Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Bre Kidman’s candidacy made me feel seen

This week, I cast my ballot in the Maine primary, and not only found the opportunity to support a candidate for national office who made me feel seen as a queer and nonbinary person for the first time, but found the need to be vocal about this opportunity.

Maine deserves a senator who is unafraid to denounce the racist designs of mass incarceration and the police state (both nationally and in Maine), who has no qualms calling to defund the police and refund communities.

Maine deserves a senator who is willing to fight for LGBTQ+ rights when it is inconvenient and uncomfortable, not just when it is popular.

Maine deserves a senator who is specifically committed to a Green New Deal.

Maine deserves a senator who will walk the walk when it comes to purging politics of the corrosive influence of lobbying and corporate interests.

Bre Kidman is this senator.

Jonah Levy

Penobscot

Chip Curry for state Senate

I am very pleased to endorse Chip Curry for the Maine Senate. I have known Curry for many years as a member of our church community, as a volunteer on too many to name projects, as an educator, and as a father and spouse. In every one of these areas he is totally committed, giving them his all.

As an educator, academic adviser and parent, Curry understands the transformative power of education. We need a well-trained workforce to help us build the good-paying jobs for the future. Chip will be an advocate for expanding the employment prospects for all Waldo County residents.

In every area of his life, Curry has demonstrated the importance of being smart and prudent in resourcing time and money. He will bring this same prudence to the State House. If a program isn’t meeting its goals, then it must be modified or eliminated. Conversely, if a program is having a positive impact on Waldo County and the state and could do more, he will fight for its expansion.

He supports raising the state contribution to our schools to the mandated 55 percent, thus relieving some of the property tax burden on Waldo County residents. Curry will be a fiscal advocate for all of the people of Waldo County.

Please join me in supporting Curry’s continued efforts and elect him to the Maine Senate!

Anna Wood-Cox

Morrill

Vote Collins out

Is Susan Collins a woman of her word? In 1996, when running for office, this is what she said about term limits: “I do support term limits and I have pledged that if I’m elected, I will only serve two terms … Twelve years is long enough to be in public service, make a contribution and then come home and let someone else take your place.”

So will she honor her pledge? She has not so far. We need to hold her to it and vote her out.

Douglas Calhoun

Brunswick

Mask enforcement

The majority of people I see in large stores around our area do wear face masks to protect others in the store. Unfortunately, there is still a sizable minority of people who refuse to wear masks, despite these stores posting signs requiring masks to enter and, in some cases, telling them it is only a recommendation.

They still don’t get it — that wearing a face mask is not to protect the person wearing it, but to protect other people, and potentially their families, from you, in case you have COVID-19, with or without symptoms. Those stores and businesses that don’t want to offend the people who refuse to wear masks are in fact offending and endangering the majority of their customers and employees who do wear masks when they don’t enforce the state mandate to wear them.

If management at these stores are concerned for their associates’ safety in case a customer becomes unruly, they should post two associates at the entrance instead of just one. Most of the people likely to be a threat to an associate are bullies, and I’ve never seen a bully attack two people at once.

I hope and pray that we do not have a surge in COVID-19 cases in Maine and have to go back to lockdown conditions, just as we are starting to open up again, as is happening in many other states across the country. If that does happen, the people who will be the most to blame will be those who refuse to wear masks and the stores that refuse to enforce the mandate.

In other words, those businesses and their employees who will suffer the most from a second economic shutdown will have only themselves to blame.

Joel Holcomb

Brewer

Betsy Sweet my first choice

Sen. Susan Collins voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. Though she said she couldn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2016, according to FiveThirtyEight’s analyses, her Senate votes align with the president’s position 67.2 percent of the time. During his administration, she’s lost my respect and my vote. I vowed to support Maine’s Democratic nominee for Senate. But I hoped I could vote for that nominee, not just against Collins.

I longed for a candidate with policy experience, strategic vision and specific priorities. Someone with a strong voice for racial justice, climate action and education reform — and accomplishments demonstrating leadership in action. Was it too much to also long for someone driven by ethics, not politics?

Betsy Sweet is passionate about her beliefs, engaging in her manner and inspiring as she describes her values and vision for our country. She has worked tirelessly via a grassroots campaign, without massive out-of-state donations, to bring her message to Mainers across the state.

For example, COVID-19 has painfully illustrated that everyone needs quality health care and all workers deserve protection. Sweet believes healthcare is a human right, and identifies needed worker protection policies. Mother of three, Sweet sees education as another fundamental right — one that should include universal pre-K, debt-free higher education and equitable school resources. In supporting New Green Deal initiatives to address climate crises, Sweet identifies ways Maine can lead in expanding renewable energy production.

Betsy Sweet is my first choice for Maine’s Democratic nominee for Senate.

Janet Hamel

Orono

Election notice

The BDN will stop accepting letters and OpEds related to the July 14 election on July 7. Not all submissions can be published.