I have been fortunate to serve Keene as a state representative since 2014. I’ve had the corollary benefit of witnessing many different styles of leadership through my work at the Statehouse. It’s through that lens that I view Keene’s upcoming mayoral election. And it is with that experience and perspective that I will be casting my vote for Mitch Greenwald for Mayor on Nov. 5.

Greenwald recognizes Keene’s role in shaping the region’s — and the state’s — identities. By the same coin, Keene is not immune from many of the challenges being faced by governments everywhere. Contemporary mayors must not only fix potholes, but they now must also widen storm drains. Greenwald realizes that Keene is a part of a broader community and that no problem is too big for local initiatives. Rather than throw their arms up, Keene deserves a leader who will step up.

Greenwald’s competition chooses to punt on issues important to Keene, like the 2017 diversity and inclusion resolution protecting all people regardless of immigration status. Local governments across the country represent the front lines for issues like voting rights, reproductive rights and educational rights. Gov. Sununu has been a reliable opponent to initiatives that protect or expand those rights — and he has done so with the tacit approval of George Hansel.

The friendship between Gov. Sununu and Hansel also threatens New Hampshire college students. Gov. Sununu made the partisan decision to appoint Greenwald’s opponent to the USNH Board of Trustees despite his total unfamiliarity with New Hampshire state colleges. Likewise, Gov. Sununu and the New Hampshire Republican Party have been instrumental in passing laws aimed at restricting the student vote, all while Hansel has been conspicuously silent. Keene deserves a mayor who will choose what is in the best interest of the city, not what is most prudent for future political campaigns.

I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Mitch Greenwald about all of the above issues and more. I was impressed by his encyclopedic knowledge of Keene and his straightforward approach. Keene needs a mayor who will hold Concord accountable — regardless of who the governor is or what party controls the majority. Keene needs a mayor who is dedicated to the advancement of the city — not his or her own personal advancement. Keene needs a leader. That is why I will be voting for Mitch Greenwald on Nov. 5.

WILL PEARSON

24 Franklin St.

Keene

(This writer, a Democrat, represents Cheshire District 16 in the N.H. House.)