By Dave Denison | January 22, 2006
IN DECEMBER, at a law office in downtown Portland, Maine, two successful businessmen met to talk politics. The host was Angus King, who served two terms as governor of Maine in the 1990s and is now back at work in the private sector. The visitor was Christy Mihos, former president and CEO of Christy’s Markets, who had driven up from his Cape Cod home to ask King one of the most intriguing questions in American politics today: Who needs political parties?
King didn’t. When he ran as an independent in 1994, he beat Democrat Joe Brennan, a former governor and member of Congress, and Republican Susan Collins, who later became a US senator. He was reelected in 1998 by a wide margin, the same year Jesse Ventura became governor of Minnesota. Connecticut elected former Congressman Lowell Weicker as an independent governor in 1990. And, as King pointed out to Mihos that day, the trail had already been blazed for him in Maine by Jim Longley, who won the governorship as an independent in 1974.
If an independent candidate can win in Maine, Connecticut, and Minnesota, why not Massachusetts?
Massachusetts has no such precedent in the past century. And Mihos, a former member of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board, isn’t sure yet whether it’s worth a try. A lifelong Republican, he says he would like to run for governor in the GOP primary. But his public battles in 2001 and 2002 with then-Governor Jane Swift over proposed toll increases – Swift tried to fire him but lost in court – mark him as something less than a party loyalist. Now, with his party’s establishment lining up behind Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, he is considering an independent campaign... Read the rest of the Globe story here, and comment below.
Read Cape Politics column on same subject here.