Lynne Williams (born February 10, 1950 in Brooklyn, New York) is a Maine politician and lawyer. The former chairperson of the Maine Green Independent Party, she was a candidate for the party's nomination for Governor of Maine in the 2010 election before dropping out of the race on March 15, 2010. A resident of Bar Harbor, Williams served on the town's planning board. After dropping out of the race, Williams announced her candidacy for the Maine Senate for District 28. Williams received 2,311 votes (12%) for Senate District 28 and finished in 3rd place. Republican Brian Langley of Ellsworth won the seat with 9,633 votes (51%). She continues to be a practicing Maine attorney, specializing in cannabis law.
In 1967 Williams left New York to attend college in Bradford Junior College in Haverhill, Massachusetts. She graduated in 1972 from Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, with a B.A. in psychology. She returned to New York City and attended Brooklyn College, where she received an M.A. in Experimental Psychology in 1975. During her time at Brooklyn College, Lynne began working on jury selection for political trials with her mentor. After getting her degree from Brooklyn College, Lynne attended the University of Southern California and worked towards a Ph.D. in Social Psychology, which she received in 1981.
After receiving her Ph.D., Williams became a community and political organizer, working with tenant groups in California and as a fundraiser for the 1982 successful state legislative campaign of Tom Hayden. She also worked against the Diablo Canyon Power Plant as a member of the Abalone Alliance. For many years, Lynne practiced interpersonal and community mediation, the topic of her doctoral dissertation, as well as working as a jury selection consultant on political trials.
In 1983, Williams moved to New Hampshire to work on the presidential campaign of Democrat Gary Hart, subsequently working for Hart in Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and California.
In 1988, her son, Brendan, was born with multiple physical birth defects and Lynne became very involved with groups advocating for the rights of those with disabilities. During this time she owned and managed a bookstore in San Francisco as well as a medical and legal transcription business in Marin County, California. She enrolled full-time in the Golden Gate University School of Law, receiving her law degree in 1998. A Dean’s List student, she graduated with a certificate in public interest law and an American Jurisprudence award in corporate law.
Later that year, Williams and her son moved to Maine, where she worked for Medical Care Development in Augusta for a year, designing training protocol for home-care providers. She worked for six years as an independent special education hearing officer and mediator, and she continues to represent families with special needs children. She also specializes in estate planning for families with disabled family members and those with mental illness in matters involving guardianship and conservatorship.
Williams also practices land use and environmental law throughout the state of Maine and works very closely with medical marijuana caregivers who are creating new businesses, advising them on zoning issues in various towns. She is one of the individuals that drafted the Maine Marijuana Legalization Initiative that will be on the November 2016 ballot and has spoken on legalization to many groups, including the Maine State Bar Association, the Maine Association of Planners and small community groups. Lynne also continues to represent political activists arrested for civil disobedience and is currently representing many of the peace activists arrested a June protest at Bath Iron Works on the day of the christening of a Zumwalt destroyer. She is the chair of the Maine chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and former Executive Vice President of the Guild.
In 2004, Williams ran for the Maine State House of Representatives District 47 seat, she received 12.7% of the vote finishing third.
In the 2014 gubernatorial election, no Green Independent ran for Governor. Williams endorsed unenrolled candidate Eliot Cutler. In the 2016 Democratic primary, Lynne enrolled in the Democratic party, was a supporter of Bernie Sanders and was a Sanders delegate to the Maine Democratic Party Convention.
- Williams Drops Out of Governor's Race March 15, 2010, Maine Public Broadcasting Network
- Maine Green party chairwoman to run for governor Bangor Daily News, December 10, 2008
- Don't Forget the Primary Races for the Maine Senate Down East magazine, May 5, 2010
- "Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions, Elections Division". Secretary of State of Maine. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- Lynne Williams Green Party website
- Williams, Lynne (October 6, 2014). "Eliot Cutler is the right candidate for this Green Party member — Opinion". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 9 October 2014.