HD-40: Green Party Pick-Up Opportunity?

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On Twitter, Ben Turner points out that John Maher, the Republican candidate for Auditor General, is actually in exactly the same situation as Eugene DePasquale – running for two different offices, with no Democratic opponent in HD-40.

This would be an excellent opportunity for the PA Green Party, if they were actually interested in getting Green Party members elected. The Green Party candidate would go head to head with the Republican, instead of playing the spoiler role.

In general, I think it would be smarter for the minor parties to put more resources into winning local and state races rather than focusing on these quixotic bids for President, Governor, etc. Especially with the Green Party, wouldn’t it be better to try to win some city council seats? Arguably, party members could do a lot more for the environment at the city or county level, where land use policy gets made.

This entry was posted in Environment.

6 Responses to HD-40: Green Party Pick-Up Opportunity?

  1. Miketivst says:

    The Green Party in PA in the past decade has had the 3rd most elected officeholders of any Green Party in the USA, including some mayorships and city council members.
    Some of the quixotic campaigns you complain about are actually required under current ballot access law. For instance, some states give ballot access to minor parties that run, or run and get a certain percentage in, presidential campaigns. Not running a presidential candidate means not being able to run candidates for city council or other local offices. A minor party cannot put together a successful (in the sense of establishing or maintaining ballot access) presidential campaign focusing solely on a handful of states. When it comes to PA, to maintain minor party status, or achieve major party status, and the rights that those confer, a party needs to run an statewide candidate that receives 1% or 15% respectively of the vote that the top vote earner of the statewide candidates that year. Both of these mean that minor parties need to field presidential and row office candidates for their survival, even if they know their electoral and political effectiveness may lie in the most local of offices.

    If the major parties do not want to spend their resources fighting perceived spoilers, they should make the ballot more accessible.

  2. Miketivst says:

    The Green Party has long had ranked voting in their platform. Ballot fusion is technically illegal in PA, but there are probably ways to get around it.

    • Jon says:

      Surprisingly it’s legal for judicial elections. Nobody uses it though, since it’s not usually clear what the issues are. I’d love to see an anti-blight party form to support local judicial candidates who want to crack down on slumlords.

      • Miketivst says:

        The Greens almost had a fusion judicial candidate in 2007, but there were some crazy filing rules that made the candidate decide to stop pursuing it. I forget what they were, but it was a shame as the candidate had been active with the party.