Greens finish 2nd in two special elections

In two four-way special elections yesterday in Pittsfield, MA and Minneapolis, MN, Green Party candidates took second place. In Massachusetts’ 3rd Berkshire State Representative district, Green-Rainbow Party candidate Mark Miller finished close behind Democrat Tricia Farley-Bouvier, although the final vote count is not yet clear. From Ballot Access News:

Some sources say Miller lost by only 92 votes, and some say he lost by 192 votes. He placed second, with either 30% or 32% of the total. The winning Democrat, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, polled 33%.

In Minnesota’s 61st State Senate district, Farheen Hakeem finished second with 22% to 68% for Democrat Jeff Hayden. In both races, the Green candidate outpolled a Republican and an independent.

Dave Schwab


  1. Congratulations to Mark Miller and Farheen Hakeem for two good showings!

    I was rooting hard for Mark Miller to become the first Green in the MA statehouse, but knew that it’s always an uphill battle when Greens run against the machines. With results this close, it’s heartbreaking… but also encouraging when you consider how close we are getting to breaking new ground in many places. Miller and his whole team should be proud of this result. While Democrats and Republicans get large numbers of votes from people automatically pulling the lever based on party labels, Greens have to earn every vote they get. If we keep fielding great candidates like Mark Miller (not to mention all the volunteers behind him), then it’s only a matter of time before we bust the two-party trust and give Americans a taste of real multi-party democracy.

  2. I was really rooting for Mark too. Honestly, he’s an intelligent guy and great candidate. I’m sad he lost, but impressed that both he and Farheen Hakeem placed 2nd out of 4 candidates in their respective races. While every loss stings, especially such close ones, I hope that I’m seeing an increase in interest and quality in Green campaigns. (And now if we can just convince those people who would vote Green if only they didn’t feel like they’d be “wasting their vote”…)

  3. Joseph, while so much of that attitude is due to propaganda from the two parties and misconceptions about how politics work and such, it’s up to us to change the attitude that you are “wasting your vote” on third party candidates. No one will do it for us, and, although I’m sure there are other ways, the two most convincing things I’ve seen are 1) that you’re only wasting your vote if you vote for a corporate party candidate because you know they don’t care about you and 2) when a Green candidate makes themselves credible. Mark Miller did a fantastic job of this – when I was canvassing in MA this past weekend, I convinced a woman to vote for him just with the facts that Mark and his campaign earned: the union endorsements, the results from the year before, the other endorsements, the competitive amount of money he raised. She thought she’d be “wasting her vote” on someone who could never get elected, but once she heard how credible Mark is as a person and candidate, she came around very quickly.

    • Definitley agree. Thats why I think Im that much sadder that Mark didnt win, cause i thought he was super credible. But, im very happy at just how well he did do, and i think the Berkshire Greens can be proud of their efforts. Overall,im really encouraged by candidates like Cheri Honkala in Philly, who also looks like the real deal. Im very much looking forward to what happens there and throughout 2012.

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