John Resenbrink, one of the most prominent figures in national politics after co-founding the American political parties and Maine Green, died Saturday at the age of 93, according to Global Greens.
Resenbrink grew up in Minnesota, one of seven children born to Dutch-American farmers, Effie and John. He earned bachelor’s degrees in history and political science from Calvin College in Michigan, and master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago, respectively.
He became professor of government and environmental studies at Bowdoin College in 1961, where he taught for more than 30 years, according to Bowdoin.
In 1984, he became one of the main founders of the Green Party, nationally and in Maine. He co-convened a meeting in Augusta on January 8 of that year to form a Maine Green Party — the first state-level green political party in the United States, according to Global Greens.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to accomplish – to create a new political party,” Resenbrink told Bowdoin in a 2018 interview. the possibility of creating a new economy anchored in the territory and a civic and ecological political culture. For years, achieving this vision became my passion.
Resenbrink was the party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1996.
The independent Green Party won official ballot status in 1998, when gubernatorial candidate Pat LaMarche won 6.8 percent of the vote. A party’s candidate for governor or president had to garner at least 5% of all votes in a general election to gain official recognition.
He and his wife, Carla, raised three daughters and led the Cathance River Education Alliance, a non-profit organization whose goal is to inspire a sustainable future.