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Yes on 5
Maine’s water quality is top-notch, world-class. It’s so good Swiss companies pipe it out of the ground, bottle it, and ship it around the globe to sell at massive markups. Let’s spend $10.3 million to protect Maine’s water, both for household and agricultural uses, as well as to keep wastewater and stormwater from contaminating the environment.

DEMOCRATS


Scarcelli for governor
Everyone voting this June knows Maine needs a serious, radical change of course to get back to providing services for our neediest while efficiently operating other aspects of state government and keeping costs down. Rosa Scarcelli, while perhaps more focused than she should be on job-creation (which governors generally can’t affect) and less than she ought be on human services (which they can), wants to use modern business methods (example: analyzing existing databases) to evaluate government effectiveness. Sadly, it’s fairly normal ideas like this that pass for “fresh thinking” in Augusta these days. But she’s the only one offering even that. She’ll need some serious seasoning — by which we do not mean tempering or moderation — but she’ll run a strong race in November.

Stuckey for District 114
First-term legislators rarely actually get much accomplished. They’re too busy learning how Augusta works (and how it doesn’t). That’s partly true of incumbent Peter Stuckey, but his seriousness about learning what he needs to know, and the ideas he wants to bring to a second term, make his bid for re-election a strong one. He wants to actually review the hundreds of millions of dollars we give away in tax credits (it’s mostly corporate welfare for large out-of-state companies), and wants to help ease the tax burden on lower-income Mainers.

Barkley for District 119
We’re not endorsing Jill Barkley just because she won the Best Portland Activist award from Portland Phoenix readers earlier this year, but that’s a good start to describing her qualifications. A passionate — and startlingly energetic — advocate for domestic-violence victims, marriage equality, and social justice issues in general, she’s exactly the kind of smart, persuasive thinker we need in Augusta.

REPUBLICANS


Mills for governor
OMG — there is one left. A moderate, thinking-for-himself Republican who actually has both good ideas and a base of knowledge, and yet who has not let his 16 years of legislating cloud his vision, his judgment, or his independence. We were worried his ilk might have gone the way of the passenger pigeon, and we fear that a Portland Phoenix endorsement may be a kiss of death for Peter Mills in the ideologue-controlled circus that has become the Maine GOP, but we’re serious when we say he’s the only elephant for the job.

Pick your poison for District 116
Republicans in District 116 have an odd decision, one we’re not prepared to make for you. You can choose Ken Capron, a traditional conservative who wants to get the government out of social-assistance programs and has expressed concerns about immigrants in Portland, or Badr Sharif, a young Somali immigrant who opposes same-sex marriage and abortion rights. Yikes.

GREENS


Trevorrow for District 120
Anna Trevorrow, despite losing an attempt to get on Portland’s School Committee in 2008, has been expending lots of energy and effort serving Portland ever since anyway, including on the city’s charter commission. A leader in the state’s Green Party and a hard worker, she’ll be a solid candidate for November’s election against incumbent Democrat Diane Russell.

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