AUGUSTA- On Monday, March 15th, the Green Independent Party of Maine turned in signatures to qualify 18 legislative candidates throughout the state, the second highest total in 12 years of holding official ballot status.
“We made legislative recruitment a top priority this year. With sweeping changes in electoral reform that came out of Augusta last year, we no longer need the governor’s race to keep party status. We turned our resources toward legislative seats, where we have better opportunity for success,” said Anna Trevorrow, Chair of the state Green Independent Party.
The party has nearly doubled its number of qualified candidates from 2008, and has expanded its geographic outreach. The Greens have qualified 15 candidates for State House and 3 for State Senate.
“This year we are running a great slate of candidates from York to Hancock County and some of them have excellent chances to win, running in open seats where the incumbent is term-limited,” said Ben Chipman, Candidate Coordinator for the state party and former Legislative Aide for John Eder, a Green who served in the State House from 2002-2006.
For the first time in the party’s history, there will be two contested primaries.
“This year we will be focusing on seats we can win with a goal of getting a few Greens elected to the Legislature as well as the local level where there are several Greens currently holding office,” said Chipman.
The Green Independent Party touts not only quantity, but the quality of candidates this year, with several party leaders securing ballot lines. Three out of the seven-member state Steering Committee are running for the Maine legislature, as well as long-time figureheads of activist communities.
“We took a look around at all of our members who are outspoken on issues and outspoken within party infrastructure, and we asked, ‘why haven’t you put your name on the ballot yet?’ Out of it came perhaps the strongest field of Legislative candidates the party has ever run,” Trevorrow said.
Green Independent Party membership has also grown this year to 34,500 registered members, the highest total ever.
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