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Portland, Maine Green Party City Council members retiring

MaineGreens The Portland Press-Herald reports that the two Green Party members of the Portland, Maine City Council, Kevin Donoghue and David Marshall, will not seek re-election this year. Both were elected in 2006 for a three-year term and have been re-elected twice since then. Council elections are nonpartisan; all the other seats are held by registered Democrats. The newspaper also reports that Portland Green Independent Committee Thomas MacMillan announced he will run for mayor of Maine’s largest city this fall.

The news in Portland comes amid a division within the Maine Green Independent Party over members supporting the Democratic presidential candidacy of independent Sen. Bernie Sanders. In a Bangor Daily News blog post, party activist and Sanders supporter Chris Shorr alleges that leaders of the MGIP have tried to censor pro-Sanders posts in online party discussion group. National Green Party media coordinator Scott McLarty said in reply, “Individuals have a right to support whomever they like. But they don’t have a right to use the Green Party’s pages to urge people to unregister Green and reregister Democrat so they can vote for Bernie in the Dem primaries.”

The Green Party has been strong in Maine, where the four gubernatorial nominees between 1994 and 2006 each polled between 6.4% and 9.6% of the statewide vote (the MGIP did not field gubernatorial candidates in 2010 and 2014), and particularly in Portland, where MGIP members have held office since 2001 and which sent John Eder to the state legislature in 2002. The 2012 Green Party presidential ticket had its best showing nationwide in the state, with Jill Stein taking 1.3% of the vote.

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