Snow covers the park in front of the State House in Augusta on Wednesday Dec. 29, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

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I had the privilege of driving Rep. Holly Stover as she knocked on doors in South Bristol recently. The experience of riding and chatting informally with Stover and witnessing her interaction with voters only deepened my commitment to this champion of working people.

While I was familiar with the broad strokes of her resume — 23 years working within our state’s Health and Human Services agency, currently executive director of Lincoln County Dental, a small grassroots dental agency that delivers oral health services to those who need them most and also program director for a Boothbay peninsula-focused addiction outreach council — three hours of lively conversation as we drove from house to house to house only increased my appreciation of her work on behalf of me and my neighbors.

She’s done it all, from dealing with teens at the Lincoln County group home to bathing elderly adults. She’s been spit on (literally, not figuratively) and she’s developed and helped to implement important statewide programs that have helped hundreds, if not thousands, of Mainers, navigate challenging journeys of substance use or difficult, even life-threatening health issues.

As we drove and talked I realized that, always, always, always Stover’s focus has been on making certain that the people of Maine, our neighbors, you, or me, have the best shot at making a decent – not an extravagant, not an unearned – but the best shot at making decent life for ourselves. And what more can any of us ask? She understands and works from the point of view that folks don’t need (and don’t want) a hand-out but that sometimes the best of us needs a “hand-up.”

I urge people to vote for Stover in our upcoming June 14 primary election. We need her to continue her service to the people of the Midcoast and all of Maine in Augusta.

Geoff Bates

South Bristol

Editors Note: The BDN will stop accepting letters and commentary related to the June 14 primary election on Friday, June 10. Not all submissions can be published.