Maine State Senator Peter Mills

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Peter Mills the Best-Qualified Candidate for GOP's Nod for Governor
by Merton G. Henry and Senator Karl Turner | Maine Sunday Telgram | June 11, 2006

Peter Mills the best-qualified candidate for GOP's nod for governor The paper's endorsement of an opponent is contested by backers of this state senator. We are writing to take issue with the endorsement this paper offered last week in the Republican primary for governor.

The candidate the Telegram endorsed is certainly well-qualified, but the paper overlooked the best-qualified candidate of all: state Sen. Peter Mills of Cornville.

Peter Mills brings the right skills and life experiences to this contest: the skills and experience that Maine needs in its next governor at this critical juncture in our state's history. He has a strong understanding of the needs of Maine people at all points of the compass.

Both of us know Peter Mills as a skilled attorney and state senator without peer. Peter is very smart. He was valedictorian of his class at Gorham High School, and they don't give academic scholarships to Harvard to just anyone.

He is at the same time very down-to-earth and practical. He is equally at home in a law library or a Somerset County woodlot.

Between college and the University of Maine Law School, Peter served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, logging three tours of duty in the South China Sea during the Vietnam War.

Even then, Peter's work ethic and willingness to sacrifice for the common good were well honed.

After law school, Peter practiced law and lived in the Greater Portland area. In the early '80s he became a partner in the Skowhegan firm of Wright & Mills.

In 1994, Peter ran successfully for the Maine Senate. He is now finishing his sixth term as a legislator. In winning these contests, he has relied on his ability to attract the votes of Democrats and independents as well as Republicans.

Periodically, you run across a person of high ethical standards, a strong work ethic, high energy levels and mental quickness. Peter Mills is that type of person. These are qualities that Maine needs in its next governor.

Those of us who have had a chance to work with Peter Mills in the Legislature or law have seen these character traits at work. He has been a very successful legislator while continuing to practice law and manage his law firm.

Peter has been universally respected by those with whom he has worked in the Legislature.

While a lifelong Republican, he has maintained an open mind on policy matters regardless of their origins. He has consistently demonstrated an ability to work across the political aisle.

During 12 years in the Legislature, he has mastered the intricacies of the major policy areas confronting Maine, including appropriations, tax, insurance, education, judiciary and labor, to name just a few. In most cases, he has actually served on the relevant legislative committee.

Beyond these commitments, however, his broad range of interests in policy areas will find him in the audience at one committee or another, listening and taking notes.

As a result, his life experience coupled with his very strong grasp and deep understanding of the inner workings of Maine government make him the best-qualified candidate to carry the banner of the Republican Party into the general election contest.

From the vantage point of Nov. 7, Peter Mills is best positioned of any of the candidates to do the hard work necessary to get Maine's fiscal house back in order.

Peter Mills is the only candidate who has presented a 12-point program for the voters' consideration.

The plan tells Maine people what he will try to accomplish as their governor in a straightforward way.

It also sets the benchmarks on which voters can judge his performance.

Peter Mills is the best qualified candidate of those running in the Republican gubernatorial primary. We urge all Republicans and independents to vote for him on Tuesday.

Merton G. Henry is a Portland attorney. Sen. Karl Turner is a Republican from Cumberland