As a proud fifth-generation daughter of Waldo County poultry farmers, I am dedicated to making it easier for Mainers to work and raise families in the community we love.

I first ran for office because I saw too many friends and family seek better jobs and better opportunities out of state. It doesn’t have to be that way. As your state representative for the past eight years and as House majority leader, I have proven I can tackle problems and produce solutions at the State House. I understand the importance of bipartisan relationships, and I know how to turn good ideas into good laws.

I have visited with thousands of Waldo County residents and listened to their concerns. Too many barriers exist for families in our area, like rising property taxes and health care costs. Many families struggle with finding affordable childcare and help for aging family members.

On my Waldo County Works Business Tour this year, I visited more than 100 businesses to hear what’s going well, what isn’t, and what I can do to help. They face challenges such as finding qualified workers and accessing reliable high-speed internet to grow their businesses

Now, more than ever, it is vital that we elect leaders who achieve real results for their communities. Working directly with constituents in Waldo County, and with bipartisan support, I’ve begun laying the foundation to build an economy that will last for generations, by writing and passing laws like these:

  • Support for sustainable economic development, giving rural towns the funds and resources they need when a major employer or industry leaves their town.
  • A tax credit for apprenticeship programs created by employers who hire local people to start what could become a lifelong career in their hometown.
  • Incentives to encourage family-friendly business practices such as onsite daycare.
  • Improved high-speed internet access in rural areas so more Mainers can have access for their homes and businesses.

For my entire legislative career, I have built lasting relationships with organizations crucial to Waldo County. I have worked alongside them to create better laws for our communities.

  • I partnered with members of the Randall Collins VFW to pass a law to allow veterans free admission to the Maine State Museum, so they can visit the Museum between appointments at Togus. I also sponsored and passed legislation to establish a Gold Star Family Memorial in Capital Park for families to have a place to remember and celebrate families that have made the ultimate sacrifice.
  • I worked with Liberty Fire Department Chief Bill Gillespie and other fire chiefs across Waldo County and our state to pass a law to attract and retain trained firefighters to Maine so all first responders have adequate training to perform the essential services they provide.
  • Fellow volunteers from the Waldo County Woodshed inspired my legislation to provide a sales tax exemption to nonprofit heating assistance groups so they can provide more firewood to more families.
  • Audiologist Dr. Carolyn Gaiero and I wrote legislation that increases access to hearing aids for our neighbors who struggle with hearing loss and do not have the means to get the services they need.

I’m already undertaking essential first steps to address some of Waldo County’s remaining challenges. We need a community college center in Waldo County to provide vocational training for the trades, health care, and the composite industry. I am working toward that goal by building on programs at the Waldo County Tech Center, and connecting local employers with the Maine Community College System and Maine’s Quality Centers, to establish better training closer to home for jobs that are here in Waldo County.

I also hosted a Housing Solutions Conference in Belfast with the Maine Council on Aging to address the lack of affordable housing for aging Mainers and our workforce.

And I am just getting started. As your state senator, I will continue to remove the barriers blocking success for Waldo County families and businesses.

I am so proud to be from Waldo County. It is where I am from, it is who I am, and it is the future of my family.

With good leadership, Waldo County works. I ask for your support for the state Senate on Nov. 6.

House Majority Leader Erin Herbig is currently serving her fourth term in the Maine House of Representatives. She represents House District 97, which includes Belfast, Northport and Waldo. She is a candidate for State Senate District 11, encompassing all of Waldo County.