Portland Press Herald endorses Chellie Pingree

The races in Maine’s two congressional districts are about health care, taxes and who can best represent our state in Washington.

With all those things in mind, the Editorial Board endorses Rep. Chellie Pingree in the 1st Congressional District and Jared Golden, a state legislator, in the 2nd Congressional District.

PINGREE EARNED ANOTHER TERM

Two years ago, we endorsed Pingree because she understands the competing interests in a large district that contains the state’s largest city and economic center as well as rural areas. Not much has changed.

Through five terms she has reflected the values of her constituents by fighting for and protecting access to affordable health care and pushing for solutions to climate change.

From her spot on the Agriculture Committee, she has fought to change policy to benefit Maine farmers, and she has been an advocate for the food assistance programs that help thousands of low-income Mainers.

In 2016, we said her Republican challenger, Mark Holbrook, was not qualified for the job. That hasn’t changed, either.

What has changed is the inclusion in the race of independent Martin Grohman, and the election as president of Donald Trump.

Grohman, a state legislator and former Democrat who started his own successful business in Biddeford, is not far from Pingree on many matters of policy (though they do disagree on key areas, such as the Trump tax cuts, which Grohman supports on the basis of fairness for small businesses).

The big difference, Grohman says, is that as an independent he can work with both sides toward solutions free from corrupting partisan influences.

It’s not Democrats or Republicans that are the problem, Grohman told the Editorial Board, “it’s the Democrats and Republicans together.”

No doubt there are problems with the parties, their addiction to campaign funding and their unending focus on the next election.

But to say that both sides are at fault for the imminent problems facing the country ignores the very real differences.

President Trump and other Republicans have demonstrated bad faith on health care, environmental policy and immigration. Pingree, however, has shown she’ll fight for the right side of those issues and others. She deserves another term.

This endorsement originally appeared in the Portland Press Herald.

Paid for by Pingree for Congress