The Maine State House cupola pokes out of a fog bank rising from the Kennebec River on a chilly morning, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Augusta, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

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Who has more energy than the Energizer bunny? Rep. Jan Dodge does.

She is running for re-election to her third term with the Maine State House representing District 39 (Belfast, Northport, and Belmont). In the ten years I’ve known her, Dodge has held leadership roles in many local organizations, like Waldo County TRIAD and Aging Well in Waldo County. I could tell right away that she is both a thinker, and a do-er.

A “seat at the table” in the Maine Legislature was the next obvious path for Dodge’s leadership and energy. I felt honored when she asked me to help with her campaign, driving her door-to-door to meet the voters and hear their concerns. Some candidates never meet with their constituents, so I had to wonder: Did she not read the playbook on “How to be a politician?”

Dodge threw that book out the window. We need leaders who are willing to study the issues, the proposed legislation, and listen to what “We The People” are thinking and worrying about.

Even after the elections, I would get messages from Dodge asking me, “What about this, or that?” or, “Does that make sense to you?” Most so-called leaders send messages that either warn why you should not vote for that other candidate or they ask for money. She asked me for a $5 contribution to qualify for Clean Elections funding. She is not beholden to big corporations, landowners, or power brokers.

She is too busy listening to us.

Paul Sheridan