To the Editor and the good people of Maine Senate District 19 in the towns of Bridgton, Brownfield, Denmark, Fryeburg, Harrison, Hiram, Naples, Norway, Otisfield, Oxford, Paris, Porter, and Sebago:
My name is Ryan Orlando, and I am a Fryeburg, Maine resident. I was born and raised in South Paris, Maine. After graduating from Oxford Hills High School, I served in the United States Air Force as an avionics technician on the B-1 bomber. Following my service, I returned to Maine and built a life for myself. I registered as a Republican, because of the party’s fiscal conservatism and Christian values. I had voted Republican every year since – until January of this year when I registered as a Democrat.
The Republican Party has changed, and I cannot go where they are heading, and with the leader, they have been supporting. I have committed myself to restore what has been lost to the greed, self-interest, and ego of the Party. I have been actively supporting the Democratic Party in any way that I can. I have knocked on voter doors in neighborhoods in and out of the state of Maine. I have driven through snowstorms in the most remote locations to connect with voters. I have made phone calls, sent texts, and donated money. I have served on the event staff for a Presidential candidate. I have accepted community leadership roles to spread the message of hope that is coming from the Democratic Party. Nowhere do I see that message of hope modeled more powerfully than in Katey Branch, who is running for the Senate in District 19.
The role of a political leader is to act on behalf of the interests of the people they represent. To be clear, “the party” should not be confused with the people. The people include all members of the society, whether we align with their political views or not. I am supporting Katey Branch for Maine Senate because Katey is genuinely interested in the betterment of the lives of the people in her community, the State of Maine, and the Nation. In my conversations with Katey, I have come to know that she understands the interconnectedness of the issues that affect Maine people. Katey understands that healthcare is about quality of life and enabling a healthy workforce. Katey knows that education is about giving people opportunities so that they can grow intellectually and live fulfilling lives that create jobs and opportunities for others. Katey understands that taking steps to address climate change, whether they are personal or regional efforts, means that Mainers will continue to enjoy resources essential for establishing and sustaining a strong local economy with access to clean water and locally sourced foods; for generations to come. Katey knows how to lead the way in founding and growing valued community organizations, like the Alan Day Community Garden and Project Aware youth empowerment.
Most importantly, Katey is committed to modeling civil discourse regardless of political affiliation. Katey knows that listening to others and considering their experiences, and knowledge, must be included as we work to shape Maine’s future. I am proud to support Katey Branch for Maine Senate District 19, and I encourage you to as well. Thank you, and be well!