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Green Party Wins on Election Day

Green Party wins on November 2, 2010 (as compiled by Green Party Executive Director Brent McMillan) including ballot access victories:

Wins (including ballot access) on Nov. 2, 2010 – Unofficial Results

ARKANSAS
Joy Ballard won her race for Saline County Collector, AR. She finished first of seven candidates for one seat with 19,131 votes, 69.28%. Partisan.

CALIFORNIA
Bruce Delgado won his re-election to Mayor of Marina City, Monterey County, CA. He finished first of two candidates with 1,734 votes or 56.78%. Non-partisan.

http://www.montereycountyelections.us/Election%20Result_dtl.htm#cont17

Robert Deutsch won his re-election to Board of Directors, Alameda Healthcare District, Alameda County, CA. He finished first of four candidates for two seats with 8,048 votes or 30.65%. Non-partisan

http://www.co.alameda.ca.us/rov/current_election/1269.htm

Dan Hamburg won his race for Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, District 5, CA. He finished first of two candidates with 2,474 votes or 55.28%. Non-partisan.

http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/acr/cgi-bin/current.pl

Gayle McLaughlin won her re-election to Mayor of Richmond, Contra Costa County, CA. She finished first of three candidates with 6,282 votes or 40.43%. Non-partisan.

http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/CA/Contra_Costa/21781/39347/en/summary.html

Joe Navarro won his race for Hollister School Board, San Benito County, CA. He finished second of eight candidates for three seats with 2,424 votes or 15.56%.

http://results.sbcvote.us/#cont97

Lisa Stephens won her re-election to Rent Stabilization Board, Berkeley, Alameda County, CA. She finished fifth of nine candidates for six seats with 10,253 votes or 12.50%. Non-partisan.

http://www.co.alameda.ca.us/rov/current_election/4354.htm

Jesse Townley won his re-election to Rent Stabilization Board, Berkeley, Alameda County, CA. He finished first of nine candidates for six seats with 11,748 votes or 14.32%. Non-partisan.

http://www.co.alameda.ca.us/rov/current_election/4354.htm

Pam Webster won her re-election to Rent Stabilization Board, Berkeley, Alameda County, CA. She finished second of nine candidates for six seats with 10,839 votes or 13.21%. Non-partisan.

http://www.co.alameda.ca.us/rov/current_election/4354.htm

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Ballot Access – David Schwartzman’s 9,222 votes or 6.92% for DC Council, At-Large easily maintained the ballot line.

JB Shoats ran unopposed for Advisory Neighborhood Commission SMD 8B04. He received 120 votes or 96%. Non-partisan

http://www.dcboee.org/election_info/election_results/general_election_results/2010

FLORIDA
Anita Stewart won her race for Hillsborough County Soil and Water Conservation District 5, FL. She finished first of five candidates for one seat with 79,988 votes or 37.75%. Non-partisan.

http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/FL/Hillsborough/22912/39204/en/summary.html#

MAINE
John Anton won his re-election to Portland City Council, At-large, Cumberland County, ME. He finished second of four candidates for two seats with 12,114 votes. Non-partisan.

Ben Chipman won his race for State Representative District 119, ME. He ran unenrolled. He finished first of two candidates for one seat with 54.22%. Partisan. (He is a former staff person to John Eder when he was a State Representative.)

MICHIGAN
Preliminary returns suggest that every one of the Green Party statewide candidates earned votes in excess of the ballot-access-retention threshold, any one of whom would secure the ballot-line for the next election.

NEW YORK
Ballot Access – Howie Hawkins for Governor, Gloria Mattera for Lt. Governor, received more than the 50,000 votes needed to maintain the Green Party ballot line into the next election cycle. At last count 56,924 votes.

OREGON
Michael Beilstein won his re-election to Corvallis City Council Ward 5, Benton County, OR. He finished first of two candidates for one seat with 838 votes or 64.81%. Non-partisan.

http://www.co.benton.or.us/admin/elections/results.php

Richard Hervey won his re-election to Corvallis City Council Ward 3, Benton County, OR. He finished first of two candidates for one seat with 791 votes or 63.08%. Non-partisan.

http://www.co.benton.or.us/admin/elections/results.php

TEXAS
Ballot Access – Ed Lindsay’s 251,842 votes or 6% for Comptroller guarantees that the Green Party of Texas will be on the ballot in 2012.

Ronald Hardy

17 Comments

  1. So why wasn’t anyone elected to state-wide office as a Green? Or to the US Senate or US House of Representatives?

  2. Good question, Peter. Likely a combination of a winner-take-all electoral system in the US, a media black out of Green Party candidates, and the intentional banishment of Green Party candidates at the top of the ticket (i.e. statewide races) from equal debate access. If voters can’t hear the Green Party’s candidate speak about their solutions to the mess that Democrats and Republicans have created via public debates, nor learn about Green Party candidates in the print and online press as opposed to the daily news about the Democratic and Republican candidates, why would they vote Green?

  3. I think it might be pertinent to conduct a survey of American voters at to their knowledge of, and opinion towards, the Green Party. When you review the Green Party platform, it defies reason that more people aren’t supporting these candidates. Especially now when people are hungry for, and motivated for change, this is a real opportunity for the Green movement to gain some ground. Allowing for the fact that most media outlets keep shutting out any third party candidates for debate, coupled with the fundraising issues, as supporters of the Green party it would be wise to understand just where it stands with average voters. Those perceptions and feelings will be key in strategizing for future campaigns and elections.

  4. A decent amount of people had never heard of the Green Party when I was canvassing in Philadelphia.

    This is a rather pathetic election day for us, just like the past few. We’ve got to organize, organize, organize. The top of the ticket, unless it’s for ballot access reasons, tends to be a distraction, I think.

  5. Fundraising I think is the key to the future of the Green Party, the Green Party has to find away to be competitive with the Democrats and Republicans in terms of fundraising or they is very little chance that Green Party will be able to win big races. You might not like the rules of the games but unless the rules are going to change you have to find a way to compete in that envoriment.

    Megan, I would be careful with statements like it defies reason that more people aren’t supporting these candidates, while the majority of the Green Party platform might appeal to you and other Green Party supporters don’t make the mistake of aggregating that to the entire population or even large sections of the population. I suspect there are some parts of the Green platform that would appeal to a lot of people but there are also a number of parts that will not. Along with finding a way to raise more funds the Green party has to learn how to sell those parts of the platform that might appeal to large number of voters to the voters.

  6. @Ross: “The top of the ticket, unless it’s for ballot access reasons, tends to be a distraction, I think.” Right on. We need the top of the ticket for ballot access and visibility reasons, but you are so right that it easily becomes a distraction. The future of our party lies in getting those candidates on the rent board and the water district board, and then STAY GREEN as they move up. Here in San Francisco, we’ve had elected officials defect to the Democrats, partly because our progressive allies in the Democratic Party have been relatively successful in wresting local control of the Democratic Party machinery. But we Greens understand that local victories for progressives in Democratic Party internal politics are temporary and artifactual. The Democratic Party is structurally hostile to true progressive insurgency. That’s what the “superdelegates” were all about; Obama didn’t get the Dem nomination until he proved to party insiders that he wouldn’t threaten the corporatist wing of the party, and it’s rich flow of campaign cash and perks. We Greens need candidates who will understand that building the Green Party will be a long-term project, but one that is possible, whereas progressive success with the Democrats will be short-lived and designed to co-opt.

    @ChicagoVoter: Yes, we need better grassroots fundraising, but we will never compete with the Dems and Repubs on fundraising. We don’t want to. What the Greens bring to the table is that we aren’t beholden to massive contributions from wealthy individuals and corporate lobbyists. We are a party that relies on people power more than money power, by design.

  7. Paul, I agree with a lot of what you are saying.

    In Wisconsin we had a long history of successes at running and winning local non-partisan races. County Boards, Town Boards, School Boards, City Councils. Of the almost 50 Greens that have been elected in Wisconsin since 1986, only two have sought higher office after being elected, although several had run for higher office first, then ran for local office and won.

    So in theory the strategy of running and winning locally and then “moving up” looks good, but I haven’t seen it happen and work in practice.

    Perhaps the question is whether the two (local office and higher office) are related at all. Green Theory is easily applied locally, and in fact may be far more powerful and successful locally. Nationally will we ever see a real clean energy and clean water policy put in place given the partisanship? Locally we CAN put in place clean energy and clean water solutions, sustainable land use plans, poverty initiatives, etc.

    Furthermore, some candidates are drawn to the national issues, they *want* to run for congress. Sometimes those candidates are just not interested in local issues. On the other hand, the Greens I have worked with locally to get elected to my city council and county board are primarily interested in working on local issues. They are cognizant and radical in regards to national / international issues, but their rubber meets the road on Main Street.

    Just food for thought.

  8. We should add Massachusetts:

    MASSACHUSETTS
    Ballot Access – Nat Fortune’s 105,812 votes or 5% for State Auditor. Because Nat received more than 3% of the vote in a statewide election, the Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts (GRP) has regained its ballot status. Along with the Democrats and Republicans, the GRP is now one of the 3 legally recognized political parties. Since 2008, the GRP has been a political designation.

    Thank you to Elie Yarden for the update.

  9. Update to DC:

    Ballot Access – Ann Wilcox’s 12,055 votes (10.20%) for DC Council Chair and David
    Schwartzman’s 11799 votes (6.78%) for DC Council At-Large maintained
    the DC Statehood Green Party’s ballot line.

  10. Paul Quick,

    I understand that the Green party does not want to beholden massive contributions from wealthy individuals and corporate lobbyists, but unless the Green party finds away to raise, by it through grassroots fundraising, the Greens will always be entering the fight with one hand tied behind there back when it comes to major races. To be honest unless the Green really jump up their fund raising I dont see anyway that they are going to be competitve and message no matter how good is about worthless unless you can get out to enough voters.

  11. Chicago Voter – how can we do that? How do you see Greens raising as much as corporate Dems and Reps?

    Here in Philly, we raised almost as much as our Democratic opponent, but she gave herself a $20,000 loan in addition to what she raised. Also, our biggest struggle on election day wasn’t anything that money could have fixed, but just how ingrained straight party voting has become.

  12. Ross,

    I dont thing that the straight voting is the single largest problem for the Green party nationwide, it is certainly a problem. The largest problem nationwide is that most voters either have no idea what the Green party stands for or they only a vague and possibly incorrect idea. A large part of this goes to the Dems and GOP have the resources to get their message to ever voter in a district and the Greens dont.

    I do not know how the Greens can raise enough money to rival the Dems or the GOP, but it is something that believe I bthe Green party is going to have find an answer too. The other thing about money is it doesn’t just mean TV, radio and mailers it means the ability to build and maintain infrastructure that can put people on the ground for get out the voter efforts. That is probably the main reason that the Dems managed to hold the governor’s office in Illinois was because they were able to use that infrastructure to turn out their voters in Cook County.

    That is one area where it is important to have a candidate at the top of the ballot that is a viable benefits down ballot candidates is from a spill over effect. In Illinois the GOP picked up a number of Democrat Statehouse and Senate seats, a couple in traditional Democrat areas, in part because of the get out vote effort for the Senator Brady.

  13. I don’t see the big races as a distraction. Aside from getting us ballot access, voter lists, and other such important logistical gains, they also get us media attention when smaller races don’t. In New York, Howie Hawkins’ debate performance energized Greens and inspired a lot of people to vote Green for the first time. I would have liked to see a lot more down-ticket races where that momentum could have actually gotten some Greens elected – but we need ballot access to make that happen, which we now have. At least in New York, I see real potential for Green growth in the next four years.

    I think the main thing we need to focus on now is party building at the state level. Get the local chapters going, build up contact lists, develop short-term and long-term strategies, recruit candidates, learn how to deal with the press, etc. We can’t compete with the corporate-sponsored parties in terms of fundraising, but if we can cultivate a culture of everyone pitching in what they can, we can raise enough to support competitive local campaigns and party-building state campaigns.

    I agree that straight-party voting is a real problem for us (or any independent party), and not only in states that have actual straight-party voting mechanisms. We had some strong races for state rep, but voters that came out to vote Democratic for governor and voted a straight ticket against their own interests, whether out of loyalty, habit, or ignorance, probably gave the margin to the opponents of candidates like Jeremy Karpen and Ben Manski. Unfortunately, this seems to be another catch-22 for us: we don’t have the resources to compete for statewide office, but our best down-ticket campaigns are foiled by the fact that many people vote in those races based on who they vote for at the top of the ticket. Americans are so conditioned to view politics as strictly Democrat vs. Republican, we’re just going to have to dig in for the long haul and help voters get used to having more choices – and paying attention to down-ticket races.

    There’s also a large generational gap in US politics today. While older voters have gone reactionary (get your government hands off my medicare!) younger voters appear to be the most progressive in decades. I mean, come on, why should my generation have any love for politics as usual? On issues like gay marriage, marijuana legalization, the wars, even the desirability of capitalism vs. socialism, the younger generation rejects the politics of fear by large margins. The Green Party needs to get itself out in front of young voters in their formative years if it wants to have a future.

    A word about the 2012 presidential election: a recent poll showed that almost half of Democrats want Obama to face a primary challenge. Who knows if that will happen, but it shows that many progressives are fed up with the dear leader. It’s also quite likely that some rich independent will jump in, like Bloomberg. I’d love to see the Green Party run a progressive populist, someone like Jim Hightower, on a Green New Deal platform. Wishful thinking: in a crowded race, unions and progressives would throw their weight behind the Greens and claim at least 25% of the vote. After all, they say 2012 is to be a year of great changes :)

    Anyway, it’s easy to speak in generalities, but what needs to be done now is for Greens to get together at the local and state level and start strategizing. In New York, we have a lot of one-party Democratic machine towns where the Greens could make real headway, as well as villages where Greens can get elected and make a real difference, as in New Paltz. Cuomo has declared war on labor unions and apparently plans to support hydrofracking, so add in the old standbys of peace and single-payer health care, and NY Greens don’t lack for issues to organize and build coalitions around. And I’m optimistic that 2011 is the year when Howie Hawkins will at last be elected to Syracuse city council :)

  14. I still disagree about running in large races at this point in the Greens’ history. Unless it’s necessary for ballot access, I don’t think it should be done. Instead of getting a bit of attention from a decent amount of voters statewide, we should focus on really building the party and getting a lot of attention from a small amount of voters (although hopefully a majority in a given city) on a local level. Without doing that first, we WILL fail as a party, and I firmly believe that.

    Even someone like Jill Stein who ran a great campaign probably could have done much more to build the Green Party if she were to have really concentrated on one state representative district or one city council seat. If she could have strongly organized a local Green Party rather than done a small amount to galvanize the Greens statewide, that would have a much bigger impact in the long term, IMHO.

    Organizing at the state level is completely out of our league right now. I think the Illinois Green Party’s across the board failure this year is a good (bad) example of that. It is time to be political pragmatists at the same time that we’re moral idealists. And it’s time to start taking our ideals of decentralization and participatory democracy seriously and not just giving lip service to them while chasing the glory or attention of running in a big race.

    I think that running in big races might be beneficial in the very short term, but running in more localized races and really committing to organizing those areas where we run will be much more beneficial to the party.

  15. Ross, you make some good points, but I still think there are some compelling reasons to run in big races. However, we’re not talking about vastly different strategies here; if I had to design a one-size-fits-all strategy for state Green parties at this point in time, it’d be to run flagship candidates at the top of the ticket and in strategic ballot access races, while concentrating the lion’s share of our efforts at winnable down-ticket races.

    Since you brought up Jill Stein, I’ll use her as an example of why it makes sense to run in big races. Jill ran for a state rep seat in 2004 and got over 20%, beating the Republican in a 3-way race. Not bad, but it didn’t do a lot to build the party in the long term. Running for governor this year, she got serious press for the Green-Rainbow Party platform, met debate sponsors’ challenge of raising over $100,000, and participated in several televised debates. Her final vote of 1.4% was underwhelming, but I believe Nat Fortune got 5% (gaining both ballot access and party status for the GRP) thanks to people who wanted to vote for Jill but were afraid to because of the Democrats’ “spoiler” fear campaign. Nat was a great candidate too, but he got somewhere between 1% and 10% the publicity that Jill did. I think Jill’s campaign helped Nat win ballot access for the party and lifted Green candidates for state rep in Western MA, one of whom got 45%. Also, I think this year’s 4-way governor’s race in MA created the real possibility that a statewide ballot question on instant runoff voting will come about in 2012. I only wish that the GRP had run more candidates for state rep, especially considering they’re in a state where 90% of the legislature is Democratic and many incumbents run unopposed.

    Another strategy I want to see more Greens consider is putting up candidates in races where the incumbent is likely to be caught in a major scandal sometime soon, like Charles Rangel for example. Especially with so many incumbents running unopposed, we’d be bound to get lucky sooner or later.

    Also, a lot depends on what the candidates are willing and able to do. If you have a Green who wants to run for Congress and isn’t really into local politics, or vice versa, I think in most cases it helps the party to have candidates who can articulate our platform at whatever level. And if we don’t run at the top of the ticket, someone else will, as Ralph Nader did in 2004 and 2008. The anti-Nader backlash after 2000 nearly wiped out the Greens, and the anti-safe states backlash has kept us squabbling since 2004. I say let’s unite behind a Green presidential nominee, tacitly acknowledge top-of-the-ticket races for what they are: necessary for ballot access and the best way to promote our platform and push for electoral reform, and concentrate on strategically growing the party from the grassroots level up.

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