2012 Green Party US Senate Candidates

This year there are six candidates on the ballot for US Senate on the Green Party line and one registered write-in candidate.

The first Green Party candidates for US Senate were Mary Jordan (AK) and Linda Martin (HI) in 1992, 20 years ago. Jordan got 8.37% of the vote, while Martin pulled 13.73% in a four way race. Since then there have been 67 US Senate campaigns by the Green Party, with 13 candidates in 2006 as the peak. The most votes won by a Green US Senate candidate was 326,000 by Media Benjamin in California in 2000. The highest percent of the vote received by a Green US Senate candidate was 20.56% by Rebekah Kennedy in Arkansas in 2008.

In 2010, 11 Green Party candidates ran for US Senate, with Tom Clements winning 9.37% of the vote in South Carolina and all candidates combined won over 500,000 votes.

2012 Green Party US Senate candidates:

Colia Clark (NY)

Colia Clark, a long  time civil rights, peace and women activist, was a Green Party nominee for U.S.  Senate in 2010 for the seat presently held by Chuck  Schumer. She won 39,000 votes for 1%, finishing 3rd of four candidates. Clark, a  resident of Manhattan, is a chair of Grandmothers for the Release of Mumia Abu  Jamal. During the Civil Rights era, Clark was a Special Assistant to Medgar W.  Evers, field Secretary for the NAACP. Clark later joined the Mississippi Student  Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) doing voter registration work. She was  the founder  and Coordinator for Poor Women Against  Vietnam War, and the former coordinator of the Social Justice Center in  Albany.

Colia Clark has been an outspoken critic of hydro-fracking, and the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.

Here is Colia Clark after being endorsed by the Green Party of New York:

Martin Pleasant (TN)

Marty Pleasant lives in South Knoxville and is an employee with the Knox County Engineering and Public Works department where he works to implement green practices in storm water management. He and his wife also operate a small organic farm and community garden space. He has been a volunteer with Americorps, Community Creek Clean-ups, River Rescue and as a youth sports coach. He has degrees in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering.

Pleasant is running on the Green New Deal – supporting the restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act, phasing out non-renewable energy, ending US involvement in foreign wars, and fully funding public education.

David Collins (TX)

David Collins is a former teacher and current information services employee who lives in Houston Texas. He has been active with the Green Party since 1995, with the Harris County Green Party since 2000, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Houston Peace and Justice Center.

Collins is running for US Senate on the Green New Deal, and is an outspoken critic of the environmental damage being caused by the Keystone Pipeline as well as nuclear power plants across Texas. Breaking the US addiction to fossil fuels is one of his main policy positions, as well as ending wasteful military involvements and ending the war on drugs.

Harley Mikkelson (MI)

Harley Mikkelson is a retired public employee, Vietnam veteran, and active union member with AFSCME and UAW. Mikkelson has been active with the Michigan Green Party since 2000, and has run for office five times on the Green Party ticket. In 2002 he got 5,000 votes running for the House of Representatives, and 2,400 votes for the same office in 2004. In 2008 he was the Michigan Green Party candidate for US Senate, winning 43,000 votes, coming in 4th of 6 candidates. In 2010 he was the Michigan Green Party candidate for Governor, winning 20,000 votes and coming in 5th place. Mikkelson sought the Green Party nomination for President this year, losing that bid to Jill Stein.

The Green Party of Michigan has selected me to be their 2012 U.S. Senate candidate. This is a very important election. Social Security, Medicare, and public education are all under attack. Health care is becoming unaffordable. We have soldiers stationed all over the world, we are still involved in a war in Afghanistan, and the stage has been set for a war with Iran. Our environment is being ruined. There are way too many people unemployed. I am a working class person and it is the working class perspective I hope to bring to this race. I do not want the Green Party to be the party of a small group of left wing intellectuals. I want to represent people who shop at Walmart as well as Macy’s. During this campaign I will present Green alternatives to the policies of the Republicans and Democrats in power.

This video is from Mikkelson’s 2010 campaign for Governor:

Ken Wolski – NJ

Ken Wolski is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey, where he works to craft legislation and build support for the medical marijuana bill that passed in 2009 and was signed into law in 2010. Wolski has continued to push for implementation of the bill in the face of the Christie administration’s resistance. Wolksi is a public service nurse with a Masters degree in Public Administration. He is a strong advocate for a single payer health care system.

Andrew Groff – DE

Andrew Groff is a small business owner, running his own computer consulting business. Last fall he became involved with the growing Occupy movement, and joined the Occupy Delaware movement working on advocacy for home foreclosure victims. Groff wants to “return a citizen-representative to the US Senate to protect the needs of Delaware citizens and Delaware law. We endeavor to demonstrate that money need not be the deciding factor in electing a senator to Washington…We will not be slaves to corporate political party manipulation and will truly represent a government by the people and for the people.”

Jeff Russell – CT

Jeff Russell is running his second write-in campaign for US Senate in Connecticut. In 2010 he received 45 votes as a write-in candidate. He is also running on the ballot for Connecticut State Senate District 1.


Ken Wolski for Senate – New Jersey Greens Meet March 17

The Green Party of New Jersey (GPNJ) will be holding its 16th annual state convention, Saturday, March 17, 9:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., at the Rutgers Labor Education Center in New Brunswick.

The convention will hear from all three candidates seeking the Green Party presidential nomination: Roseanne Barr and Kent Mesplay (via Skype) and Jill Stein (in person). Also, Ken Wolski will be kicking off his Green campaign for U.S. Senate. As Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-New Jersey, Wolski was instrumental in getting a medical marijuana bill passed in the New Jersey legislature.

According to Michael Spector, State Chair, Green Party primaries and conventions serve to increase interest and move the party toward becoming a serious alternative to the Democrats and Republicans. The Green Party of the United States will be holding its Presidential Nominating Convention July 12-15 in Baltimore.

“The Green Party appeals to those seeking a better world, voters who realize that their needs will never be considered by corporate power or its paid-off political representatives,” said Spector.


Democrats keep two Greens off the ballot, discourage their own

In two different cases, and in two different states, the Democratic Party has shown their true colors.

In one case they have used the sorts of anti-democratic maneuvers Barack Obama used to keep himself from facing competition. By challenging other candidate’s nomination petitions he was able to run for the state legislature without opposition, and this same sort of tactic has been applied against two New Jersey Greens looking for a slot on this November’s ballot.

Ken Wolski and Nick Mellis of the New Jersey Green Party were bumped from the ballot for as yet unknown reasons. Mellis, in a post at his Facebook site, wrote

The local Demo’s just made me a political martyr the Green Party of Lawrenceville, NJ is born!

In a more insidious way the Democratic Party of Michigan has tried to kill the enthusiasm of one of their own, sending him into what I hope will be the open and loving arms of the Michigan Green Party.

James Tyler, freshly minted candidate for the Green Party nomination in the race for Michigan State Senate, writes:

You may find it hard to believe, especially if you are a Democrat, but the Democratic Party is really no different than the Republican Party. In the past month of campaigning, I have been met with much hostility by the Democratic establishment of my county (Kalamazoo County). You see, while they pride themselves as people’s champions and believe everyone deserves a voice, there is no room for someone who isn’t part of the establishment. There is no room for someone who stands up for progressive ideals – or any ideals for that matter; I’ve been warned not to stir up too much of a dialogue so soon. I find these issues very troublesome, which is why I have decided to run for this senate seat under the banner of the Green Party.

Tyler has some rather unorthodox ideas for a Green, such as ending that state’s cigarette tax…but also proposes paying for that tax cut by reducing the state’s prison budget.