Political activists swarmed local bookstore Gulf of Maine Books last Saturday. in a “cash mob” to support the shop’s owners, Gary Lawless and Beth Leonard, who were confronted and “bullied” by Green Independent Party supporters, according to the Bangor Daily News.
The Bangor Daily news reported that Green Independent Party members allegedly harassed owners and threatened to boycott the bookstore after the owners displayed signs endorsing Democrat Mattie Daughtry, who was recently elected as state representative in Maine’s 66th District.
In response, the owners sent an email to their customers defending their position.
“So far we have survived Bookland, Borders and Amazon, so a Green boycott is not a threat, just a disappointment,” they wrote in the email.
Lawless has supported Green Independent Party candidates in the past, but chose to support Daughtry in this election. Daughtry is a longtime customer and an acquaintance of Lawless, according to the Portland Press Herald.
Lawless is aware that it is risky for a business to take a political stance.
“I think it’s perilous for any business, but we just don’t care,” Lawless told the Press Herald. “For us, it’s more important to be who we are.”
Kippy Rudy, who organized the “cash mob,” is a close friend of Daughtry and Lawless, and organized the “cash mob” to support the bookstore and Daughtry, according to the Times Record.
“It was a great event and I was really touched that they did it,” said Daughtry. “I was invited and I showed up and there was a great turnout. But I was more touched to see peoples’ support of Beth and Gary.”
Daughtry beat out Green Independent Party candidate Fred Horch and Republican Grant Connors for the District 66 seat on Tuesday. She won 45.5 percent of the vote, compared to 32.5 percent and 22 percent for Horch and Connors, respectively.