Bangor Daily News op-ed on protecting veterans’ health care.

2018:
Putting my full heart and soul into a tireless grassroots campaign to win back the Blaine House in November 2018, and then work just as governor to build an economy that works for all Mainers

So, while I will certainly never win the “biggest political insider” award, I am proud of all the work I have done to help fellow Democrats, my country, and my community over the last twenty-six years. As a candidate for governor, I am working hard to unify our party so we can work together and win elections – from governor to town council, from Fort Kent to Kittery.

What I am hearing from people across Maine is that, given what is happening to our state and country right now – this is not the time for petty squabbles and politics as usual. It is essential that we have leaders with a clear vision and strong values – and that we win in 2018. I believe people are looking for change and new leadership focused on a positive vision for Maine’s future. I hope you will join our campaign and help us win back the Blaine House.