National Green Candidates Ran Against All The Odds
Campaigns serve to energize bases, provide continuity to GP message
By Larry Cafiero
Both the Cobb-LaMarche and the Nader-Camejo campaigns, despite being at odds with one another at the national convention, managed to run campaigns that appealed to Green voters across the country. Both campaigns served to bring out the party faithful.
As the 2004 presidential election campaign becomes one for the record books, the Green Party ticket of David Cobb and Pat LaMarche achieved many of its goals in growing the party across the nation.
"This campaign has always been about building and growing the Green Party and that's just what we've succeeded in doing," said Cobb-LaMarche media director Blair Bobbier, in a statement posted on the Cobb-LaMarche 2004 Web site. "We've registered more Green voters, we've boosted local campaigns, we've garnered fantastic media coverage and we've put Instant Runoff Voting in the forefront as a solution for the 'spoiler' voting dynamic."
During the 2004 presidential campaign, the Cobb-LaMarche ticket had also made great strides towards reforming the archaic U.S. election process, focusing on the need for Instant Runoff Voting and on opening presidential debates in which only the two major-party candidates participate.
USA Today reported that in states where candidates had ballot access, the Cobb-LaMarche campaign tallied 107,398 votes in 28 states, while the campaign of consumer advocate Ralph Nader and the Green Party of California's Peter Camejo collected 406,935 votes in 31 states.
Write-in votes in states where both campaigns had write-in status were not available by press time.
In California, Cobb-LaMarche got 31,679 votes. Write-in votes for Nader-Camejo in California have not been officially tallied as of press time.
Commenting on the results of the election, Nader stated that the campaign for electoral reform did not stop on Election Day.
"Nov. 2 is not the end, it is a new beginning," Nader said. "The challenge to the two-party system that is choking political ex-pression and response in the United States will continue and grow. If the parties want to continue losing significance, they need only continue to place the interests of big business before the interests of the people."
Since their nomination at the June convention in Milwaukee, the Cobb-LaMarche campaign registered Greens throughout the nation, bringing the party's voter registration to a national record high of 311,350. In addition, the both Cobb and LaMarche campaigned with local, state and federal candidates throughout the nation.
"We are immensely proud and grateful to Dave and Pat for carrying the Green Party's banner, for running on our platform, and especially for using their campaign to promote our state and local Green candidates," said Greg Gerritt, secretary of the Green Party of the United States. "David Cobb and Pat LaMarche urged voters to vote Green, register Green, and support the growth of America's noncorporate, independent party."
Examples of Green Party victories in the 356 races it contested around the country:
- John Eder was re-elected to the Maine's House of Representatives with more than 50 percent of the vote in a three-way race, even after Democrats in Maine had tried to weaken Eder's support by redrawing his district.
- Colorado's San Miguel County Commissioner Art Goodtimes was reelected to a third term in a partisan, three-way race with 50.7 percent of the vote.
- In Washington, D.C., Statehood Green candidates won six out of seven seats for which they competed in local, nonpartisan Advisory Neighborhood Commission races.
- Long-time San Francisco Green activist Ross Mirkarimi won in an Instant Runoff Voting election to replace Green Matt Gon-zalez, the president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. (See separate story in Green Focus)
- Greens retain city council majority in Sebastopol, after winning two seats (incumbent Craig Litwin, incumbent; Sam Pierce) to retain three out of five seats.
- Mark Sanchez is now the first Green in San Francisco to be re-elected, finishing third out of 12 for four seats on the Board of Education.
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