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Green Party election advances in Ariz., Conn., Maine, Mich.

Green Party election update: ballot status in Arizona; record number of legislative candidates in Maine; statewide meetings in Connecticut and Michigan apportion delegates for Chicago convention

Green Parties in states throughout the US are preparing for the party’s National Nomination Convention (“Live Green, Vote Green”), to take place in Chicago, Illinois, July 10-13.

836 delegates will attend the convention to choose the Green Party’s 2008 national nominees (http://www.gp.org/2008-elections/Delegation-Size.php).
Green Party members are working hard to get 51 ballot lines (50 states and the District of Columbia) for the Green nominees on Election Day.

For 2008 Green Party campaign news, visit: http://www.gp.org/2008-elections/index.shtml

Here are some updates:

• ARIZONA (http://www.azgp.org) The Arizona Green Party achieved ballot status in April after an aggressive effort. This is the third time that Arizona Greens won a place on the state’s ballot, after 1992 and 2000.

Greens hope to receive at least 5% of the Arizona vote in the 2008 general election, which would give the party official recognition for the next election cycle. Arizona Greens can also maintain ballot status if at least 0.66 percent of voters register Green as of November 1, 2009.

“Arizona Greens have much to celebrate. This month [April 2008], we achieved ballot status for the third time in our history. And we will soon celebrate the 18 year anniversary of the Arizona Green Party — the party was founded in May, 1990. We are in the process of recruiting candidates for state legislature and Congress. This is the moment that we have been waiting for!” said Angel Torres, co-chair of the Arizona Green Party.

More details: Arizona Republic article: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/04/20/20080420greens0420.html

• CONNECTICUT (http://www.ctgreens.org/index.shtml) Party members attending the Annual Convention of the Green Party of Connecticut on April 26 voted for presidential candidates and delegates to the Green National Convention. The statewide meeting was held at the Greater New Haven Central Labor Council in New Haven. Cynthia McKinney received 33 votes, Kat Swift three votes, Jesse Johnson two votes, and Kent Mesplay two votes. Those vote will be divided among the delegates to the convention. Write-in votes included six for independent candidate and native son Ralph Nader, and one each for two others. Connecticut Greens will send 20 delegates to the national convention, to be apportionate according to the April 26 vote.

Speaking at the event were first-time congressional candidates Stephen Fournier, 1st Congressional District (http://www.fournierforcongress.org), Scott Deshefy, 2nd District (http://www.newmenu.org/deshefy4congress_ct); and Richard Duffee, 4th District (http://richardduffee.com). Harold Burbank, 5th District (http://www.newmenu.org/haroldburbank) did not attend the meeting.

• MAINE (http://www.mainegreens.org) The Maine Green Independent Party is running a record number of candidates for state legislature, with three candidates for State Senate (which has 35 seats) and ten candidates for State House of Representatives (151 seats).

In 2006 the party ran two State Senate candidates, and eight State House candidates. John Eder served as a member of the Maine House from 2002 to 2006, the Green Party’s most recent state legislator.

The Maine Green Independent Party is the largest Green Party in the US in terms of percentage of the electorate, with 3% of Maine voters registered Green.

Maine Greens will hold their 2008 annual state convention in Yarmouth on May 18, at which they
will select 44 delegates to the national convention. In the caucuses held earlier this year Cynthia McKinney took about 80% of the votes. Greens who did not have the opportunity to attend the caucuses will have another opportunity to vote at the Convention. For more information, visit the party’s web site (http://www.mainegreens.org). Inquiries can be sent to info@mainegreens.org .

• MICHIGAN (http://www.migreens.org) The Green Party of Michigan, at its statewide meeting on April 19 in Romulus, unanimously agreed on ten men and nine women to serve as delegates to the Green Party’s 2008 presidential nominating convention in Chicago, July 10-13.

Elections co-ordinator John Anthony La Pietra announced the results of a statewide membership
poll taken to bind the delegates’ votes on the first ballot in Chicago. Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney received 64%, earning 13 delegates. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader (who announced an independent campaign in February) finished second with 17% of the vote and three delegates. Kent Mesplay of California and Kat Swift of Texas earned one delegate each; one vote in the delegation will go to the convention uncommitted.

The poll also invited party members to list their preferences beyond first choice. Mr. La Pietra reported detailed alternative results (counted using instant-runoff voting and approval voting) which delegates may use to help determine their votes after the first ballot in Chicago.

• Statewide meetings were also held by the Mountain Party in West Virginia (http://www.mtparty.org) and the North Carolina Green Party (http://www.ncgreenparty.org). Reports from these meetings will be published soon.

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