Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Green Party submits petitions to qualify for Texas ballot

*As a Democratic precinct chair I cannot -- and do not -- endorse or support any of the Green Party candidates.

There were no TV cameras Monday in front of the Texas Secretary of State's office building south of the Capitol. No crowd of cheering supporters. But statewide coordinator Kat Swift with the Green Party of Texas says the dozen or so boxes filled with signed petitions spoke louder than a roaring crowd.

Swift: "And we have with us 93,000 petitions roughly of Texas voters, who did not vote in the primary, who want to see the Green Party on the ballot."

That's more than double the 44,000 signatures needed to get a political party on the Texas ballot.


Beyond that, it costs real money -- from $100,000 to $500,000 to pay a company to collect the signatures. That's where the Free and Equal Elections Foundation stepped in. Christina Tobin is founder and chair of the non-partisan foundation.

Tobin: "What we do is we gather signatures for candidates nationwide across the political spectrum. From Greens to Libertarians to Constitution to disenfranchised Democrats and Republicans."

And in Texas, the group also helped the Green Party raise the money needed to pay for the signature collection. Richard Winger edits the website Ballot Access News, a clearing house for information from across the country. He says Texas is considered one of the five hardest states to get on the ballot, basing his claim on the 2008 presidential election.


Meanwhile, the Secretary of State's office says it will validate the signatures and have an official ruling of whether the Green party made the statewide ballot sometime in the middle of June.

More from the Independent Political Report:

Assuming they get on the ballot, the list of candidates who will qualify for the ballot is as follows:

Bart Boyce Governor
Deb Shafto Governor
Herb Gonzales, Jr Lieutenant Governor
Edward Lindsay Comptroller of Public Accounts
Art Browning Railroad Commissioner
Jim Howe US Congress, District 11
Ed Scharf US Congress, District 23
Paul Cardwell State Board of Education, District 9
Ryan Seward State Representative, District 94
Joel West State Representative, District 144
Don Cook County Clerk, Harris County
Roger Baker County Clerk, Travis County
Earl Lyons County Clerk, Bexar County
kat swift County Commissioner, Pct 2, Bexar County
Chuck Robinson Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Place 1, Bexar County
Joy Vidheecharoen-Glatz Justice of the Peace, Pct 3, Dallas County
Jeffrey Dale Glatz County Surveyor, Dallas County
Esther Choi County Clerk, Dallas County

Don't miss the comments at that link. Shafto and Cook, you may recall, ran as Houston city council candidates under the Progressive Coalition banner in last November's municipal elections.

Here's a bit from the afore-mentioned Ballot Access News:

This is only the second time that the Texas Green Party has submitted enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. The first time was in 2000, and the party polled enough votes in 2000 so that it was automatically on the ballot as well in 2002. Parties in Texas must poll either 5% for any statewide race, or 2% for Governor. Parties that get 2% for Governor enjoy qualified status for the next four years, but parties that get 5% for any statewide race only gets qualified status for the next two years.

Lastly, our freaky TeaBagger buddy at the Ellis County Observer:

I don’t think the Dallas County surveyor position will hold up, unless the Greens have a hidden secret that the surveyor position was never abolished. And, state law requires that in order for a minor party to be automatically given ballot access after this year, they must score 5 percent in a statewide race. So, the Green Party candidate for Comptroller should easily get that, since Republican Susan Combs only faces Libertarian Mary Ruwart in November. A three-way race for Comptroller should get that coveted 5 percent.

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