This November, Green party candidates will run for Portland City Council against incumbents Karen Geraghty and Will Gorham, according to Portland Green Independent Committee co-chairman Kevin Donoghue [see correction, below].
The bid for the council is part of a push to recreate recent Green victories in the school committee (where four Greens serve) and in the state House (where Portland’s John Eder is Maine’s first and only Green party legislator) elsewhere in the city.
“It’s not fringe, we are here to win,” says Donoghue. “On the city level, we are very serious.”
The Greens are so serious they plan to run candidates for every major elected seat on the Portland peninsula. So far, they’ve snagged informal commitments from candidates for every office except one at-large school committee seat, one at-large city council seat, anad one Portland Water District seat. Even lefty Dem Herb Adams will face opposition from a Green this fall.
Prospective candidates for city council, school committee, and the Portland Water District have until August 21 to file the necessary paperwork with the city. Candidates for state office were required to file their paperwork by March 15, but if any withdraw, the party can substitute a new candidate as late as April 13.
The new crop of Greens hankering for political office is “an expression of people’s disillusionment with our leadership,” says Donoghue.
Donoghue has used what he calls “networking on the street” to dig up Greens willing to take the electoral plunge. Donoghue’s street recruiting is literal—he found his candidate to oppose state representative Adams while hanging out downtown Monday afternoon—and he says it’s part of the reason the Greens have a toehold in local Portland politics.
“We’re the second party in this city,” he says. “The Republican Party is the third party.”
Portland Green party co-chairman Rebecca Minnick will run for the school committee in District 1, and Stephen Spring will run for reelection to the same committee in District 2. At the legislative level, Ben Meiklejohn will run for state representative in District 120 in the seat to be vacated by Ben Dudley, who reached his term limit this year. John Eder will run for reelection to the state House in District 118, a mystery Green will run for House District 119, and two mystery Greens plan to run against Karen Geraghty and Will Gorham for the city council seats. Donoghue declined to announce the name of the Green running for the House 119 seat before checking with the candidate first. The mystery Greens for city council plan to reveal themselves at a party planning meeting next week, for no other reason than that they want to wait and announce together, Donoghue says. Aww.
And you thought politics were cutthroat.
Correction: April 5, 2006: In the original version this story, Kevin Donoghue's name was misspelled.