Photo: Joe Futrelle
Congratulations to the Green Party of New York. Green Party candidate for Governor Howie Hawkins got more than the required 50,000 for a political party to get ballot status. For the next two elections, Green Party candidates will have the same reduced signature gathering requirements as Republicans and Democrats.
With over 97% of precincts reporting, Hawkins already had 56,868 votes. Hawkins ran an energetic campaign focused on blocking the toxic natural gas extraction technique known as fracking as well as on making Wall St pay its fair share in taxes. Hawkins was able to do this in spite of the low election turnout.
The Green Party's press release last night announced what did indeed turn out to be this victory.
With 32% of precincts counted and more to come in, the New York State Green Party declared victory at 11:30 PM on election night. The votes cast for Howie Hawkins and Gloria Mattera will secure the Green Party a ballot line for the next four years, and represent support for the "Green New Deal." Support for other candidates is also promising, with Comptroller candidate Julia Willebrand receiving 3% of the vote, and US Senate candidates Colia Clarke and Cecile Lawrence coming in third in their races respectively.
"This is the best showing ever for statewide Green Party candidates. It is the culmination of months of hard work on the part of many party members, and the candidates themselves. Voters are fed up with Democrats and Republicans taking their votes for granted, and are open to hearing ideas from a party not beholden to Wall St. and special interests. Howie Hawkins campaigned tirelessly to promote the idea of a Green New Deal, funded by progressive taxation on the wealthy, and using the stock transfer tax we already collect to fill the budget gap. Voters who heard the message understood that Howie's platform made sense, and that it's the austerity plans of Cuomo and Paladino that are nonsense," said Peter LaVenia, co-chair of the NY State Green Party.
"The strong showing by all of our candidates means voters have finally seen how little difference there is between the Democrats and Republicans. People support Green ideas when they hear them: ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, single-payer universal health care, living wage jobs, renewable energy - and in this election we see they are linking our candidates to the issues they care about most. This is a building block for the future. We are going to use this victory to elect Greens statewide, starting at the local level and moving on up to the state," stated Eric Jones, co-chair of the NYS Green Party.
"While this campaign is over, we're not waiting around for the next one to begin - there's too much work to be done. The Green Party intends to be an independent force in NY State politics for working New Yorkers. Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature are on notice - this is one party that doesn't sell its ballot line for influence," said LaVenia.
Bill Clinton built up the Green Party in the US in the 1990s with his GOP style policies. Frustration with the GOP oriented policies of Obama, Cuomo, Schumer, and Gillibrand helped the third party get ballot status again.
It looks like the Libertarians will just miss getting ballot status this time. The Rent Is Too Damned High and Anti Prohibition Parties failed as well. I have yet to see the results for the fusion parties (Working Families, Conservative, and Independence). In New York state, parties can endorse candidates from other parties, and the three fusion parties are intended to pressure Republican and Democratic candidates. Corporate media reports of election returns don't break down votes for the same candidate on different party ballot lines.