FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This week, the Lisa for Maine committee to elect Lisa Savage to the U.S. Senate in Maine as a Green under ranked choice voting has raised $34,208 and counting in campaign donations, making it the largest-ever campaign by a Maine Green Independent in terms of financial contributions from individual supporters.
The MGIP has a relatively long history in Maine, as the longest-running Green party in the United States. Research by the Savage campaign turns up six impactful statewide Green campaigns:
In 1992, Jonathan Carter garnered nearly 9% of the vote in the race for Maine District 2 congressional seat, raising $16,849.
In 1994, Carter ran for governor for the first time, garnering just under 7% of the vote in the race won by Angus King, and in which Savage’s current opponent, Susan Collins, finished third. Carter raised $23,534.
In 1996, John Rensenbrink ran for U.S. Senate as an independent, though he was a registered Green at the time and did not get the signatures to run as a Green. He had total fundraising of $40,694, but that includes a $10,000 loan from the candidate, plus $4,383 in candidate contributions, and so featured $25,907 raised from individuals.
In 1998, Pat LaMarche ran for governor of Maine, garnering just under 7% of the vote in the race won by Angus King, and raising $16,680.
In 2002, Jonathan Carter again ran for governor, this time getting more than 9% of the vote and raising $29,760 in the race won by John Baldacci.
In 2006, Pat LaMarche again ran for governor, also getting more than 9% of the vote in the race where John Baldacci got re-elected, and raising $13,630.
Both the 2002 and 2006 campaigns were run under clean elections, so those donations were seed money donations only and there was no pressure for either candidate to raise further money. They both spent roughly $1 million on their campaigns, in total.
Since then, there has not been a significant state-wide campaign with a Green on the ballot and actively fundraising, likely due to the large organizational effort needed to get on the ballot as a Green. For the U.S. Senate, the Savage campaign must collect 2,000 signatures from amongst the roughly 43,000 registered Greens in Maine, in the middle of winter, which is no easy task.
Lisa for Maine, however, has reinvigorated the Maine Green Independent Party, as well as attracting national attention. It’s hard to ignore, too, the likely impact of ranked choice voting, which allows people to feel confident about donating to third party candidates as they can vote their hopes, rather than worry about the “spoiler effect.”
“As I’ve criss-crossed Maine,” said Savage, “I’ve encountered so many Mainers excited to vote for a candidate who represents their desire for Medicare for All, a serious response to the climate crisis, and an end to war. With ranked choice voting, they feel free to support the candidate they want to rank number one and don’t worry about allowing the worst candidate to slide in by default. We have a great team of volunteers all throughout the state and they are clearly connecting with people who want to get money out of politics and elect someone who’s truly ready to put people, planet, and peace over profit.”
Find information about Lisa’s background, her policy positions, and where to donate to her people-powered campaign at www.LisaforMaine.org.