Marty Grohman is playing by the rules to win in Maine's 1st Congressional District.

What do German triathlete Jaroslav Bobrowski and Marty Grohman have in common besides their boyish Anglo Saxon good looks?

Bobrowski was banned from an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet after eating 100 plates at a restaurant in Landshut, Germany. Grohman is running as an “independent” against 4-term Congresswoman Chellie Pingree in Maine’s 1st Congressional District.

Bobrowski and Grohman certainly both have fitting names. Is there a better one for a triathlete than “Bob row ski”?

And “Grow man?” Pitch perfect for a nice white guy just trying to get ahead.

Both of these guys also play by the rules. Bobrowski paid the $18.49 price for the buffett like everyone else. So he likes to scarf down 18 pounds of sushi at a time and purchase no alcohol at a neighborhood restaurant and sucker punch the owner’s bottom line. Bobrowski is a hungry boy.

“When I went to the checkout, I wanted to tip, but the waiter did not want to accept that. I’m banned from now on because I’m eating too much. I was stunned,” Bobrowski is quoted as saying in the Washington Post.

Grohman is playing by the rules, too. For the first time ranked choice voting rules will determine the outcome for this seat and it’s not his fault that means he might win. Grohman could be the first candidate ever to be both a spoiler and a winner if Pingree doesn’t get more than 50% on the first round of voting and Republicans pick Grohman as their first or second choice.

A former Democrat with just two terms in the Maine House of Representatives under his belt, Marty Grohman is nice and ambitious (probably like Bobrowski). There are presently no other independents in the U.S. House among its 435 members, but Grohman’s confident he can be more effective than Pingree by not belonging to a party.

In fact Grohman is so self-confident he has pledged to not join either the republican or democratic caucus -- even if it means giving up a seat on a legislative committee where all the essential business of Congress is transacted, including, presumably, being a check on the power of the president.

I spoke with Grohman and asked him if he would have voted for the recent tax cut and two-year GOP spending deal that will push the U.S. deficit to $1 trillion and our debt to a record breaking $21 trillion.

Yes, he would have, Grohman finally said, but he would have done it in a non-partisan way.

Why does Grohman think he is more qualified for the job, I asked.

Because he’s not partisan, he said. Washington is like a “cage fight” between the two parties and hyper-partisan representatives put the interests of political parties ahead of their constituents, so that makes him a better candidate, according to Grohman.

But what about Congresswoman Pingree? Is she a partisan cage fighter, I asked.

No, he conceded.

Grohman couldn’t identify a single instance when Pingree was overly partisan or put the Democratic Party over the interests of the voters in the 1st Congressional District. As a member of the minority many provisions from one of Pingree’s bills to help Maine farmers and their communities made their way into federal law.

But Pingree has been given national and international awards for her bipartisan work on sustainability, food and farms and she has a seat on the powerful appropriations committee. What do you offer the voters, I asked Grohman.

Grohman will show up at your high school football games and graduations, and he beat Pingree at cow milking, he said. Plus, he is a BUSINESSMAN he says often, giving a wink and nod to conservative men un-enamored with the Republican candidate on the ranked choice ballot, Mark Holbrook, a psychologist.

Pingree is a business owner, too.

“Are you concerned about the lack of diversity in U.S. Congress,” I asked Grohman. Women represent more than half of the United States voting population and yet make up roughly only 20% of the House and Senate.

Yes, Grohman said. He supports diversity.

Marty Grohman supports diversity like Jaroslav Bobrowski supports small business.