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Williams Drops Out of Governor's Race
03/15/2010 03:55 PM ET  

The Maine Green Independent Party candidate failed to gather enough signatures to qualify for the June primary ballot.

Today is the deadline for Maine's party-affiliated candidates for governor to file their nominating petitions with state elections officials, and one has already dropped out of the race.

Green Independent Lynne Williams announced today that she's suspending her campaign after falling short of the 2,000 signatures need to qualify for the primary ballot. In a statement, the former head of the Maine Green Independent Party says she'll be focusing instead on getting Green Party candidates elected to state, county and local offices.

"Strong local candidates are the backbone of any political party, and our efforts on behalf of these local candidates will do more to build the party than a gubernatorial race would have," Williams says.

Williams says it was tough finding Green Party voters to sign the petitions. She says the party has only 30,000 active members in Maine, and finding 2,000 of them to sign on to her campaign turned out to be an impossible task. She says it's much easier for Democrats and Republicans, who both have hundreds of thousands of members from whom to solicit signatures.

Williams, a Bar Harbor attorney, also blamed changes to the state's Clean Election Law for dooming her candidacy, particularly one that increased to $40,000 the amount of contributions publicly-funded candidates must raise to tap into the Clean Election fund. The money must be raised in individual $5 contributions.

The deadline for submitting petitions to qualify for the June primary ballot is 5 p.m. today. Several Democrats and Republicans have already filed petitions.


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