I'm Walter (Gerry) Runte and I am running for the State House in District 146. Patty Hymanson has done a terrific job representing this district for the last eight years – that’s a tough act to follow.
I want to be your State Representative because I feel I am best able to represent the needs of the district, which covers rural and central York, all of Ogunquit and much of Wells -- all seacoast towns. Given the importance of the natural environment and resources, both to our quality of life and tourism, I see environmental protection and climate action as high priorities. I believe my education, work experience and municipal service offer a unique combination of skills for solving the challenges ahead.
I grew up in a career Army family, served in the Army myself and moved frequently in my career in the electric utility industry as well as the clean energy sector. Eight years ago, returning from Taiwan and Japan, my wife and I searched for a place to raise our youngest children. Her roots are on Pine Hill Road, so we settled in York. Since my arrival, I have been steadily involved in energy and climate issues as a member of York’s Energy Steering Committee and Planning Board and now chair our Climate Action Plan Steering Committee.
Innovative energy plans and policies, as well as climate issues and the environment, have been my passions over my adult life. I consider myself a forward-thinking leader with a broad perspective on energy and environmental issues. Most recently I advised start-up companies on their launch of clean energy technologies. Previously, I held leadership roles in a gas research organization, a biofuel joint venture and was president of a firm developing hydrogen energy systems. Prior to 1997 I filled many roles in strategic planning and regulatory affairs at four different electric utilities.
In virtually every situation, to succeed I needed to form alliances and lead coalitions among various stakeholders within and outside of these organizations. Interacting with legislators at federal and state levels was an integral component of all of this work.
I earned a bachelor’s degree in Math and Chemistry and a master’s in Nuclear Engineering, both from Pennsylvania State University, and a graduate certificate in Community Planning and Sustainable Development from the University of Southern Maine.
Over the next few months, I will be listening to local citizens about their needs and issues. I think we share many concerns, and I thank you for your support.