Alabama Greens (1 candidate)
Larry Wayne Grantham ran for Mayor of Foley, finishing 3rd out of 3 with 1.6%. It was his third run for Mayor, after finishing with 28% in 1992 and 17% in 1988.
Arizona Green Party (3)
Arizona Greens won all 3 local races they contested. In Flagstaff, Norm Wallen won for City Council, finishing 3rd/6 (19.3%) for 3 seats. Responding to local development pressures, Wallen advocated affordable housing, open/green space, locally-owned business, and public votes on major developments. In Bisbee (located in SE AZ near the Mexican border). Alva d’Orgeix won a City Council seat in her second try with 54.9% in a two-way race. Discounted as uncredible immediately after the election by fellow councilmembers, d’Orgeix’s persistance in promoting grassroots, participatory democracy has won growing support from the community and local press. In Pima County, Gerald Anderson, won County Charter Commission District 3, finishing 1st/4 for 3 seats with 28.1%.
Green Party of Alaska (3)
For US Senate, Jed Whittaker finished 2nd/3. His 12.5% beat the Democratic candidate, the first time a ‘third party’ candidate finished ahead of either a Democrat or a Republican in any US Senate race nationwide since William Buckley of New York’s Conservative Party did in 1970. Whittaker made national news during Green Gathering ‘96 in Los Angeles, holding up pink salmon at a press conference to call attention to the 20 million pounds of chum and pink salmon he maintains are wasted by Alaskan state hatcheries. In other races, John Grames received 1.9% for the 1st Congressinal District, finishing 4th/4 and Ron Reed received 18.7% for Juneau City/Borough Asssembly, finsihing 3rd/4.
Green Party of California
California Greens enjoyed another successful electoral cycle in 1996, winning eight elections including five City Council seats. There are now nine sitting Green Councilmembers statewide, and 35 CA Greens have won elections since the party’s inception in 1990. In Arcata, Jennifer Hanan (2nd/6, 26%) and Bob Ornelas (3rd/6, 18.2%) were both elected to the City Council, joining Jason Kirkpatrick (elected in ‘94) to form the first Green Party City Council majority in the United States. Hanan ran on a platform of limiting growth to prevent urban sprawl; supporting local business, community farmers and non-profits and increasing community participation in local government. Ornelas advocated sutainable forestry practices that would prevent clear-cutting and shipping unmilled timber (and jobs) overseas. Instead, he advocated selective, sustained yield involving local mills, producing local jobs by keeing the timber locally and manufacturing it into furniture and other products for local, regional and national use. After the election, Kirkpatrick was chosen by the new Council as vice-mayor for one year and is expected to be voted as the state’s first Green mayor in late 1997.
In Berkeley’s District 4, Dona Spring was elected for her third straight two-year term, running unopposed after building broad-based community support in her first two terms. Her emphasis in office has included affordable housing, public transit-friendly land use, locally-serving small business, preserving and expanding open space, and increased resident participation in local government. With Spring’s strong record and the positive reputation of local Greens as a backdrop, Cris Kavanaugh (2nd/2, 49.2%) almost pulled off an upset in Berkeley’s 8th District, losing by only 91 votes to a well-financed incumbent. In neighboring Oakland’s District 1, Larry Shoup finished a strong 3rd/5 with 18.7%, missing the run-off by 6%. Shoup’s platform emphasized tenants rights, affirmative action, a stregthened Civilian Police Review Board, and campaign finance reform. With a well-organized precinct operation, he finished first or second in 18 precincts, and in a dead heat overall in 30/56 precincts that make up the district’s mixed race/income/culture area. In Davis, Julie Partansky was re-elected to a second 4-year term (14.8%, 1st/12 for three seats). Because she received the most votes, Partansky will rotate in as mayor in 1998 for a 2-year term. Partansky’s campaign focused on preserving the human-scale nature of Davis, in part by opposing a road expansion of the interstate highway exit coming into the town’s center. The expansion had been approved by the previous Council over Partansky’s objection, and residents gathered signatures to force the measure on the ballot for a public referendum. In March, 1997 Partansky’s side defeated the expansion 60%-40%.
In Santa Cruz, Kristen Anderson (8th/11, 4.9%) and David Minton Silva (10th/11, 3.0%) ran unsuccessfully for two of four open seats. In Santa Monica, Mike Feinstein won a City Council seat, finishing 2nd/13 for four seats, including first in 31/ 66 precincts. His platform of sustainability included affordable housing, parks/open space, public transit, locally-serving small business, human-scale/environmentally-sound development and neighborhood-based democracy. Feinstein and local Greens fashioned a strong environment/tenant/labor/neighborhood coalition, with endorsements by powerful Santa Monican’s for Renters’ Rights and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 814, Together they and Feinstein walked some 15,000 homes. Endorsements from Ralph Nader and State Senator Tom Hayden bolstered Feinstein’s professionally-done direct mail pieces.
Other Greens who won local races were Cynthia Strecker, unopposed for the Monte Rio Union School District Board of Trustees in Sonoma County; Timothy Moore, 3rd/17 for 8 seats for the Ramona Planning Group in San Diego County and Kip Krueger, 1st/2 for Ocean Beach Planning Group, District 1 in San Diego County. Also running were Ken Goldstein (5th/6, 3.6%) for Sacramento Mayor, Larry Kissinger (14th/14, 1.l%) for one of four seats on the San Francisco Board of Education; Tim Fitzgerald (3rd/4, 13.0%) for San Jose Unified School District Board of Directors, District 1; and Tom Stafford (3rd/4, 19.0%) for Ventura County Community College Board District 3.
On the state legislative level, long-time Green Party organizer Hank Chapot (Oakland) finished 3rd/4 in State Assembly District 14. His 9.5% was the highest among any third party candidate in California for state or national office. Chapot campaigned on public transit, public investment in small business instead of corporate welfare (including opposing public subsidies to bring the Raiders football team back from Los Angeles), and wholistic alternatives to the cycles of crime and incarceration. In State Senate District 15, Craig Coffin of Monterrey finished 3rd/4 with 4.5%. His campaign called attention to the connection between corporate greed, corrupt politics and lack of democracy. Coffin was credited with knocking out conservative Democrat Rusty Areias, who lost by 1%. Areis was handpicked by Democratic party leaders to replace a 16-year incumbent, but his campaign never caught on with many local Democrats. Coffin’s anti-corruption message played very successfully upon this, painting Areis as part of a corrupt political machine.
For the US House of Representatives, Walter Sheasby (Sierra Madre) finished 3rd/3 with 2.2% in the 27th District. His platform was pro-immigrant and anti-proposition 209, and advocated US foreign policy on diplomacy and self-determination rather than military intervention and subversion. In District 29th, Will Yeager (Lakewood) finished 3rd/3 with 2.7%.
Green Party of Colorado (3)
For State House, Tico Embury of Denver came in 2nd/2 in District 1 with 19.5%. His campaign promoted public transportation as well as shifting from sales taxes to gas taxes. Gary Swing, also of Denver, focused on an electoral reform agenda featuring proportional representation, campaign finance reform, and the inititative process. He came in 3rd/3 in District 8 with 8.5%. In Carbondale, Krista Paradise came in 6th/6 for one of two open seats on the Town Council. A month after the election, she was then appointed to the Council two after the one of the Councilmembers resigned.
Hawai’i Green Party (6)
Continuing a pattern from the ’92 and ’94 elections, Hawaii’s Greens contested partisan races on a competitive basis with Democrats and Republicans, often finishing ahead of one or the other. On the Big Island, two-term County Council member Keiko Bonk left her Council seat to run for Mayor, finishing second (39%-33%) to a Democrat and 10% ahead of the Republican. Bonk won 17/56 precincts and finished second in most of the others. In County Council District 6, Julie Jacobsen finished second (37%-33%) to a Republican and ahead of the Democrat (25%). In County Council Distict 5, Julie Leialoha finished a strong 3rd with 28.0%, just behind the Dem and Rep (37%, 30%). Uniting all three of these Green campaigns were Green stands for environment, local small business, cultural diversity, parks, diversified agriculture, long-term planning, citizen involvement, and eco-tourism. Their opponents tended to favor off-island corporations, land speculation, closed government, the rezoning of agricultural land, neglect of parks, and open hostility to environment. This dichotomy suggests that instead of the old Democrat/Republican breakdown, that politics on the Big Island are now dividing along Green/sustainable vs. ‘old boy’ network/unsustainable lines…On Oahu in State House District 47, Karen Archibald finished a strong 3rd with 21.8%, just behind the Republican’s 23%. Her campaign focused the need for campaign finance reform to curb the same corrupting influence on politics of well-financed developers who seek to rape Hawai’i natural environment and resources. Archibald also strongly criticized her Democratic incumbent opponent who had spnsored a state constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriages. In other races, Donnalyn Johns finished 3rd with 10% in Big Island County Council District 4 and Jason Schwartz finished 3rd with 9% for the Maui County Council.
Massachusetts Green Party (1)
In the first-ever race contested by Massachusetts Greens, Charles Laws ran for the 10th Congressional District, receiving almost 11,000 votes and 3.7%, finishing 3rd out of 3.
Maine Green Party (4)
Maine Greens saw three municipal victories in three tries – Karen Mayo won as Selectperson of Bowdoinham, beating her opponent 60%-40%. A well-known education and environmental activist, Mayo ran on building community and volunteerism. Mayo had previously been appointed to the town’s Recreation Board. In Eastport, George Lehigh won for City Council (33.8%, 2nd/4 for 2 seats). In Biddeford, Harold Hansen, won for School Board. For US Senate, former Green state co-chair John Rensenbrink finished 3rd/4 with 4.0%. His campaign slogan was “don’t eat the seed corn”. Rensenbrink emphasized campaign finance reform ($500 contribution limits for statewide races, free TV and more public financing of campaigns (than subsequently approved by Maine voters), single-payer health care, progressive taxation and a shift from income taxes to ecological taxes on pollution, energy and scare natural resources. He also opposed Clinton’s welfare reform, which his Republican and Democratic opponents supported. Rensenbrink appeared in eight televised debates and 20 overall. Maine Greens also sponsored an anti-clearcut initiative on the November, 1996 ballot. A year earlier, they gathered 56,000 signatures in a single day to qualify the initiative. Six months later polls showed the measure ahead with 65-70%. But then in order to stop the Greens, Governor Angus King put forward a decoy initiative that would change little, and right wing forces advocated their own which would’ve changed even less. The state legislature capitulated and put them all on the ballot, with voters forced to choose between the three. The paper companies spent over $4 to defeat the Greens initiative and ultimately, needing a majority to pass, none of them did. King’s receivd 48%, the Greens 30% and the right-wing’s 22%. Paper companies continue to deforest as fast as they can in anticipation of the next round of attempted reform.
Green Party of Minnesota (2)
In the first-ever state legislative race contested by Minnesota Greens, Cam Gordon received 24.6%, finishing 2nd ahead of the Republican in SE Minneapolis District 62A. The campaign coordinated more than 100 volunteers, a successful petition drive to gain ballot access, effective phone banks, two district-wide literature drops, door knocking, 230 lawn signs posted, and an advertising presence in neighborhood newspapers from April to November. Gordon raised over $10,000 without any PAC money or contributions of over $200. Over 95% were from individuals contributing $50 or less, making full use of Minnesota’s Political Contribution Refund program. Key issues included campaign finance reform, increased citizen participation, proportional representation and fewer Governor appointed boards; safe communities and community justice centers; challenging huge health care insurance and pharmaceutical companies; sustainable neighborhood business development, mass transit, energy efficiency and alternatives to coal and nuclear power. In Hermantown, Debra Orton was re-elected to the Town Council for a second 4-year term, finishing 2nd/4 for 2 seats. In her first term, Orton was in part responsible for the superfund site cleanup of Hermantown’s well water, which had been polluted by a nearby oil refinery. She helped resist development pressure on the headwaters of two Hermantown creeks that lead into Duluth and Lake Superior, bringing about a preservation/restoration project instead. And she helped lower the city’s portion of the city/school district/county property tax levy from 7.3% to 0%, by securing making local government more efficient and securing additional state and federal funding for local projects.
New Mexico Green Party (12)
New Mexico Greens continued to receive high percentages in most races they contested. In local races, Fran Gallegos was elected as Municipal Judge in Santa Fe, finishing 1st/6 with 44%, beating three-term incumbent Tom Fiorina by 256 votes. A Persian Gulf War veteran and holder of both a real estate license and degree in business administration, Gallegos campaigned as ‘a people’s voice’ in the court, stressing a redirection of human resources towards ‘service-based sentencing’ and community service. In 1992, Gallegos ran for Sante Fe County Magistrate judge and finished a close second with 43%. Miguel Chavez received 33% for Santa Fe City Council District 3, finishing 2nd/3 against powerful incumbent Art Sanchez in a largely Hispanic district. Andres Vargas received 25% for Taos/Colfax/Union Counties District Attorney, finishing 2nd/3. Scott Jones received 25% for Cibola County Commissioner, finishing 2nd/2.
In Statewide Constitutional races, Peggy Helgeson received 11% for Corporation Commissioner finishing 3rd/3. Her primary issues were to work with the Department of Economic Development to promote living-wage jobs through socially and environnmentally sound development. By receiving more than 5% in her statewide race, Helgeson’s total retains major party status for the New Mexican Greens. For State Supreme Court, long-term Native American rights attorney Tom Luebbin finished 3rd/3 with 5.0%.
For State Representative, Roberto Mondragon of Sante Fe received 35% in the 46th District finishing 2nd/2 against a powerful incumbent and majority leader Ben Lujan. Mondragon emphasized restoring hispanic land grants in northern New Mexico and protecting hispanic cultural integrity. In 1994, Mondragon received 10.4% for Governor, together with Lt. Governor candidate Steven Schmidt as the NMGP’s first statewide candidates. Bob Anderson of Albuquerque received 29% in the liberal 18th District, finishing 2nd/3 while spending only $5,000. Walking the entire district, Anderson won several precincts outright. His platform emphasized public education, single-payer health care, labor-rights, public lands/open space, bio-regional-based planning, and opposition to privatization of government services. David Hampton of Albuquerque received 6.5% in the 7th District (3rd/3) and Mary Lou Jones of Grants received 6% in the 6th District (3rd/3). For Congress, Jack Uhrich received 4% in the 1st District (3rd/4). He ran on a pro-labor, pro-gay/lesbian rights platform. For US Senate, former NMGP state chair Abraham Gutmann received 4.5%, finishing 3rd/4 running against 24-year incumbent Pete Domenici. Gutmann’s platform included campaign finance reform, proportional represenation, renewable energy and efficiency, and tax reform to aid small business, while opposing corporate welfare, NAFTA/GATT and immigrant-scapegoating. In 1992, Guttman received 40% in a two-way race for State Representative.
New York Green Party (10)
The New York Green’s strongest showing was Craig Seeman of Brooklyn, receiving 6.8% for State Assembly in the 52nd District, finishing 3rd/4. Other State Assembly candidates included Staten Island Greens Caroline Cutroneo, 59th District with 2.4% (3rd/3) and Tom Hamilton, 60th District, with 1.6% (3rd/4), and Manhattan Green Tony Gronowicz, 73rd District (Manhattan), with 1.3% (3rd/3) . For State Senate, Janet Rispoli received 2.5% in the 24th District (3rd/3) and Bob Polhemus received 1.3% in 26th District (3rd/4). For Congress, Anita Lerman received 1.6% in the 13th District (4th/4) and Tom Leighton received 2% in the 14th District (3rd/4). On the municipal level, J. David Swift finished 3rd/3 with 2% for the Perrysburg Town Council .
Pacific Party of Oregon
On the local level, John Walsh finished 3rd/ 3 for the Eugene City Council with 13.0%, and Richard Bowden finished 3rd/ 4 for Lane County Commission with 14.0%. In state legislature races, Andy Davis finished 3rd/5 in the 14th District with 8.9% and Cecilia Story finished with 4.5% in the 44th District. For US Congress, Joe Keating came in 3rd/5 with 4% in the 3rd District, and Allan Opus finished 6th/6 with 0.6% in the 4th District. For US Senate, Gary Kutcher finished 4th/7 with 1.1%. His best results came in the three counties where the Pacific Party is strongest: Lane (Eugene, University of Oregon), Multnomah (Portland area, where Nader received about 8%), and Benton (Corvallis, Oregon State University). Kutcher candidacy was also aided by his appearance with Nader before a Portland crowd of 2000 days before the election. On a vote/dollar measurement: Kutcher spent $.13/vote and his Democratic and Republican opponents spent $5 and $3/vote respectively.
Green Party of Rhode Island
For State Representative District 48, Jeff Johnson finished 3rd of 3 with 8.6%. In the 1st Congressional District, Graham Schwass finished 4th out of 5 with 0.8%.
Bill Anderson was re-elected to the Douglas County Board of Supervisors in Northwestern Wisconsin. Ted Ciskie and Kay McKenzie both narrowly lost re-election to the same Board, each losing by 24 votes. In Dane County, Ben Manski of the UW (Madison) Greens lost a seat on the Dane County Board of Supervisors by only 6 votes. Manski ran on a moratorium on road building, advocated full funding of public transit by the county to replace funds taken by the state by the Department of Transportation, sought to set up a regional transit agency, and in response to the regressive welfare reform of the Republican governor, to restore full funding for social services via a progressive property tax.