As attorney general, I’ve stood up to our current governor time and time again, from fighting to block his attempt to take health care away from low-income 19- and 20-year-olds to defending union workers. I’ve filed lawsuits against the Trump administration to protect clean air and water regulations, and stood with Dreamers and other immigrants. And I’ve taken on big corporations when they’ve tried to make a quick buck by exploiting Maine people — whether that’s meant holding Wall Street accountable for the 2008 financial crisis, or taking on Big Pharma.
I believe that this track record makes me the best-qualified candidate for governor. But that’s not the reason I’m running.
After a devastating stroke, my husband, Stan, passed away almost three years ago. The last year of his life was a struggle for my whole family. We went through what thousands of Maine families go through every year — a complex and confusing health care system, rejection letters from insurance companies, and unaffordable prescription drugs even if you’re lucky enough to have coverage.
That year, I got to know dozens of nurses, CNAs, therapists, cooks and custodians — people working day and night to care for patients like my Stan, all while struggling to pay heating bills and car payments, keep food on the table or put a child through college.
And I got to know to know the other patients — veterans with incredible life stories, even folks I’d delivered newspapers to as a kid, whose children and grandchildren have moved away because they couldn’t find good-paying jobs.
It’s all of those people that I think about each morning when I go to work to fight for Mainers, and it is for them that I’m running for governor.
Some of my opponents have attacked my record on gun safety. Here’s the truth: I’ve spent my entire career working for sensible gun reforms. Long before this election, I was fighting to end the scourge of domestic violence homicides — still the most common form of gun violence in our state — including by co-founding the Maine Women’s Lobby and working to pass laws to keep guns away from domestic abusers. Just last month I worked with state Sen. Mark Dion on a “red flag” bill, which would allow courts to remove guns from people who pose a danger to themselves or our communities — despite constant attacks from the gun lobby. And as governor, I’ll make it a priority to keep guns out of the wrong hands, from prohibiting the use of bump stocks to banning high-capacity magazines.
My husband, Stan, wasn’t a politician or a lawyer — he was a tennis coach. Every morning when I left for the state Capitol, he’d tell me, “Janet, just keep hitting the ball over the net!” And for the last eight years, that’s what we’ve been doing: hitting the ball back over the net.
Now, with this election, we have the opportunity to do more — to get proactive and tackle the real problems our state faces, from our unacceptable level of food insecurity to our demolished mental health care system to growing our economy and ensuring every Maine person can earn a decent wage. I have the values, the track record and the know-how to get that done.
I respectfully ask for your vote on June 12.
Janet Mills is Maine’s attorney general and a Democratic candidate for governor.