Maine Green Independents choose Topsham social worker as Senate 19 candidate

Posted July 19, 2013, at 5:35 p.m.

TOPSHAM, Maine — Members of the Maine Green Independent party in Sagadahoc County have chosen a Topsham social worker as their candidate in the race to succeed Democrat Seth Goodall in the Maine Senate.

The Greens’ candidate, Daniel Stromgren, 40, is a graduate of the University of Maine, and worked on Jonathan Carter’s 1994 gubernatorial campaign.

Stromgren worked with the Mount Blue State Park coalition to stop logging in Maine’s parks, according to the Maine Green Independent Party website. He then worked for several small businesses and as a legal researcher before becoming a social worker.

Stromgren said Friday that he hopes to “reset the tone” in Augusta, and prevent the “straight line party politics [that are] gridlocking our system.”

“We’re at a really critical junction in this country. Families are in trouble,” he said. “We need sustainable businesses that replenish the resources that they use up … we need to assert our green values, but do it in a way that brings everybody to the table. We need to drop the party politics and make a choice as to whether we’re going to get something done or not get something done … as long as we keep bickering about the way things are said, as opposed to what’s being said, we’re not going to get there.”

Stromgren told the caucus on Monday that he would advocate for small business, a successful health care program and unity in Augusta, according to John Rensenbrink, founder of the Maine Green Independent Party.

“He said that a lot of times Green candidates are associated with the environment, but the environment affects small business and small business affects the environment,” Rensenbrink said. “He’s very strongly in favor of making a priority of small business.”

Stromgren also told the caucus that he would work to put an end to “the bickering and divisiveness in Augusta,” Rensenbrink said. “He has long been a very successful negotiator and compromise seeker — in the best sense of the word. I think his campaign has really aroused the Green Independent Party like few candidacies have in recent times. People are really backing him, and I think he’s going to go quite far.”

The Green Independent Party did not field a candidate in the 2012 Senate District 19 race.

Voters in Sagadahoc County and the town of Dresden will vote in an Aug. 27 special election to elect a replacement for Goodall. A Richmond Democrat who served as Senate majority leader this year, Goodall resigned on July 9 to take over as New England regional director of the U.S. Small Business Association.

County Democrats will caucus at 6 p.m. July 22, at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham to choose their candidate. Will Neilson and Eloise Vitelli, both of Arrowsic, and David Sinclair of Bath, have announced that they will seek the nomination.

Sagadahoc County Republicans will caucus at 6:30 p.m. July 23, at the Smith-Tobey American Legion Post in Bath. Paula Benoit of Phippsburg, a Republican who represented District 19 from 2006 to 2007, has announced that she will seek her party’s nomination.

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