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Illinois gets Green Party Prez Primary

BOARD OF ELECTIONS CLEARS WAY FOR GREEN PRIMARY ON FEB. 5

In their meeting Thursday, the Illinois Board of Elections dismissed objections to all four Green Party candidates for president: Jared Ball of Washington D.C., Howie Hawkins of New York [as a stand-in for Ralph Nader], Kent Mesplay of California and Cynthia McKinney of California.

The decision by the board sets the stage for the state’s first ever contested Green Primary.

“Because we will have four candidates on the ballot for the same office, and thus a contested primary, every voter in the state will have the chance to pull a Green ballot on Feb. 5,” says Phil Huckelberry, Chair of the ILGP Government & Elections Committee.

The Illinois Green Party became an established political party in 2006, when gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney earned more than 10% of the vote. As an established party, Greens will participate in the Feb. 5 primary, name committeepeople, and can slate candidates to fill vacancies on the ticket.

“Voters in Illinois went to the polls in 2006 and demanded more options, beyond the two party system,” says David Black, Secretary of the Illinois Green Party. “And we’ve delivered a number of excellent candidates in races all over the state.”

In addition to the state board’s decisions, the Cook County Board of Elections also threw out objections to the candidacy of Jerome Pohlen, a journalist and library trustee from Berwyn seeking the Green nomination for 3rd Congressional District.

Not all of the objections filed last month had favorable outcomes to the Illinois Green Party. The board voted unanimously to remove Scott Summers, attorney and McHenry Community College trustee, from the primary ballot for 16th Congressional District, despite hearing arguments that the Board used a different formula to calculate Green signature requirements than it used to calculate Republican and Democratic requirements.

“Had the board used the same formula, I would have had more than enough signatures to get on the ballot,” says Summers. “I think the political parties should be treated equally
under the law.”

Summers says that he may file suit in the case or will seek to be slated by the party following the primary.

Objections are still pending against congressional candidate David Kalbfleisch (10th district), as well as other candidates for state, local and committeeperson offices.

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