In an email to supporters today, Green gubernatorial candidate Lynne Williams announced she will quit the race for governor after failing to gather the required 2,000 signatures from registered Green-Independent Party members to place her name on the ballot.
Williams says that she and her campaign volunteers will now focus instead on helping Green candidates attempt to win seats in the state legislature.
Williams' departure means that, barring the unlikely event of a successful write-in candidacy, there will be no Green candidate for governor for the first time since 1994, when the party first achieved ballot status. The lack of a Green opponent may help Democratic and independent candidates in November. In 2006, Green candidate Pat LaMarche garnered 9.6% of the vote.
Today is the last day for candidates in all three major parties to submit signatures to place their names on the ballot. Several gubernatorial candidates submitted their petitions last week and others are dropping theirs off throughout the day.
If you haven't yet read Chris Busby's feature on the state of Maine's Green Party in last month's Bollard, you should.
After a lackluster fundraising performance so far, and despite promising not to, Green Independent gubernatorial candidate Lynne Williams has announced she will switch to private financing for her campaign.
From Pat LaMarche's BDN column today:
No, we Greens are expected to lose the big races. But still, we win the majority of the little races in which we run. You can see the official tallies at gp.org. Because of that success, incrementally larger races have to be fixed before they’re begun.
Summary Of 2008
Total Greens Elected: 48
Total Candidates Running: 299
Summary Of 2009
Total Greens Elected: 50
Total Candidates Running: 144
Some independent confirmation for the theory that a proposed name change for voters in Maine who don't choose a political party from "unenrolled" to "independent" would greatly diminish the official membership of the Maine Green Independent Party.
Linda Cohen, legislative policy committee chairwoman for the Maine Town and City Clerks’ Association, testified during last week’s hearing[...]
"There is currently a great deal of confusion among voters who wish to be independent of a party and who mistakenly check off Green Independent, thinking they have chosen properly,” stated Cohen, according to a copy of her written testimony. “When it comes time to participate in a primary or caucus, they are angry to learn they have chosen the Green Independent Party."
I'm a little late posting this here, but my Down East post for this week is up. I take a look at some bills that will be winding their way through the statehouse over the next few weeks and the consequences one piece of legislation could have for the Maine Green Independent Party.
Jessica Alaimo at PolitickerME is presenting a great four-part series today on the history and future of the Maine Green-Independent party.
One quibble: in the piece on past elections involving the Greens, neither Alaimo nor her subjects can seem to come up with a race where the Greens are assumed to have played a role as spoilers. This ignores a very important piece of Maine history, the 1992 2nd district congressional race won by Olympia Snowe. Pat McGowan (D) got 42% of the vote, Snowe clocked in at 49% and Green-Independent Jonathan Carter recieved 9%. McGowan had nearly tied Snowe two years before and was expected to do even better in '92 until the Greens got involved. Here's how Maine political historian Christian Potholm describes the race:
[McGowan] might well have defeated [Snowe] if it had not been for the Green Party, which siphoned off a number of votes which would most likely have gone to him.
No matter what your political persuasion, you have to admit that Maine politics would be very different today if Olympia Snowe had been defeated for office 16 years ago.