With a slate of 6 candidates running for local offices including mayor, city council, school board and sheriff, the Green Party of Rochester, NY is shaking up the city’s elections, normally one-party affairs dominated by the Democratic Party. Here are some recent stories about Rochester Greens:
From Green Party US:
“We feel given the state of the city right now, the people deserve to hear all ideas and perspectives about the cities future,” said Green Party candidate Kevin Bott.
When asked if she would debate, Democratic Mayor Stephanie Miner said “I am working from sun up to sun down, 12-14 hours a day. There is just not a lot of time in the day,” she said. “I’m meeting with lots of people, talking about lots of issues so that is what I am focused on,”
From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:
The local Green Party announced a first-ever slate of city candidates on Wednesday, hoping to break Democrats’ grip on City Hall and the school board.
Others have run for local office. But this is the first year that the Green Party fielded a slate of city candidates: Alex White for mayor; Drew Langdon, David Atias and Dorothy Paige for City Council; and Lori Thomas for school board.
White is the most recognizable Green, a small-business owner and past candidate for City Council and, more recently, for mayor. Continue Reading
Better late than never, we’ve put together the following Top 10 Green Party stories, taken from a combination of hits on Green Party Watch and other criteria to build a summary of the year. We have modeled this after our Top 10 Green Party Stories for 2010. We are well aware that there were many other stories we could have included here, feel welcome to include your own in the comments. We sincerely hope that 2012 will have plenty of Green Party to Watch!
March 2011 – German Greens Historic Victory
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition was defeated in Baden-Württemberg as support for the Greens surged to a record, putting the anti-nuclear party within reach of leading the state government. The opposition Greens took a record 24.2 percent, while the Social Democrats, which said they’ll rule with the Greens, won 23.1 percent. “There won’t just be a changing of the guard in Baden- Wuerttemberg, there will be a change of politics,” Greens national co-leader Claudia Roth told reporters in Berlin. Winfried Kretschmann was later named the new governor of Baden-Württemberg.
March 2011 – Alex White for Mayor of Rochester, NY
Small business owner Alex White ran a spirited campaign in a special election for Mayor of Rochester, NY, challenging the status quo of local politics. White ran on a “Platform of Hope“, which he says “…grows Rochester through jobs for all, more community involvement, greater transparency, community policing, and a public utility.” Ultimately White finished with 9% of the vote.
Later in the year Alex White ran for City Council, finishing with 11% of the vote.
April 2011 – Ed Shadid wins seat on Oklahoma City Council
After a long and particularly nasty campaign, Ed Shadid survived the negative smear campaign against him and won a seat on the Oklahoma City Council with over 60% of the vote. Shadid, a spinal surgeon, who ran as an Independent candidate for State Assembly last year with the backing of the Green Party, defeated Charles Swinton, a banker, and the PAC “Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum”, which spent over $100,000 in ads opposing Shadid, accusing him of being a socialist who wanted to legalize marijuana. Check out some of the negative attack ads here.
In the May 2 Federal Elections in Canada, Elizabeth May became the first Green Party candidate elected as a Member of Parliament. Preliminary results show that Elizabeth May won the May 2, 2011 election with 48.13% of the vote, defeating Conservative MP Gary Lunn (33.73%) and NDP candidate Edith Loring-Kuhanga (12.28%). Elizabeth May, 56, has been the leader of the Green Party of Canada since 2006, vowing to raise the Green Party’s profile in Canada, particularly in the nationally televised debates. Although she was included in a debate several years ago, this election she was barred from the debate, which she used as a campaign issue in her campaign for MP representing Saanich-Gulf Islands on Vancouver Island.
July 2011 – Annual National Meeting in Alfred NY
The Green Party (US) Annual National Meeting was held in rural Alfred, NY, in conjunction with the biennial GreenFest. Among the speakers were leaders in the campaign to ban hydrofracking (hydraulic fracturing), an environmentally destructive and dangerous technique for accessing gas in the Marcellus Shale beneath Pennsylvania, New York, and other states. Also 2004 Presidential Candidate David Cobb, Philadelphia Sheriff candidate Cheri Honkala, Canadian MP Elizabeth May, and author David Korten addressed the Meeting.
In Massachusetts, Mark Miller ran a strong campaign for a vacancy in the State Legislature, finishing in second place of four candidates, just several hundred votes short of victory. Miller was endorsed by Planned Parenthood, Mass Alliance, and the UAW.
In Minnesota, Green Party (US) Steering Committee co-chair Farheen Hakeem ran for an open State Senate seat. Hakeem finished second with 22% to 68% for Democrat Jeff Hayden. Hakeem outpolled a Republican and an independent in the race.
Cheri Honkala announced her candidacy for Sheriff of Philadelphia on February 17, 2011, and ran a high-profile campaign that brought issues to the table that would never had been brought forward otherwise. She got good media, interviewed in Yes! & endorsed by NOW, interviewed on Press TV, the campaign made effective use of Youtube in promoting the campaign. Ultimately, in the 3-way race for sheriff, Cheri Honkala finished 3rd with over 10,000 votes for 6.6%.
November 2011 – Fall Elections
In November’s elections, Greens won local races in California, Colorado, and Connecticut. Tanya Ishikawa was elected to the Federal Heights City Council (Colorado) with 67.5% of the vote. Larry Bragman took first place in his race for City Council, receiving 43.88% of the vote. This will be Bragman’s third term as a Council Member. Additionally, Ryan O’Neil won his first term on the City Council, helping maintain a healthy Green Party presence in the Northern California City.
In other races of interest, Portland City Councilor David Marshall finished with 7.74% in Portland, Maine’s first IRV election for Mayor. In Philadelphia, Cheri Honkala received 6.56% of the vote in her effort to be elected Sheriff of Philadelphia. She ran on a “No Evictions” platform. Brian Rudnick, running for City Council, received 11.8% of the vote. In Syracuse, NY, Howie Hawkins received 48.15% of the vote, narrowly losing to Democrat Khalid Bey. In Toledo, Ohio, Anita Rios finished with 26% of the vote in her campaign for City Council, and in St. Paul, Bee Xiong received 42% in the first round of voting for a City Council seat, not enough to win.
December 2011 – Presidential Candidate field set
The Green Party field of Presidential Candidates fluctuated throughout 2011. Roseanne Barr jumped in and then out, Socialist Stewart Alexander jumped in and then out, but by the end of the year, three candidates are seeking the Green Party Nomination for President. Kent Mesplay (G-CA) was the first to officially declare his candidacy in June. Jill Stein (G-MA) officially entered the race in October. Harley Mikkelson (G-MI) entered the race in November.
Harley Mikkelson is retired from a 26 year career with the Michigan Departments of Community Health, Education, and Human Services. Mikkelson was the Michigan Green Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 and 2004, for the U.S. Senate in 2008, and Governor in 2010.
Kent Mesplay is an air quality inspector in San Diego, California. He sought the Green Party Presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.
Jill Stein is a physician and community health advocate who ran as the Green-Rainbow Party candidate governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010.
The 2012 Green Party Presidential Race will be followed closely right here at Green Party Watch.
December 2011 – 2011 Election Recap
With over 100 candidates across the United States, the Green Party candidates won 22 races, or 21% of the races they were in. The Green Party starts 2012 with 125 elected officeholders, 21 of which are partisan offices. A recap of the 2011 Election by former Green Party (US) Executive Director Brent McMillan.
A very informative article from DemocratAndChronicle.com:
Former Green Party mayoral candidate Alex White is now seeking a spot on City Council…
“I thought the mayoral run went very well. I was running against two very strong candidates, and I was running on a party that no one had heard of,” said White. “So I thought that 9 percent was very well done in that situation. I’m looking to build on the momentum I’ve generated there.”
Thanks to Howie Hawkins’s relative success as the Green Party candidate for governor in 2010, the party is assured a ballot line in any election in New York state for the next four years…
Also running for elected office are Howard Eagle, Mary Adams and Wallace Smith, who will challenge for seats on the Rochester Board of Education. The three candidates are members of a group called the Community Education Task Force, which has been trying to bring about change in the city schools for several years. Eagle, a retiredRochester School District teacher, has run unsuccessfully for a school board seat several times in the past decade. Chris Edes will run for the Monroe County Legislature in the 24th District, which includes parts of the city of Rochester, Brighton, and Henrietta. Edes previously ran for several elected positions as a Libertarian candidate.
Tom Jensen, who currently serves on the Hamlin Planning Board, will run for town supervisor…
White’s recent mayoral run gives him the highest profile of any of the Green Party candidates. He said Wednesday morning that a number of recently-enacted initiatives, such as the installation of LED lights in city buildings, were ideas that he brought to the table in his mayoral run…
“Sure, it would be great if I’m the guy in the chair at the end, but I’ll be happy if Rochester is a better city[,” said White.]
Unofficial results show Green Party candidate Alex White finished third with 9% of the vote in the special election for Mayor of Rochester NY. White, a small business owner, ran a spirited campaign that was based on strong ideas.
From the Democrat & Chronicle:
White, 47, took pride in garnering more than 2,000 votes, saying it was about as he expected and it “gives us something to build on.” The political newcomer ran on the Green Party line. David Atias, White’s campaign manager, rejected any notion that the candidate had played the role of a spoiler.
“These were Alex’s votes. He worked hard to get them. If anything, they were taking (votes) away from him,” Atias said.
Today’s special election to elect the Mayor of Rochester, NY, population 210,000, features three candidates – a Democrat, a Working Families Party, and Green Party candidate Alex White.
White, a small business owner, is running on a “Platform of Hope“, which he says “…grows Rochester through jobs for all, more community involvement, greater transparency, community policing, and a public utility.”
Thomas Richards, the Democrat, was a city lawyer and deputy Mayor. William Johnson, who lost the Democratic Party nomination to Richards, was Mayor from 1994 to 2005. After losing the Democrats nod Johnson fished around for a third party to nominate him, winding up with the Working Families Party.
As Johnson and Richards have gone after each other, Alex White has campaigned hard for the short 6 week period and demonstrated strong knowledge of city government and passion for the people.
From the Democrat & Chronicle:
“Mayoral candidates vary on how to best serve residents”
Lacking a comprehensive review of the Focused Investment Strategy, White questions the results. “Has poverty gone down? Has urban blight decreased? Have property values increased? … I don’t think it has given us the returns we wanted.”
Election results will likely be reported at the Democrat & Chronicle later tonight.
Rochester, NY is holding a special election for Mayor after former Mayor Robert Duffy won election as Lieutenant Governor. In New York, special elections do not have primaries and independents must collect the same number of signatures as in a general election, but have only two weeks to do so instead of six.
New York is one of three states, the others being Illinois and Pennsylvania, where challenging an opponent’s petitions has become a commonplace practice. Politicians find it easier to knock their opponents off the ballot, than to win the favor of voters with ideas.
As happens all too often, all independent nominating petitions were invalidated by challenges. In New York officially recognized parties need to collect zero signatures in a special election, so three candidates will appear on the ballot: Green Party candidate Alex White, Democratic Party candidate Tom Richards, and Working Families Party candidate William Johnson.
Johnson attempted to also secure an independent line, but failed when Nichole Malec, an aide for Tom Richards’ campaign, successfully filed objections to more than 700 signatures on Johnson’s petitions.
Another candidate with strong community support, Ann Lewis, managed to collect almost 1,900 signatures in two weeks in the middle of February. Johnson campaign manager Mitch Rowe filed objections to Lewis’ petitions, leaving her with only 1,009 out of the 1,500 necessary to secure an independent line.
Alex White, who was knocked off the ballot for Mayor in 2009, leaving the race uncontested, did not challenge anyone and offered to help Lewis defend her petitions. When asked why he chose to do so, White said: “If my experience in this election has proven anything, it is that more voices produce better elections. To unnecessarily restrict people’s choices in elections grievously hurts our society.” Continue Reading
Participate in a live chat with Alex White, the Green Party Candidate for Mayor of Rochester, NY.
The chat will be at http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus at 8 p.m. EST until 9 p.m. EST, Sunday March 6.
Alex White is running in a special election for Mayor of Rochester, NY (population 220,000) against two Democrats. The election is March 29, and he could use your help.
Alex is a small business owner who has developed a very thorough and innovative platform for the city, a model for other Greens seeking or considering local election.
In a tightly contested March 29 Special Election for Mayor of Rochester, NY, the Green Party has officially endorsed Alex White, brushing off Democrat Harry Davis who sought the Green Party ballot line.
Local media coverage:
Today, the Green Party announced it has chosen Alex White to run in the special election for mayor of Rochester.
The Green Party has previously publicly denounced the decision of City Council to hold a special election.
Green Party Co-Chair Scott Brant said, “Although we are opposed to the manner in which we must concentrate our resources, we are prepared to make sure voters have a choice in this election.”
Democrat & Chronicle: “Alex White tapped as Green Party candidate for mayor”
Saying the Democratic candidates for mayor have had their chance, Green Party nominee Alex White on Tuesday said he would seek creative solutions to address crime, poverty and the city’s budget shortfalls.
“The question we should be asking is not how did we get here or who to blame for this, but how do we fix the problems?” White said.
White’s likely opponents are former acting mayor Tom Richards and former mayor Bill Johnson, who are both vying for the Democratic nomination. Johnson said he’ll seek a third party line or form his own party as a back-up.
“They both had chances in Rochester and Rochester has not improved in the time period that either of them were there,” White said.