As will probably come as no surprise to those who know how fiercely independent I am, I have decided to vote for Eliot Cutler for Governor of Maine. In a nutshell it comes down to voting for who I feel can do the best job for the people of Maine and doing the best job for the state takes many forms. Not only do I feel he is best suited ideologically, has the best skill set and the best breadth of experience but in my opinion he is the only candidate who has any chance from a practical standpoint of affecting the necessary change. Frankly, being the only moderate in the race, he's the candidate whose plans and ideology are in tune with the vast majority of Mainers. And although it's a campaign slogan, "Independent, just like Maine" gives you a pretty good idea who he'll represent in the Blaine House.
With Libby Mitchell, while less destructive an option, we know we're going to get more of the same -- not fiscally conservative enough to make the necessary tough decisions and surrounded by a Legislature of like mind. So I don't expect a sea change in direction.
Paul LePage? The kindest thing I could say about a potential LePage administration is entrenched bickering with the Democratic majority in the Legislature. Ideologically I disagree in practically every way with him and while I consider myself moderately conservative fiscally, I'm still a million miles away from him. And before you assume I won't vote for him because he's a Republican, which I don't think he is anyway, I had pretty much decided I was going to vote for Peter Mills before the primaries.
So in my opinion Eliot Cutler is the only candidate with a legitimate opportunity to get his plans pushed through the legislature, plans that will actually make a difference.
And I know you're going to say "But aren't you just throwing your vote away?" "Isn't a vote for Cutler actually a vote for LePage?" I'll take the last first. There's much debate about who the undecided voters are and given Cutler's leaning toward being fiscally conservative, I wouldn't be so sure that he'd take more votes from Mitchell than LePage. If you vote for the person you truly feel is the best qualified, how could that ever be throwing a vote away? And let me ask you this to chew on: If I'm right that neither Mitchell nor LePage are change agents for the better, then aren't you throwing your vote away supporting them?
I admit this post isn't big on details but to write a post like that would end up being unreadable. If you know me, you know I do my due diligence and I don't take the process lightly. My purpose is to make you curious at least as to why I support Eliot Cutler and then do your own research and make up your own mind. If you're as intellectually curious as I am, I think you'll arrive at the same conclusion.
And as always, at least get out there and vote. Don't let someone else make the decision for you.