TOPSHAM — The Greens of Senate District 19 on Wednesday chose Topsham social worker Daniel Stromgren as their candidate in the upcoming special election.
Twelve people voted, choosing Stromgren over Richmond attorney Alice Knapp by a vote of 8–4.
Stromgren, 40, said his first priority is economic development, and he wants to bring a Green perspective to topics such as transportation, balanced budgets and supporting small business.
“To tell voters we’re environmentalists is redundant,” he said.
Stromgren described himself as a conservative Green, saying that means finding a balance between social justice and environmental protection, and the need for industry.
“I’m not suggesting we give up any Green values,” he said. “We need to integrate those values into sound policy and not get hung up on minutiae, but look at the larger picture of getting something done or getting nothing done.”
He said he wants to be a unifying candidate and that underneath the rhetoric and partisanship, Gov. Paul LePage and legislators have some good ideas.
Knapp, a former Richmond selectwoman, said the two most important issues to her are the environment and health care. She described herself as an activist for a single-payer health care system.
While Knapp arrived at the caucus unsure whether she would submit herself as a candidate, Stromgren touted his preparation. He said he has a campaign team in place and hopes to start collecting contributions to become a Clean Elections candidate by this weekend.
Democrats and Republicans will choose their candidates next week, and the election is set for Aug. 27.
Voters will elect a replacement for Seth Goodall, who resigned from the Senate to become regional administrator for the Small Business Administration. The district consists of Sagadahoc County and the Lincoln County town of Dresden.
Voters at the Greens’ caucus said they think District 19 is a strong one for them and that the special election is a good opportunity, provided they can muster the turnout.
Stromgren said that’s because the short time frame means the Democrats and Republicans won’t be able to build as much of a financial advantage.
Susan McMillan — 621-5645