Independent State Representative To Challenge Pingree For Maine's 1st CD Seat

Apr 10, 2018

Marty Grohman, an independent state representative from Biddeford, announced Tuesday that he's running for the 1st Congressional District seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree.

Grohman, a businessman and second-term legislator in the House, unenrolled from the Democratic party last year.

Grohman said he's running to become a voice of reason in a Congress paralyzed by partisan gridlock.

"I don't think there's anybody that thinks what we're doing in Washington right now is working. We're just kind of moving from crisis to crisis. That's what it feels like," he said.

Pingree has comfortably won her reelection contests since first getting elected to Congress in 2008, but Grohman's campaign could make this year's reelection effort more difficult - especially if Maine's current plurality election system is not replaced by the ranked-choice voting voters approved nearly two years ago.

Democratic candidates for statewide offices have sometimes struggled in contests with three or more candidates because of splits between independent and left-leaning voters. Republican Mark Holbrook, who Pingree easily beat in 2016, is running for a second time.

Grohman acknowledged that ranked-choice voting - in which voters rank candidates in order of preference - will diminish the possibility of a vote-splitting scenario this fall.

But he said he's in the race regardless of whether voters in June vote to keep the landmark law in place for congressional contests in the November election. "I wouldn't have gotten in if I didn't think what I have to offer will legitimately be the winning message."

Grohman is known as a pro-business legislator, a reputation he played up in his campaign launch.

Originally from Carthage, Grohman earned a degree in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He went on to launch a successful building materials company in Biddeford. 

Rep. Grohman and his wife Amy and two children live in Biddeford, where they are members of Union Church.