The Green Party established itself today as the third major party in New York State with its highest vote ever for statewide office.
The 5 percent vote garnered by the Green gubernatorial ticket of Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones is a four-fold increase over the Green Party's 1.3 percent vote in 2010. The Greens move up to Row D from Row F on the ballot.
The Greens, like the Democrats and Republicans, achieved their ballot status by running their own candidates. The minor parties established their ballot status by riding on the coattails of major party candidates they cross-endorsed.
“We will use tonight's big Green vote to move our progressive agenda. We will continue our campaigns to ban fracking and make New York a world leader in clean energy, fully fund public schools, enact single-payer healthcare, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and pass a full public campaign financing bill,” Hawkins said.
“We will run more and more local candidates, building the party even stronger—from the grassroots up. And if Cuomo opens New York to hydrofracking—as we expect he will—we will demand that the legislature ban fracking and run candidates against legislators who don’t vote for the ban,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins noted that the Democrats rule New York cities with little competition from Republicans and the Republicans rule rural areas with little competition from Democrats.
“The Green Party is now the third major party in statewide elections, but it will be the second major party in the cities and rural areas because we will provide electoral competition to incumbents where little now exists,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins said the Greens will run in local elections across the state in 2015 and in state legislative elections in 2016, where one-third of state legislators ran unopposed this year.
“The Green Party will focus in the coming weeks and months on strengthening its local branches to build up its grassroots base for upcoming issue and electoral campaigns,” Hawkins said.