Top 10 Green Party Stories of 2011

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.

May 2011 – Elizabeth May First Green Party Member of Parliament in Canada

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.

September 2011 – Strong special elections showings by Mark Miller (MA) and Farheen Hakeem (MN)

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.

November 2011 – “Poor Peoples Advocate” Cheri Honkala’s campaign for Sheriff of Philadelphia

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.


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.


Greens in special elections today in Pittsfield and Minneapolis

Green Party candidates are running in two special elections scheduled for October 18th, one each in Pittsfield, MA and Minneapolis, MN.

In Pittsfield, Mark Miller is running for Massachusetts State Representative in the 3rd Berkshires District. Miller earned 45% of the vote for the same office in 2010. For more information on his campaign, check out his website.

In Minneapolis, Farheen Hakeem is running for Minnesota State Senate in District 61. Hakeem took 30% of the vote in a 2008 run for MN State House. For more information on her campaign, check out her website.


Kent Mesplay: Candidates We Support

From Kent Mesplay, a candidate for the Green Party presidential nomination:

Dr. Mesplay supports the following local Green Party candidates. We encourage you to give them your support as well, and tell all of your friends!

Election Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

  • Mark C. Miller for Massachusetts State Representative, 3rd Berkshire District. Special election.

Election Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Election Date: Primary: June 2012

Here is a list of Green Party candidates running in 2011


UAW endorses Green for City Council in Holyoke, MA

In Holyoke, Massachusetts, United Auto Workers has endorsed Green-Rainbow Party candidate Rick Purcell in his campaign for Holyoke City Council Ward 3. This is the UAW’s second recent endorsement of a Green in MA, after their recent endorsement of Mark Miller for MA State Representative. From Purcell’s website:

I’m pleased to announce that I have gained the endorsement of the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2322 and the Massachusetts State UAW for my campaign for Holyoke City Council. The UAW Local 2322 is based right here in Holyoke, MA. It represents more than 3,000 workers in Western Massachusetts at 15 workplaces, including higher education, early childhood development, and health & human services. UAW members come from a wide range of cultural, economic, educational, and national backgrounds, including many proud residents of Holyoke Ward 3.
I’m thrilled to have the UAW’s endorsement of my candidacy. Union workers fought for and won improvements that we all now take for granted, like the minimum wage, the 40 hour week, social security and the end of child labor. When unions lose ground in this country, the results are clear: the rich become richer, the poor become poorer and the middle class all but disappears.

Mark Miller campaign news: Debate report, Planned Parenthood endorsement

Mark Miller‘s campaign for Massachusetts State Representative in the 3rd Berkshire District has been busy in the final weeks leading up to the October 18th special election. This is Miller’s second run for the office, after earning 45% of the vote in 2010. In a recent email to supporters, the Miller campaign announced its latest endorsement:

The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund (the political arm of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts) has announced that it is supporting Mark Miller in his bid to become the next State Representative for the Third Berkshire District. The announcement comes on the heels of the endorsement by Mass Alliance, the statewide coalition that includes Planned Parenthood.

George Hollister Isman of Mass Alliance cited Mark’s pro-choice stance in her statement announcing the coalition’s endorsement of the GRP candidate: “Mark Miller is the clear progressive choice for State Representative. His commitment to excellent public schools, good local jobs, a woman’s right to choose, and a heath care system that is truly universal and affordable will make him a strong progressive voice in the State House.” Continue Reading


Mass Alliance endorses Mark Miller for MA State Rep

The Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party has announced another endorsement for Mark Miller, the Green candidate for MA State Representative in the 3rd Berkshire District:

Breaking News! Mark just today received the endorsement of the Mass Alliance, the foremost coalition of progressive organizations in Massachusetts,  including economic and social justice, labor, immigrant, environmental, womens, gblt and progressive Democratic organizations.

This is their first ever endorsement for a Green-Rainbow candidate.  If ever there was a sign that the political landscape is changing, this is it. With endorsements from the UAW, Mass Nurses Association, and the Mass Alliances, it’s clear that Mark Miller is breaking through the Beacon Hill sound barrier, and his message – our message – is getting heard. Continue Reading

Green for Greens: Mark Miller for MA State Representative

In the western Massachusetts city of Pittsfield, an exciting campaign is unfolding that should capture the attention of Greens across the United States. Mark Miller, who took 45% of the vote in 2010 as the MA Green-Rainbow Party’s candidate for State Representative in the 3rd Berkshire District, is running again for the same seat in a special election to be held October 18th. The campaign is building momentum: Miller has recently been endorsed by the United Auto Workers and the MA Nurses Association.

With our help, Mark Miller can have a good shot at becoming the first Green elected to Massachusetts state government – a potential breakthrough victory for Greens across the US. Let’s not miss this opportunity: donate to Mark Miller’s campaign today to help put him over the top.

On his website, Miller declares: “A legislator’s votes should not be bought by corporations or dictated by leadership.” He lists his five major issues as building a secure, local, green economy, fairer taxes, “Medicare for All” single-payer health insurance, clean and transparent state government, and a commitment to public education. Take a look at Miller’s site for more information about why he’s running.

In 2010, Mark Miller’s 45% of the vote put him at the front of a pack of Green Party candidates who fell just short of winning state legislative races. Now, the combination of his strong showing last year, big early endorsements, and a bustling on-the-ground campaign make Miller a real contender in this special election, only six weeks away.

Mark Miller’s election would send an unmistakable message that the party for real solutions is growing. Every little bit we give (including volunteer time for those who live nearby) increases his chances of victory. Donate today to help Mark Miller and the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party make history!


UAW Endorses Mark Miller in Massachusetts State Rep Race

Mark Miller is the Green Party candidate for Massachusetts State Representative. From the campaign:

Mark Miller has won the endorsement of the United Auto Workers (UAW), a major industrial labor union, in his bid to become the new state representative of the Pittsfield district.

Willie Desnoyers, president of the UAW Massachusetts State CAP Council, said: “I’m proud to report that the UAW MA State CAP Council has endorsed Mark Miller for state representative for the 3rd Berkshire District. We are looking forward to working with Mark in the state Legislature. It is important to us that Labor endorses candidates that will respect collective bargaining rights and job creation in Massachusetts. We feel Mark is the best choice for Labor.”
Continue Reading


More Election Analysis: Top State House Races (With Details)

Upon request this is further breakdown of the top 19 State House (Assembly) Green Party returns, broken into those races where there were only two candidates on the ballot (13) and those where there were more than two (6). Included is the vote (percentage) totals for each of the candidates on the ballot. This is only evaluating those Green Party candidates that finished with over 15% of the vote in a race for State Assembly or State House.

Notable is that in the multi-candidate races, Greens finished ahead of the Republicans in four of those races, and was just a few percentage points behind the Republican in a fifth race. The candidate that came closest to winning was Fred Horch in Maine, who finished just 137 votes (3.7%) behind the top vote getter. The closest 2-way race was in Massachusetts where Mark Miller lost by 981 votes (10%).

Three (or more) candidate races:
State Representative District 66, ME
Alexander Cornell du Houx (D) 1,409 (38.08%)
K. Frederick Horch (G) 1,272 (34.38%)
Jonathan Crimmins (R) 1,019 (27.54%)

State Assembly District 77, WI
Brett Hulsey (D) 12,138 (49%)
Ben Manski (G) 7,761 (31%)
David Redick (R) 4,666 (19%)
David Olson (C) 372 (1%)

State Representative District 120, ME
Diane Russell (D) 1,686 (55.39%)
Anna Trevorrow (G) 945 (31.04%)
Thomas Elliman (R) 413 (13.57%)

State Representative District 115, ME
Stephen Lovejoy (D) 1,926 (53.69%)
Seth Berner (G) 1,002 (27.93%)
Chase Martin (R) 659 (18.37%)

State Representative District 194, PA
Pamela Delissio (D) 12,015 (61.4%)
Timothy Downey (R) 4,007 (20.5%)
Hugh Giordano (G) 3,547 (18.1%)

State Representative District 21, AZ
Tom Forese (R) 42,523 (42.45%)
J.D. Mesnard (R) 39,891 (39.83%)
Linda Macias (G) 17,181 (17.15%)

Two candidate races:

State Representative 3rd Berkshire District, MA
Christoper Speranzo (D) 5,440 (55%)
Mark Miller (G) 4,459 (45%)

State Representative District 39, IL
Toni Berrios (D) 10,299 (65.4%)
Jeremy Karpen (G) 5,446 (34.6%)

State Representative District 115, IL
Mike Bost (R) 21,643 (75.1%)
Charlie Howe (G) 7,178 (24.9%)

State Representative District 11, MT
Janna Taylor (R) 3,160 (74.69%)
Cheryl Wolfe (G) 1,052 (24.86%)

State Representative District 90, AR
David Branscum (R) 7,253 (75.18%)
Mark Swaney (D) 2,394 (24.82%)

State Assembly District 39, CA
Felipe Fuentes (D) 41,056 (78.4%)
Jack Lindblad (G) 11,322 (21.6%)

State Representative District 67, CT
Clark Chapin (R) 5,349 (79.66%)
Nicholas Payne (G) 1,366 (20.34%)

State Representative District 183, PA
Julie Harhart (R) 14,709 (80.9%)
Rex D’Agostino (G) 3,482 (19.1%)

House of Delegates District 11, WV
Bob Ashley (R) 3,262 (81%)
Mark Myers (M/G) 768 (19%)

State Assembly District 51, CA
Steven Bradford (D) 65,388 (81.8%)
Cynthia Santiago (G) 14,625 (18.2%)

State Representative 4th Berkshire District, MA
Smitty Pignatelli (D) 11,269 (82%)
Lee Scott Laugenour (G) 2,483 (18%)

State Representative District 105, IL
Shane Cultra (R) 25,886 (82.2%)
Vince LaMie (G) 5,603 (17.8%)

State Representative District 29, IL
Thaddeus Jones (D) 24,194 (82.9%)
Kenneth Williams (G) 4,993 (17.1%)