This year there are two Greens running for Governor: Jesse Johnson is running for Governor of West Virginia, and Duff Badgley in Washington State. Because of Washington’s new “Top 2″ primary, in which all candidates regardless of party are listed on the same primary ballot with the top 2 advancing to the general election, Badgley has already lost his bid. He received 9,702 votes, or 0.67% of the vote, finishing 6th out of 10.
Jesse Johnson, following losing his bid to be the Presidential candidate for the Greens, announced he was returning to West Virginia to run for Governor. Johnson ran for Governor of West Virginia four years ago on the Mountain Party ticket and received 18,430 votes for 2.48%.
Governor’s elections in the United States are bunched in the two years before and after the Presidential elections, with some exceptions. How have Greens fared over the years in seeking the Governor’s race – what kind of results to Greens get, and what should we expect.
Two things really stood out when I looked at all the races over the last 18 years:
First, in 2006 across 18 gubernatorial campaigns there were 900,361 votes cast for Greens for Governor. This is just shy of 1 million Greens in America voting Green at the top of the ballot. This should be exalted. In 2002, 15 Gubernatorial campaigns netted 830,903 votes.
Second, when all results are combined from states where a Green was running for Governor, the nation wide percent for Greens at the top of the ballot was 2.21% in 2006. In the period from 2003-2005, which includes the California Special Election of 2003, the percent vote was 2.22%. In 2002, it was 2.18%. Combining all 54 races that I had data for from 1990-2006, the total percent vote was 1.98%. I think it is fair to say that a solid 2% of the US Voting Population identifies with the Green Party, whether they have an option to vote Green or not.
Lists below the fold:
Let’s look at the number of candidates Greens have put up for Governor, excluding some write-ins unless I could find accurate totals:
2003-2006: 25 (2003 included a special election in California, in which 4 Green candidates were on the ballot)
Top 10 results by Percent of vote:
1. Rich Whitney (IL) 2006: 10.36%
2. Robert Mondragon (NM) 1994: 10.30%
3. Pat LaMarche (ME) 2006: 9.56%
4. Pat LaMarche (ME) 1998: 6.80%
5. Jonathan Carter (ME) 1994: 6.40%
6. David Bacon (NM) 2002: 5.47%
7. Peter Camejo (CA) 2002: 5.26%
8. Jim Sykes (AK) 1994: 4.10%
9. Kioni Dudley (HI) 1994: 3.50%
10. Jill Stein (MA) 2002: 3.45%
The Top 10 results by number of votes:
1. Peter Camejo (CA) 2002: 393,036
2. Rich Whitney (IL) 2006: 361,336
3. Peter Camejo (CA) 2003: 242,247
4. Peter Camejo (CA) 2006: 205,995
5. Dan Hamberg (CA) 1998: 104,117
6. Jill Stein (MA) 2002: 76,530
7. Pat LaMarche (ME) 2006: 52,690
8. Al Lewis (NY) 1998: 52,533
9. Ken Pentel (MN) 2002: 50,589
10. Robert Mondragon (NM): 1994: 47,080
I think that it is fair to say that the Governor’s race in any state is one where voters can confidently self-identify as Green at the ballot box. This top race in each state should be made a priority for every state green party.
It is also fair to say that looking at these individual races, one must recognize California and Maine for consistent turnout for Greens, and special recognition should go to Peter Camejo (CA), Rich Whitney (IL), Pat LaMarche (ME) and Jill Stein (MA) for exceptional results.
Lets start looking forward to 2010!