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POINTING OUT Another opponent for Nixon and Cuomo

POINTING OUT Another opponent for Nixon and Cuomo

Newsday (Opinion), April 20, 2018

By Lane Filler

As New York’s Working Families Party tries to figure out its general election endgame regarding its endorsement of Cynthia Nixon if she, as expected, loses the Democratic nomination to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, it has become certain there will be another left-leaning candidate on the ballot.

Howie Hawkins has again thrown his oft-tossed hat in the ring. Hawkins was the Green Party candidate for governor in 2010 and 2014, and last week he kicked off his 2018 campaign.

He’s not going to win, but he can take the moral high ground. The electorally pristine Green Party does not allow any candidate to use both its line and a major-party one. That means party leaders can’t trade off the ballot line for jobs and influence, as do the Conservative and Independence parties.

Hawkins is for real, and he has a platform. He impressed in the legendary 2010 gubernatorial six-way cage match debate that also featured Jimmy “The Rent Is Too Damn High” McMillan, and, by garnering 59,906 votes, Hawkins regained automatic ballot status for his party. Then, in 2014, Hawkins brought home 184,419 votes, a statistically significant showing that vaulted the Greens past the WFP and the Independence Party and into fourth position on the ballot.

The current conversation centers on whether Nixon, if she loses the Democratic primary, could allow a Republican to win if her WFP line pulls liberal votes away from Cuomo in November. It’s unclear how Nixon could get off the WFP line.

Meanwhile, though, Hawkins will provide a third-party liberal to vote for — one who pulled more than 5 percent support last time out. That’s a big win for liberal purists — and at least a small one for state GOP head Edward Cox, too.

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