The State House is surrounded by fall foliage Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, in Augusta, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

Maine politics has become all about partisan bickering and keeping score — who’s up and who’s down, who’s in and who’s out, who gets the credit and who gets the blame. The political parties aren’t the problem. The partisanship is the problem.

Electing another partisan Democrat or Republican as Maine’s next governor guarantees more fighting and gridlock in Augusta. I’m running for governor to offer you a different choice — a better way.

In 2014, when the votes were counted and I was elected as Maine’s first independent state treasurer, I stopped campaigning and transitioned to governing. Instead of picking fights and going tit-for-tat with Gov. Paul LePage on the front pages of Maine’s newspapers, I collaborated with him and lawmakers in both parties to put Maine’s fiscal house in order.

We were successful, in part, because I was at the table, leveraging my experience and independence to unite Republicans and Democrats around common goals to improve transparency, accountability and discipline in Maine’s finances.

I am seeking your vote to become Maine’s next governor and campaigning on my proven track record of fiscal responsibility and collaborative problem-solving so you know exactly what kind of chief executive I’ll be.

For nearly 200 years the Office of the Maine State Treasurer was held by a member of the party that was in the majority in Augusta. Four years ago, I took on the establishment to offer Maine a better choice. I challenged the prevailing wisdom and the party leaders by building a bipartisan coalition of Republican and Democratic lawmakers who believed that I was the best person for the job and who shared my belief that we could do the job of governing better. It’s in that same spirit of audacity and conviction that I embarked upon my journey to become your next governor. We deserve better.

We deserve a leader who talks straight, tells you the truth, puts people over partisanship and rolls up her sleeves to get the job done. That’s why, as governor, I will continue to work with Republicans and Democrats, this time around common goals to lower health care costs, prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow, attract and retain skilled workers, and keep Maine safe and beautiful for our children and grandchildren. You can read my policy ideas on the economy, health care, education, infrastructure and more at HayesForMaine.com.

Because Maine’s next governor must have a vision for the future that extends beyond the polls and the performance of their party in the next election, my signature priority as governor will be to unite Maine behind a long-term, nonpartisan, comprehensive, economic development plan that will help all of our people prosper and thrive. To develop this plan, we will invite everyone to the table. That includes lawmakers, policy experts and citizens from across the political spectrum and around the state. We will use shared data from the nonpartisan Maine Economic Growth Council and its “ Measures of Growth” report to achieve many of the policy goals outlined in the “ Making Maine Work” report recently published by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, the Maine Development Foundation and Educate Maine. We will roll out our long-term plan at the beginning of 2020 — Maine’s bicentennial anniversary of statehood. Everyone will play a critical role in making Maine work.

I am not naive about the difficult times in which we live and the challenge of fixing a broken political system to make it work for the people who live, work, raise families and pay taxes in our state. But I have hope and confidence that Maine voters will see this election as I do, an opportunity to acknowledge that no one group of people in Maine has all the answers, that how we do things matters, and that we can do this better by thinking differently and voting differently on Nov. 6.

It’s with hope for the future and determination to lead our state in a bold new direction that I humbly ask for your vote for governor. Together we can do this better.

Terry Hayes from Buckfield is Maine’s first independent state treasurer and the only Clean Elections candidate for governor.

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