Mark Wachtler published the following article at the Illinois Herald:
March 17, 2016. Springfield, IL (ONN) While Illinois Republicans and Democrats were voting for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the state’s opposition political parties were busy themselves. Both the Illinois Green Party and the Illinois Libertarian Party held state conventions to choose their own challengers to the two establishment parties this November. Showing how popular the Greens and Libertarians are becoming in Illinois, both had contested races and each had a surprise victor.
Jill Stein won the Illinois Green Party Primary for the 2016 Presidential nomination.
Green Party Candidates
The good news is that the Green Party is the only recognized ‘major party’ other than the Democrats and Republicans in Illinois. The bad news is that they only have that official designation in two of the state’s Congressional Districts, or roughly ten percent of the state. With most Illinois State Reps running unopposed this election, the Illinois Greens could easily expand their status to most of the state by simply running a challenger in the unopposed races.
But a recent announcement from the Green Party of Illinois focused its attention on statewide races, including choices for US President, Vice President, US Senate and Illinois Comptroller. The announcement began, ‘At our State Convention, the Illinois Green Party formally named Jill Stein to lead our statewide ticket as our candidate for president, with favorite son candidate and constitutional law scholar William P Kreml serving as our named placeholder VP candidate!’
The list of nominated Green Party candidates includes:
US President – Jill Stein
Vice President – William P Kreml
US Senate – Scott Summers
Illinois Comptroller – Tim Curtin
Illinois Comptroller nominee Tim Curtin addressed the Illinois Green convention saying, “Most important is why both parties refuse to act. The answer is simple. They refuse to pass a tax on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange because both parties are funded by, and beholden to, big business. We should explain that what is happening in our state is not true democracy. No one has asked the people what they want. Our mission must be to educate the public that only the Green Party can help restore true democracy because we do not accept corporation contributions.”
If there was one surprise after this week’s Illinois Primary, it was the result of the Green Party’s contested race for US Representative in the 5th Congressional District. Party insider Rob Sherman defeated Warren Grimsley for the right to take on US Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) in November. The surprise is that two of the three Green Party chapters covering the 5th District refused to recognize Sherman and the Chicago Sun Times endorsed Grimsley, pointing out that Sherman didn’t even live in the District and wasn’t eligible to hold the office. Despite an active and well-run campaign by Grimsley, Rob Sherman won.
For more information on the Green Party of Illinois, visit ILGP.org.
Libertarian Party Candidates
The Libertarian Party of Illinois also held its annual state nominating convention this past weekend. They too chose their official candidates for US Senate and Illinois Comptroller. But the highlight of the event may have been a debate featuring no less than seven of the candidates seeking the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, the Party’s 2012 nominee, currently has a large lead in polls for the 2016 endorsement.
‘Libertarian Party of Illinois Chair, Lex Green is pleased to announce the results of nominations,’ a Party announcement this weekend began, ‘Claire Ball was chosen Comptroller candidate for the general election in November…For the Senate nomination, a very tight race was won by Kenton McMillen, who is a longtime activist for the Libertarian Party of Illinois.’
The surprise in this race is that the victorious McMillen didn’t seem to wage a noticeable campaign. While his challenger, Chris Michel, waged a hard-fought, active and very high profile campaign. In the end, McMillen defeated Michel in a very tight race 51-49 percent.
2016 Libertarian Party Presidential debate hosted by the Libertarian Party of Illinois.