PORTLAND — About 30 Green Party members gathered at the Portland Senior Center Monday night to nominate dozens of candidates for statewide and municipal offices.
The Greens — who run progressive, environmentally concerned candidates on ballots across the country — have not qualified for the ballot in either the governor’s or lieutenant governor’s race.
Party members said they are circulating petitions to help gubernatorial hopeful Jonathan Pelto get on the ballot. Pelto, a liberal Democrat and vocal opponent of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, is running under the Education and Democracy Party, which he created.
At the Greens’ nominating convention, a movement to establish a state central bank emerged as a major plank of the party’s platform for the upcoming elections.
Candidates also focused on issues in the traditional wheelhouse of the Green Party, coming out for clean energy initiatives and against hydraulic fracturing, the natural gas drilling process known as fracking.
Most of the nominees are longtime members of the Green Party. Some acknowledged that their chances to win office are slim and instead set forth other objectives for their candidacies.
Jeffrey Russell, who was nominated to challenge popular Democratic Congressman John B. Larson in the 1st District, said he communicates well with young people.
“We have too many people here on the high side of 60,” Russell said. “We really need to get young people excited about the Green Party.”
Russell said that although he does not own a car or a telephone, his experience running for state Senate in the heavily Democratic 1st District in 2010 and 2012 convinced him he can reach voters.
“When I ran for Senate, I said, ‘If I can get one person to think, I’ll call this a success,'” Russell said. “I accomplished that far beyond what I could have expected. I got a lot of people to think.”
Stephen Fournier, nominated by the party to run for state attorney general, said he was willing to run mostly because he felt the party needed him.
“Am I candidate? Well, I’m a willing draftee,” he said. “You’d like to have somebody [younger] who can make it up two stairs at once, but we don’t have that.”
Fournier — a Hartford lawyer who also ran for the office in 2010, finishing with less than 3 percent of the vote — said he does not plan to significantly attack the record of current Attorney General George Jepsen.
“George Jepsen, who is attorney general right now, he’s a passable attorney general,” Fournier said. But he said Jepsen doesn’t do enough to fight corruption in the state.
“It’s not nice to tell your client that you are breaking the law, but sometimes you have to do that,” Fournier said. He alleged that corruption occurs on both the state and local level in Connecticut but did not specify any particular incidents.
For more on the party’s candidates, go to http://www.ctgreenparty.org/candidates-menu.html