Editor’s note: Chandler Woodcock, who is the Republican nominee for governor, delivered the following speech during the party’s convention in May. Woodcock won the nomination in a close primary race Tuesday with state Sen. Peter Mills and former U.S. Rep. Dave Emery.

I’m Chandler Woodcock, and I’m running for governor of the state of Maine!

Almost 40 years ago, as a naïve, young soldier from Farmington, I went off to Vietnam. I volunteered for the military because I believed in America, and I believed that others should have the opportunity to be free. I believe that now more than ever.

Therefore, I ask that we keep the guardsmen, reservists and active duty soldiers in our thoughts and prayers as they fight the War on Terror, make Maine and this nation a safer place and allow others to be free.

In spite of what we see on television and read in the papers and magazines, we know the truth: YOU are making a difference, your CAUSE is just, and you are NOT forgotten.

It is an honor to stand before you today not only as a candidate for governor, but as someone who wants to be the leader of the Republican Party in Maine at such an important time in our history.

People look to this party for trust and responsibility. Whether as a husband and father, a veteran, a public high school teacher and coach, a selectman or a senator, I’ve always considered my word to be my bond, and I am comfortable with responsibility and accountability.

It’s part of me, and part of being a Republican.

I’m humbled to share this campaign with two fine public servants, Peter and David. Gentlemen, I can’t wish you luck, but I do wish you well.

As you all know, we’re on the verge of a momentous occasion here in Maine. A day that is very near and one that you definitely don’t want to miss. Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is an important day at our house. Many of you have heard me speak of my mother. She is a veteran of World War II, having served in the United States Marine Corps.

I’m deeply honored to have my mother here today.

Together with my father, also a World War II veteran, she raised three children and instilled in us the traditional family values that have shaped my life.

More importantly, she personally collected nearly 200 $5 checks for the Maine Clean Election Fund on my behalf. When my mother talks, people listen!

Thank you, Mom. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day to the moms among us here today. My wife, Charlie, is also here with me, along with three of our children. Charlie, I love you and thank God every day that you are by my side.

Charlie is going to make a great first lady of Maine.

This is the most important election in Maine’s history. I know we’re ready, and the Democrats know we’re ready. The people gathered in this room today – all of you – know we’re ready! November is approaching and Maine is ready for change!

We have the issues, the energy, the youth and the truth on our side.

We have Sen. Olympia Snowe leading the way at the top of the ticket. We have a 1-0 lead. The rest is up to the bullpen.

Sen. Snowe, I look forward to sharing the ballot with you in November.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank Peter Cianchette for his leadership the last four years. Peter, thank you.

A former speaker of the House and former chair of the Maine Democratic Party bragged, using a hockey term, that the Democrats scored a “Hat Trick” by winning not only the Governorship, but also narrow majorities in the House and Senate.

Today I’m asking for your help in sending the Democrats back where they belong – the penalty box!

You hear people talk a lot about plans. Leaders have a vision.

My vision for Maine Tomorrow is a state that lives within its means and earns a reputation as a great place to start or expand a business and raise a family.

Maine Tomorrow must not include a large dependency class, unaffordable health insurance and the highest taxes in America!

My vision is for a government that is both smaller and better. Yes, you can have it both ways.

Mary Adams, the entire state of Maine owes you a debt of gratitude for making spending reform an issue in this election.

We need spending reform. That is why I continue to support the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. I’m glad the courts got this one right!

Every Republican here this afternoon – every Republican – should agree that a reduction in our taxes is critical to Maine’s workers and families. That’s why I’m here; to put the state on a diet, and it starts with spending reform and a reduction in your income tax.

When it comes to health insurance, we can and must do better.

Despite spending millions to lower the cost of insurance, the products on the market in Maine are still unaffordable. As governor, I will allow the people of Maine to purchase health insurance from other states. Marketplace competition has worked elsewhere – it’ll work here, too.

We need to reform our government. It’s been said that “you manage what you measure.” It’s time for a meaningful government oversight agency and for a governor who places more value on qualifications than on cronyism.

My administration will hire the best managers and hold them accountable. This means that when people don’t get the job done, they will lose theirs. It also means that when people who work for me – and you – uncover abuse and opportunities to save taxpayer money, they will be rewarded.

The governor must respect the will of the voters. Some believe that the folks in Augusta know best, that the citizens are not fit to govern themselves and make the right choices. I strongly disagree with this view. It’s time for a governor who understands that when the people of Maine speak on an issue, the issue is resolved!

For me, it’s quite simply a matter of trust.

You know, from time to time, I do a little preachin’.

I’m concerned.

I’m concerned about the social agenda of this administration. I’m opposed to special rights, and I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Case closed!

It’s quite simply a matter of trust.

I’m an outdoorsman, and yes that’s really me fly fishing in my commercial.

When I was 10 years old, my grandfather took me hunting in the big woods above Rangeley. He sat me on a stump, looked me in the eye, and said, “I’ll be back in an hour. Don’t move from this stump.”

It was cold. My ears were cold. My feet were cold. I got up and began to move around to stay warm.

It started to snow, and I wondered, “Where’s my grandfather?”

In exactly one hour, he returned. What I didn’t know was that he had been watching the entire time from a small stand of fir only 50 yards away.

He said to me, “Chan, I’m proud of you, and it has nothing to do with this stump. It’s a matter of trust.”

So here I am, back on the stump.

And it’s still a matter of trust.

The governor has overpromised and underdelivered. He has eroded the public’s trust in government’s ability to do its job and keep its word.

We need to deal with our challenges head-on, and speak candidly about the issues.

We’re from Maine! We can handle the truth!

The governor said that L.D. 1 would solve our tax crisis – he’s still saying it! Even after it’s apparent that it does no such thing, he still tells the people of Maine that it is working!

The governor said that Dirigo Health would lower the price of insurance. But only one company bid on Dirigo: Anthem. The same company that owns the individual market in Maine already. That’s a monopoly, and having state government create its own insurance company isn’t the solution.

Recently, the governor announced that Maine has added more than 5,000 new jobs. We now know that, instead, we lost 200 jobs.

It’s quite simply a matter of trust.

I want you to think about that when you consider your vote.

I want you to think about that when you consider November.

I’m not a career politician.

I’m not a lawyer.

I know what it’s like to make sacrifices.

It’s time for a governor who has walked in OUR shoes.

Who has experienced OUR struggles.

Who has had to overcome the same challenges as US.

It’s time for a governor who is one of US.

The governor has over-promised and under-delivered.

He promised more jobs and delivered fewer jobs!

He promised lower taxes and he delivered L.D. 1!

He promised affordable health insurance and he delivered Dirigo!

Have taxes gone down?!

Is health insurance more affordable?!

And he promised – and he promised – better cell phone coverage.

[Holding cell phone to ear] Governor … Can you hear me now?!

Maine has its challenges, but just beneath them a hint of change is emerging. I hear a steady rhythm. The sound of Maine uniting to change its direction. We have the issues. We have the truth. We have the energy.

We have the momentum to change Maine Tomorrow.

My family is ready! You are ready! I am ready – to LEAD.

FOLLOW the sound of one heart beating.

Thank you and God bless you all!

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