While poking around in the back of my refrigerator, in search of an edible leftover for lunch, I discovered a biodegradable package labeled “GREEN.” Inside was an unpleasant looking blob.

It smelled bad and appeared toxic. It had probably been lurking in the recesses of the fridge for a couple of election cycles. I was about to dump the goo in the garbage, when I detected movement. This glop was alive, but just barely.

I had uncovered the icky remnants of the Maine Green Independent Party.

For those unfamiliar with that conglomeration, the Greens have been oozing around since 1984. They used to run candidates for governor (Jonathan Carter, Pat LaMarche) and U.S. Senate (John Rensenbrink) with some regularity, but no success. They did elect a state representative and a few city councilors in Portland without noticeable impact. In recent years, the Greens have somehow managed to maintain their status as an official party, even though most people have forgotten they exist.

The Greens claim to have 50,000 members in Maine, a figure inflated by wishful thinking. According to the Office of the Secretary of State, just over 4 percent of registered voters are Greens, or about 41,000 earnest souls, placing them slightly ahead of the Libertarian Party and registered sex offenders.

But like neglected items in the back of the refrigerator, the Greens linger on past its best-used-by date. Which may explain why David Gibson is a Green candidate for U.S. Senate.

According to his online biography, Gibson is a “solar design specialist” for an alternative energy company. He grew up in Fryeburg and worked summers on a farm, developing a “lifelong passion for local sustainable food” (so he’s probably cool with that stuff in the depths of my fridge). He graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, worked for construction companies in Connecticut and New Jersey, did a stint as an AmeriCorps volunteer, hooked up with Nevada government as an energy efficiency expert and moved back to Maine in 2017. He settled in Morrill, where he installed a heat pump in an old farmhouse.

Gibson doesn’t have much political experience, as evidenced by his decision to announce his candidacy at a Green Party event in Massachusetts, where nobody noticed.

According to his Facebook page, Gibson favors getting rid of old people in office by establishing a maximum age of 65 years for candidates. “This will act as a natural term limit,” he wrote. He wants all political campaigns to be completely funded with public money. He’ll pay for that by cutting the defense budget in half. He’ll work to get the country to 100 percent clean energy by 2030. His campaign slogan is “A Paradigm Change to Solve Climate Change!”

Having already alienated senior citizens, anyone concerned about national security and people turned off by phrases with the word “paradigm” in them, Gibson also must contend with another impediment to his candidacy: To get on the ballot, he needs to collect the signatures of 2,000 registered Green voters. On average, there’s barely one such person per square mile in Maine, so he’ll have to do lots of traveling.

Even if he qualifies for the ballot, Gibson will still have to defeat incumbent Sen. Susan Collins (or another Republican if something weird happens), whichever Democrat survives the primary and an independent or two. The odds of that are far worse than getting food poisoning from fungus-infested leftovers.

He’d be better off crawling back in the Tupperware.


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