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Green for Governor in NY Howie Hawkins nearly triples 2010 vote, places well ahead of Working Families Party

One of the Green Party’s most active and visible campaigns in 2014 was Howie Hawkins’ Green campaign for Governor of New York (with anti-school-privatization activist Brian Jones as his Lt. Governor candidate).  With the results nearly entirely in, he has received about five percent of the vote with almost 175,000 votes.  This is nearly three times the number of votes Hawkins received when he ran for the same position in 2010, and it means that the Greens in New York will retain ballot access and also receive a more favorable ballot position (4th, behind only the Republicans, Democrats, and Conservatives) than they have previously held.

The Green Party’s support was stronger in some counties than others.  In Onondoga County, where Hawkins lives and has almost been elected to Syracuse City Council, the ticket received over 8 percent.  In New York City, they received between 1.9 (in Staten Island) and 7 percent (in Manhattan).  In a handful of counties, they received above 10 and even 15 percent of the vote.  In Tompkins County, Hawkins and Jones received 16.2 percent.  More results are available at the New York Times website.

There had been a large debate in the left-leaning Working Families Party around endorsing the Democrat, incumbent (and now re-elected) Governor Andrew Cuomo, or not.  In the end, despite much dissent and debate, the party voted to endorse him, and they received just over 100,000 votes on their ballot line (in New York, multiple parties can endorse a single candidate).  Cuomo had agreed to several demands of the party in order to receive their endorsement, including campaigning for Democratic State Senate candidates in New York.  He barely lived up to that promise, and even formed a “Women’s Equality Party” as a third ballot line for himself, in order to undermine the Working Families Party.

From the New York Post:

Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins grabbed just 5 percent of the vote — but that was more than any other minor party except for the Conservatives.

As a result, the Greens moved from the sixth spot on the ballot to fourth for the next four years.

That’s important because voters won’t have to search so hard to find their candidate, said political analyst Hank Sheinkopf…

Hawkins said Tuesday night that his party intends to press its agenda — including pressuring legislators to ban fracking.

“We will run more and more local candidates, building the party even stronger — from the grass roots 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.

And more on the Working Families Party from the New York Observer:

But the party fell well short of its minor party rivals. The Conservative Party drew 210,000 votes for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and will retain its current C slot on the ballot. The Green Party ran Mr. Hawkins and pulled almost 165,000 votes in his bid for governor–his party will replace the WFP on Row D and the Working Families Party, to their chagrin, will spend the next four years on Row E of the ballot…

Mr. Cuomo derided the WFP as a “fringe party” last week, comments he later walked back, and seemed to deliberately flout its union backers by promising to take a hard line against teachers and other public servants. Emails sent in support of the party in the final days before the election attacked the governor even as it encouraged people to vote for him on the WFP line.


  1. paulie paulie November 8, 2014

    I don’t know that the LP could actually pull that off

    Maybe we could. No harm in trying.

    However, if LPNY can’t meet the vote test on its own, splitting their next vote total three ways seems like a good way to destroy any chance of earning an LP ballot line.

    Not necessarily. Some people might vote for our candidates based on the party names rather than the candidates themselves. And although Cuomo is a guy, if we run a Woman’s Equality candidate it might help if it was actually a woman.

    BTW, not sure if you are still interested in posting articles for IPR, but we have you signed up.

  2. AndyCraig AndyCraig November 8, 2014

    The idea of the Libertarian candidate also appearing on the ballot as “Woman’s Equality” AND “Stop Common Core” is quite hilarious. I don’t know that the LP could actually pull that off, but the thought is interesting.

    However, if LPNY can’t meet the vote test on its own, splitting their next vote total three ways seems like a good way to destroy any chance of earning an LP ballot line.

  3. paulie paulie November 7, 2014

    Good idea. Go for it!

  4. Eric Sundwall Eric Sundwall November 7, 2014

    I think Libertarian activists ought to attempt to colonize the two new parties. So few people understand the system, we could arguably fill committees and press agendas around the State in small localities especially. Working circles around a couple hacks that the Dems and Repubs will throw some scraps to fill those spots.

  5. Mark Axinn Mark Axinn November 7, 2014


    I agree with most of what you said with this amendment:

    The Independence (not Independent although of course they are playing on that confusion) Party actually sells out to whichever of the two big parties will throw them more breadcumbs. Sometimes they run Repubs and sometimetimes they endorse Dems. For example, Independence endorse Cuomo this year.

    BTW, it looks like we now have two more parasite parties in New York, Women’s Equality (all about Cuomo and nothing to do with women) and Stop Common Core (all about loser Astorino and nothing to do with education).

  6. Alan Weber Alan Weber November 7, 2014

    The WFP are neither in the fusion nor in the leech stage, they are in the sell-out stage. A member came to my door in the last election cycle, assuring me that they were staunch progressives. They were prepared to endorse Teachout for Governor, but Slimeball Cuomo threw them a few breadcrumbs, which were not only lies from which he immediately and mockingly backed away from, but had little to do with progressivism at all. That made the WFP jump from what had seemed like a tacit endorsement of Teachout at the last minute. The WFP is now a stalking horse for the Democratic party like the so-called “Independent” party is for the Republicans. The Greens are now established as the only legitimate alternative independent of corporate and corrupt politics. As most Democrats bump into each other running frantically for “the middle,” as if that will help them, the Greens are sure to grow.

  7. paulie paulie November 6, 2014

    Gene, they are not just stuck in the fusion stage.

    I support fusion nominations when ideologically appropriate.

    Working Families is stuck in the leech stage. They are total parasites, with no backbone at all.


  8. Mark Axinn Mark Axinn November 6, 2014

    Gene, they are not just stuck in the fusion stage.

    I support fusion nominations when ideologically appropriate.

    Working Families is stuck in the leech stage. They are total parasites, with no backbone at all.

    Hearty congratulations to the Green Party, which actually stands for something (albeit communism with which I disagree) unlike Working Families and newly created Women’s Equality parties which are just fronts for corportist Democrats.

  9. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman November 5, 2014

    The Working Families Party was created specifically to take advantage of New York’s multiple nomination system. Their rationale is that people are afraid to vote for a party that has no chance to win; by nominating the Democrat on their line, they give “progressives” a chance to vote for an ideological party without taking a chance that the Republican will win.

    They may evolve beyond this to actually running their own candidates or cross endorsing Green Party nominees. The American Labor Party was created in New York to enable socialists to vote for Franklin D Roosevelt while still opposing the local Democrats. Created in 1936 for just one election, the ALP got ballot status and actively ran its own candidates along with supporting many major party candidates up through 1954 when it finally went off the ballot. The ALP is the inspiration for the WFP, but WFP is still stuck in the “fusion” stage.

  10. Jed Ziggler Jed Ziggler November 5, 2014

    The WFP did run at least one candidate against a Democrat. Kenneth Schaeffer ran against Democrat Charlie Rangel in the 13th U.S. House District.

    The Conservative Party also ran a number of non-fusion U.S. House candidates.

  11. paulie paulie November 5, 2014

    They are more of what Mark Axinn calls a parasite party, just leaching off the Democrats’ gravy train.

  12. Joe Wendt Joe Wendt November 5, 2014

    Perhaps the WFP should consider either nominating their own candidates or endorsing the Greens.

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