BAR HARBOR, Maine — An attorney who has championed numerous environmental and human rights causes in Maine has announced that she intends to run for governor in 2010.
Lynne Williams, 58, is state chairman of the Maine Green Independent Party and serves on the planning board in Bar Harbor. She has lived in Maine for 10 years, first in Augusta and then in Rockland before moving to Bar Harbor four years ago. In 2004, she ran unsuccessfully for the Maine House of Representatives as a Green party candidate in Rockland.
In addition to her legal degree, Williams has a doctorate in psychology from the University of Southern California. She grew up in New York City and has a grown son who is in college in San Francisco.
Williams announced her Blaine House bid in a prepared statement she sent Monday to the Bangor Daily News.
“The Green party platform, and my own values, are particularly suited to guiding a state through this type of [difficult economic] period,” Williams said in the statement. “I seek to create a new definition of growth and progress, where such terms are not defined by how many Wal-Marts are in a region, but rather by how much people in that region support and patronize their own locally owned businesses.”
Williams has been involved in numerous environmental and human rights causes in Maine over the past decade.
As an attorney, she represents Forest Ecology Network and RESTORE: The North Woods in their roles as intervenors in the permitting process for the Plum Creek development proposal on Moosehead Lake. She represents the Wildlife Alliance of Maine and Animal Welfare Institute in their efforts to protect endangered lynx by increasing restrictions on trapping in the state.
She also represents groups that oppose the development of liquefied natural gas terminals in Washington County and southern Maine towns that are concerned about Poland Spring’s use of groundwater in its water-bottling operations.
Former clients include anti-war protesters charged with criminal trespass after refusing to leave the Bangor offices of U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, and Friends of Magurrewock, which sought to halt construction of a new border crossing in the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Calais. She also represented Deane Brown, an inmate at Maine State Prison in Warren who unsuccessfully sued prison officials for barring him from speaking to the media.
Williams has advocated for repeal of Maine’s school administration consolidation law, favors impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, and briefly represented two men who were accused of trespassing on Martha Stewart’s property on Mount Desert Island. She has helped gay and lesbian couples in Maine register as domestic partners and has been honored by the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine for representing nonviolent protesters of the Iraq war.
Many politicians and business leaders in Maine have been rumored to be considering running for governor in 2010, but so far the only other person to indicate he plans to run is Steven Rowe, a Democrat who is barred by term limits from seeking another term as Maine’s attorney general. Gov. John Baldacci is barred by term limits from running for re-election.
A senior aide to Tom Allen, who this year unsuccessfully challenged Susan Collins for her U.S. Senate seat, has said the congressman will not run for governor, according to the Portland Press Herald.
Others who have been widely mentioned as considering Blaine House runs include Cianbro chairman Peter Vigue, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner John Richardson, state Sen. Peter Mills, Maine House Minority Leader Josh Tardy, Department of Conservation Commissioner Patrick McGowan, business leader Les Otten, U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud, and former Speaker of the Maine House Glenn Cummings, among others.