In Poughkeepsie, Green Party candidates detail 'progressive' platform, hopes in election

In Poughkeepsie, Green Party candidates detail 'progressive' platform, hopes in election

by Jack Howland

The Green Party gubernatorial candidate's platform — calling for a bold approach to tackling issues like climate change and soaring healthcare costs — should interest many mid-Hudson Valley residents, he said.

“I think we’re standing with the people,” Howie Hawkins said Thursday, standing at Victor C. Waryas Park in the City of Poughkeepsie. “And even if they don’t consider themselves a lefty, or a progressive, or a socialist, or a liberal, they’re going to like where we stand on the issues... So, I think the sky’s the limit.”

Hawkins, a Syracuse resident who finished third in the 2014 gubernatorial race, said his goal in November's election is clearly stated in his campaign slogan: Demand More. That includes pushing the state to commit to working toward 100 percent clean energy by 2030.

Addressing climate change is among the campaign’s keynote issues, and Hawkins talked about the need for a “Green New Deal” to revitalize the economy by focusing on clean energy initiatives. He also voiced his support for a single-payer healthcare system.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is the Republican candidate for governor. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is running against actress Cynthia Nixon for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Hawkins said Cuomo and Nixon have failed to commit to an aggressive clean energy plan.

Green Party comptroller candidate Mark Dunlea, of Rensselaer County, said his campaign has "one particular goal, and that is to get the state to divest from fossil fuels. ... Whoever gets elected the new comptroller should be committed to divestment.”

Hawkins said he hopes he can challenge the major party candidates for the governorship.

“In terms of the vote goal, I’ll tell you, I think the conservatives are within our sight,” he said of the 2018 race. “When we get past the primaries... we’re going to be the only progressives standing.”

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