Green Party in Maine is Mighty!

Maybe independence is in our blood up here. Politically, Mainers have always been fond those willing to break party lines. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe have managed to get reelected time and time again. That is in spite of the fact Maine is part of one of the strongest liberal regions in the nations. We have a soft spot for independents and third parties too. Angus King, an independent, held the Blaine House for two terms. During his tenure, King was one of only two governors not affiliated with a national party. The other was the surprising Jesse Ventura. In the last election a majority of voters (39%) were “independent or something else“.

The Maine Green Party draws from those strong numbers. The Maine Green Independent Party began 25 years ago with 18 members. Today their numbers have reached 32,000. In the 2006 gubernatorial election, Green Candidate Pat LaMarche grabbed 10% of the vote. The doesn’t seem like much, but when you consider she was in a 5 way race, those are damn good numbers for a third party candidate. The Greens hold 18 elected positions, all on the local and county level. Maine also held the distinction of having the highest elected Green from 2002-2006 in Maine State House member John Eder. I lived in town during those years. When election season rolled around you could see Eder’s bold green campaign signs in a vast number of windows. Versions so faded they are almost white still lurk in many windows.

Downeast Magazine has run a nice article on the Maine Greens history and future hopes. Whether you support the Green platform or not, the article is still a must read for those interested in independent and third party politics. Say what you will, but the Maine Greens are well on their way to proving third parties can succeed.

from Downeast Magazine:

Twenty-five years ago, when the Maine Green Party was founded as the first Green political organization in the country, its often-chaotic meetings earned it a reputation as “a prime example of creative dysfunction,” as one exasperated participant said at the time. Ben Chipman, of Portland, laughs out loud at the anecdote. In recent years he has worked on or managed the campaigns of sixteen Green Party candidates and won ten of them. Portland’s Green Independent Party (as it’s now known) currently has three members on the city council, two on the school committee, and two more on the Portland Water District Board. The first Green elected to state-level office in the United States was John Eder, who served two terms in the Maine Legislature from a Portland district…Read More.


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