I have heard countless questions about who the Green Party is going to run for President in 2012. As Obama continues to fail on environmental issues, continues overseas wars over oil, and cuts social programs that support the poor and the elderly, voters are clearly looking for an alternative.
At this point, Dr. Kent Mesplay is the only declared candidate for the Green Party nomination that has any support. Kent Mesplay has a Phd in Biomedical Engineering and is an Air Quality Inspector in San Diego, California. He sought the Green Party Presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008, and has declared his intent to run again in 2012. He clearly has supporters within the Green Party, but he has yet to see the overwhelming support that would make his nomination a sure thing.
After the 2011 Annual National Meeting in Alfred, NY 4 weeks ago the talk started up about Jill Stein. Her name had been brought up a number of times (and included in some Green Polls) but apparently at the ANM a number of influential Greens encouraged Dr. Stein to run. Jill Stein is a Physician, Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Green Rainbow Party, and a veteran campaigner. She has run for Governor twice (2002, 2010), Secretary of the Commonwealth (2006, she received over 350,000 votes for 18%), as well as running (and winning) at local office.
Many Greens have been pining for a well-known National candidate such as a Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben, or David Cobb to name a few, but time is running out.
If Jill Stein formally declares her intention to seek the nomination, Greens are going to have a real interesting choice on their hands. Both have long histories with the Green Party, both have run for office, both are Delegates to the GPUS National Committee, both are “Doctors”, and both have very strong environmental credentials. Although neither have the national name recognition going in, both could present a very appealing alternative for voters who are cringing at Obama’s record in office on environmental issues, social justice issues, anti-war issues, and economic issues.