Fred Smith Elected to Arkansas State House on Green Party Ticket

November 7, 2012 in State Party News

Last night Fred Smith became the fourth Green Party candidate to get elected to a state legislative seat in the US, and the second one in Arkansas.

State House – District 50 – General
35 of 35 Precincts Reporting – 100%
Name Party Votes Vote %
Smith, Fred Grn 2,905 100%
Hallum, Hudson Dem 0 0%

How did this happen? Just hours before polls closed in Arkansas a judge ordered that votes for Democrat Hudson Hallum NOT BE COUNTED. Hallum was convicted of conspiracy to commit election fraud, was forced to resign from the House and is ineligible to serve, but it was too late to remove his name from the ballot.

Ironically, Hallum held the seat that Fred Smith held two years ago, as a Democrat. Smith had resigned from office when charged with theft, but was later exonerated of that charge. Smith wanted his seat back but the Democrat slot on the ballot was taken so he approached the Green Party.

Further irony – the last Green Party candidate to get elected to a state legislative seat also won unopposed. In 2008, Richard Carroll wound up being the only name on the ballot when the Democrats removed their candidate after he had been charged with inappropriate sexual contact. Carroll served as a Green in office for a year before switching parties to the Democrats, but the Dems ran someone against Carroll in his own primary and defeated him in 2010.

Let’s hope Fred Smith stays a Green, and stays in the Arkansas State House!

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7 responses to Fred Smith Elected to Arkansas State House on Green Party Ticket

  1. Let’s hope he stays, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
    This happens again and again, nationwide. So much so that I’m very cynical and almost oppose the Greens simply allowing our ballot lines to be conveniently used by Democrats or Republicans who don’t really value our party otherwise. We have to have some principles and not cheapen our ballot line!
    This happened in New Mexico years ago and where is that guy? He lost as a Green and ran right back to the Dems, not even staying in touch.

  2. Three other people have been elected previously as Green Party candidates for state representative in the United States.

    In February, 1999, there was a special election to fill a vacancy in Oakland, California’s 16th state assembly district. Green Party candidate Audie Bock received 9% of the vote while Democrat Elihu Harris received 49%. Since no candidate won an outright majority, there was a run-off election with the top vote-getter from each party. Harris was embroiled in controversy when he offered people in the largely African-American district free supermarket coupons for fried chicken in exchange for the stub from their ballot after they voted. Harris was accused of vote-buying and racism. Bock won the run-off election, becoming the first Green Party candidate to be elected to a state political office in the United States. In August, 1999, she changed her voter registration from Green Party to “decline to state” to avoid a blanket primary. She lost her bid for re-election as an independent in November, 2000. Then she registered as a Democrat. In 2002, Bock announced her intent to challenge Barbara Lee in the Democratic Primary for Congress. Lee was the only member of Congress who voted against the blatantly unconstitutional “use of force” authorization in September, 2001 which granted George W. Bush the power of military dictatorship. Bock denounced Lee as “unpatriotic” for this vote. Bock subsequently withdrew her bid before the primary.

    In 2002, John Eder was elected to Maine’s House of Representatives. Maine has small legislative districts and public campaign financing. Eder convinced the Republican candidate to withdraw from the election, leaving a two way race between Eder and a Democratic candidate. Eder won with 65% of the vote in 2002. In 2004, he became the only Green Party candidate to ever be re-elected to the state legislature, with 51% of the vote. In 2006, he lost to the Democratic candidate by 60 votes, with 48.5% of the vote.

    On November 4, 2008, Richard Carroll was elected to an open seat in the Arkansas state House of Representatives with 100% of the vote after the Democratic Party candidate was removed from the ballot by his own party following charges of inappropriate sexual conduct. On April 29, 2009, Rep. Carroll left the Green Party and registered as a Democrat. He lost the Democratic primary election for his seat on a vote of 80.3% for Tracy Steele and 19.7% for Richard Carroll.

    If we ever hope to make the Green Party a viable political entity for partisan elections in the United States, we need to start that process with ballot initiatives to elect our legislatures by a voting method of true proportional representation using party lists. Without that, the Green Party will unfortunately be limited to serving as a protest vote in partisan US elections.

    Gary Swing
    Colorado Green Party candidate for state representative 1996 (8.5%, 3rd of 3 candidates)
    Colorado Green Party candidate for US Representative 2010 (1.4%, 3rd of 5 candidates)
    Colorado Green Party candidate for US Representative 2012 (1.3%, 4th of 4 candidates)

  3. winning by default, huh

  4. proportional representation is a good goal. but it’s an incorrect analysis of the current situation. it’s highly unlikely that it will happen anytime soon in this country. so our strategy as greens ought to be “building the party from the bottom up” as our first key value would suggest, but we persist in trying to jump-start the process by jumping to the head of the line and expecting to get statewide offices, without doing the grassroots work of building leaders in local communities first.
    art goodtimes
    fifth term county commissioner in rural colorado, just re-elected

    • ditto, and congratulations! I’m glad that GPW and our own media team and webmaster do try to highlight (what I personally consider!) the most important Green races – local races where candidates have a credible chance of winning and holding office.

  5. Oh please. He didn’t as much as the other guy lost. Was there even another candidate? And he’s only a Green Party member out of convenience.
    LAME

    • Pretty much, he won by default. This is kind of like celebrating winning a race because the other runner tripped.