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Arizona Green Primary Ballot Will Have Gubernatorial Candidate

Published on June 16, 2010, by in General.

The Arizona Green Party is ballot-qualified and nominates by primary. Arizona requires petitions for candidates to get on the primary ballot of their own party. The only person who submitted a petition to be on the Green Party primary ballot for Governor, Larry Gist, seems assured of being the party’s nominee, because a challenge to his petition has been withdrawn. See this story. The challenge had been filed by a Democrat, but the challenge has been dropped because it appears Gist’s petition has enough valid signatures. Only independent voters, and registered Greens, were eligible to sign.

Activists in the Green Party do not know Gist, and were not involved in helping him get himself on the party’s primary ballot. He needed 1,231 signatures, and submitted 2,980.

10 Responses

  1. Last I heard, the AZGP is still trying to get in touch with this guy and find out what he’s about. Last election cycle we had some fake Greens who got on the ballot because they thought it would reduce the vote total for Democrats. I’m hoping that isn’t the case here.

  2. Richard

    Sometimes strangers run in Arizona minor party primaries because they want to qualify for public funding. This was a problem for the Arizona Libertarian Party some years back.

  3. I’m running as a write-in candidate in the Sixth Congressional District in the Green Party primary on August 24 (open to registered Greens and independents).

    Since I have not been active in Arizona Green Party affairs, this seems a more honorable way to qualify for the ballot than to gather the 221 signatures I would need (also a lot easier).

    Rather than present the party with the fait accompli of my having its ballot line in November (nobody else filed for the seat, currently held by Republican Jeff Flake), I need 221 people to write me in for me to get the Green Party nomination for Congress. There is also a month for another Green candidate to file as a write-in in this district (or any other one).

    I do subscribe to the ten key values of the Green Party and nearly all of its positions, but in 2008 some candidates had the Green Party ballot line for legislative races although their views on subjects like immigration (they clearly would have been enthusiastic supporters of the racist, reprehensible and unconstitutional SB 1070 — a position that would be anathema to anyone legitimately affiliated with the Greens).

    The issue of “fake Greens” running is a real one that is probably endemic to minor parties with ballot access, as it is easy for outsiders to come in. On the other hand, political parties are not clubs, and anyone can register with any party as a constitutional right.

    As you said, Richard, the Arizona Libertarians had this problem, and their party primaries in the state are closed; only registered Libertarians can run and vote in them. But that required, I believe, a court case and legislation.

  4. While it’s somewhat disturbing that “[a]ctivists in the Green Party do not know Gist,” I’m not sure if the problem is that the party did not have a gubernatorial candidate lined up when it worked very hard to get ballot access.

    Since I’m not familiar with the party leadership, I’m not sure if there was a feeling that the Greens shouldn’t have a candidate for governor because that might help the Republican incumbent (or any of her primary challengers) win reelection, taking away Democratic votes — or if there was sentiment for having a gubernatorial candidate but no one else was willing to run.

    (On his blog, the Green U.S. Senate candidate Jerry Joslyn said it might have been a close call, his being one of seven Green candidates endorsed by the state party, because of at least one of his positions. Again, he seems to be a candidate who has not been an active Green Party activist although I could be wrong about this.)

    I waited (as write-in candidates in primaries have to do) until the signature filing deadline had passed and saw that no one had filed to run as a Green in my congressional district.

    What is the point of working so hard to get ballot access if a minor party is going to have candidates only in a handful of districts and a couple of statewide elections?

    Of course the point might be that active Green candidacies could help elect Republicans by siphoning off votes from Democrats more sympathetic to Green positions.

    My formative political years were in New York, where cross-endorsements are allowed, and where minor parties flourished and still do. In my early political work, it was rare to work for a candidate in a general election who was endorsed only by one party. For example, in 1969, I worked in the June Republican primary party for Mayor Lindsay, who lost, but then we went on to win in November with Lindsay as the candidate of the Liberal Party (and the Civil Service-Fusion Party) against more conservative opponents, a Democrat and a Republican/Conservative party candidate. Lindsay even swept in a Liberal party city council president (then a citywide elected office) and four Liberal city council members, allowing the Liberals to displace the smaller Republican caucus as the official opposition party (i.e., minority leader, etc.)

    The next year, I worked for Rep. Dick Ottinger, the Democratic Senate candidate, who was running against the (appointed) Republican incumbent, Charles Goodell (father of the NFL commissioner), who also had the Liberal party nomination, and James Buckley, the Conservative, who went on to win. It was thought that Ottinger needed “a second line” and so we created the statewide Conservation Party for that one election only. (And yes, although it highlighted Ottinger’s environmental record, his strongest point, we picked the name hoping to confuse a few Conservatives!)

    Cross-endorsements in a winner-take-all system are the best way to ensure the vitality of minor parties. Unfortunately, they are forbidden in almost every state but New York.

  5. Gary

    The way to ensure the vitality of minor parties is for them to try and WIN elections.

    State legislatives seats are small in many states. How about actually running hard, press the flesh, go door-to-door etc????

  6. Sounds like a waste of time.

  7. The AZGP actively sought out candidates for governor, looking for someone strong who could get 5% of the vote. Candidates who felt they could not devote sufficient time to the campaign or who did not start with a large base of support decided to run for other state offices or smaller offices. I assure you the idea of not running someone because we didn’t want to “take away votes” from the Democrat is nonsense.

  8. Hal Goldfarb

    Richard:

    Which Green Party “activists” did you consult for this article? Activism is strictly NOT permitted in the GP, at least not under any official color of the party rules. In fact, in AZGP, activism is not considered a kind of political activity, according to one of its co-chairs. I was told this directly, by personal email.

    If there are any activists in the Green Party, they are doing so underground. I have been condemned for such activity. The GP works hard to achieve ballot access, and THEN goes hunting for candidates. The usual protocol is to have candidates you want to run for office, and then seek signatures. But this more traditional, and arguably sensible, approach is viewed with great indignation, at least in the Arizona party.

    It’s probably true that activists in the party don’t know Gist; the party doesn’t know activism, either. And this cost them dearly the last time around with interlopers like Marguerite Dale and Jack Kretzer (who is about as Green as BP) who damaged the party’s credibility by giving away open ballot lines to anyone who cared to dance their way in on one.

    The AZGP needs a more effective battle plan for electoral politics. This one doesn’t seem to be working too well.

  9. The Green Party should welcome any and all people interested as running as Green Party candidates.

    Anyone who self identifies as Green Party has the right.

    We need more candidates. We need to be inclusive are work with all new people…in the Green Party

  10. I see a lot of nonsense and exclusionary tactics above…

    The only positive answer is to welcome everyone as Green Party candidates on the ballot.

    They will learn from the process…and grow Green..

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