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Editor of the Reformer,

Addressing the old and new problems we face requires energy, creativity, intelligence and a fresh perspective. We need new ideas, not business as usual. Younger people, women, people of color, and those with other diverse qualities have the best shot at bringing something new to the table.

Kudos to the young man, Patrick Gilligan, who is running for Vernon and Guilford's State Representative. It's really nice to see a young voice speak out. Although I'm pleased to see Patrick getting involved, another fresh face is also on the scene, Sara Coffey, and she has won my vote.

I've had the privilege of driving Sara around our various neighborhoods as she tirelessly campaigns door-to-door. Her energy, enthusiasm, and determination are inspiring. I've listened to her interact with people from all walks-of-life and differing views. She listens respectfully and intently. Her responses are thoughtful and non-defensive, showing an amazing grasp of the issues facing Vernon and Guilford. She's obviously done her homework and is willing to honestly consider opposing views.

As a mom, small business founder and owner, and a very active community member, Sara has demonstrated that she can effectively balance concern for meeting people's needs while being financially responsible. That's a very tough balancing act, one which requires skill, commitment, and hard work.

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As an independent voter, I try hard to assess the candidates I vote for, not based on their affiliations but rather, on their demonstrated abilities and accomplishments. Sara has everything I look for in a State Representative. Please consider voting for Sara in November.

Mike Szostak

Guilford, Oct. 5