U.S. Sen. Susan Collins speaks at Moody's Collision Center in Gorham. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

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Steve Bost is the Brewer City Manager and a former member of the Maine Legislature.

Maine has been fortunate to have been represented by distinguished political giants in the US. Senate — Margaret Chase Smith, Ed Muskie, Bill Cohen, George Mitchell, Olympia Snowe — and for the past 23 years Susan Collins. Maine has a relatively small population, but enormous influence in Washington. Mainers have elevated the very best to the “world’s greatest deliberative body.”

It is no accident that Collins has been repeatedly returned to represent us in Washington. She upholds the high standards of her predecessors. She personifies what it is to be a true Mainer.

I have known Susan personally and professionally for over three decades, from when she served as Maine commissioner of Professional and Financial Regulation, New England Small Business Administration director, and through her tenure as our U.S. senator. As with any relationship, I haven’t always agreed on every issue. However, I know firsthand of her decision-making process, which is quite simple: Is it good for Maine? Is it good for our country? While that perspective may seem old school to some, for me it is essential.

I had the privilege of getting to know Susan’s family when I served with her late father, Don, in the Maine Senate. I was a Democrat at the time (now an independent), he was a Republican from Caribou. We were colleagues on the Taxation Committee. We did not always agree, but Don was a true gentleman, respectful of the process, and an independent thinker. His colleagues on both sides of the political aisle held him in high esteem. Like father, like daughter.

Collins’ breadth and scope as senator on issues from homeland security, her leadership on COVID-19 response, to reducing the cost of insulin barely scratch the surface of her influence. She is known in Washington as one of the best prepared lawmakers, whether on the Senate floor or in committee. Remarkably, she has never missed a roll call vote.

Collins is well-positioned to be the next chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. That is good for Maine. She will use that powerful position to help secure federal funding that will be invested here in Maine, helping small businesses, creating good jobs.

I’d like to bring this closer to home. For those of you that have had the opportunity to explore Brewer’s beautiful Riverwalk trail system with friends or family, you can thank Collins for her unwavering financial commitment that made it a reality. Our city and region are forever grateful.

Please join me in supporting Collins for re-election. She is moderate, deliberative, honest, experienced and always putting Maine first.