Green Party Watch, March 13th:
Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch reports that though “the Green Party, Ohio’s only officially recognized minor party, has no contested primary races this year,” party leaders are urging members to take part in Tuesday’s primary.
Ohio Green Party activist David Ellison said, “People are swept up in these primary races whether or not they want to choose between [candidates within a party]. For the Greens, it’s the only way we can identify our members. … When we’re circulating petitions for a candidate, we need signatures from party members or people who are unaffiliated with a political party. It’s much easier once a person has identified themselves as a member of [the Green Party] to get our candidate’s name on a ballot.”
The Dispatch says the Ohio Greens are “running one statewide candidate — Joe DeMarefor U.S. Senate” — in 2016. “Other candidates include Joe Manchik for 12th Congressional District representative, Dennis Lambert for 15th Congressional District representative, Constance Gladwell-Newton for 18th District State representative and Bob Fitrakis for Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge.”
About the Green Party of Ohio, from Wikipedia:
The Green Party of Ohio was originally founded as the Green Party of Northeast Ohio (the Northeast Ohio Greens) in the early 1990s. The Green Party of Northeast Ohio was a recognized local of the Greens/Green Party USA (GPUSA), the only national Green organization at the time.
In the mid-1990s, and leading up to the 1996 US Presidential election and Ralph Nader‘s minimalist candidacy, the Greens in Ohio were caught up in the strategic debate that found its expression at the national level in the competing GPUSA/ASGP tendencies. Some Ohio Greens were decidedly non-electoral and did not support the ASGP effort for a Nader candidacy. The Green Party of Ohio’s effort to put Nader on the ballot in 1996 fell several hundred signatures (315+/-) short.
In January, 2000, Paul Dumouchelle convened a meeting of 11 prominent Ohio Greens and formed the committee that successfully got Nader on the ballot in Ohio that year. Ohio sent four delegates to the Denver Convention that nominated Nader: David Ellison, Daryl Davis, and two others. Ohio had an active statewide Nader campaign and electoral results were similar to the national level. Logan Martinez ran for a State Representative seat in Dayton that year, as well.
In 2006 the party ran its first statewide candidates when Bob Fitrakis and Anita Rios ran for Governor and Lt. Governor respectively. State party Secretary Tim Kettler also ran for Secretary of State. Donald Lesiak was endorsed for Auditor at the state party convention but was unable to collect the 5,000 valid signatures that were needed in order to get on the Ohio ballot for the November general election.
Candidates in local elections
Ohio locals have run candidates in various regions of the state every year since 2000. The party has held state conventions in 2002, 2004, and 2006. As a result of a 6th district federal court ruling on a lawsuit initiated by the Libertarian Party of Ohio and that found state laws regarding minor parties to be unconstitutional, the Ohio Greens were awarded minor party status for the 2010 election cycle. Races in the 89th district, for Governor and Lt. Governor, Cuyahoga County executive, and County council, were run.