Greens will have a chance to win the New Jersey governorship in November. Ohio will have the same opportunity to vote in a Green governor in 2018.
After a high profile 2016 presidential campaign, running candidates for governor over the next two years might keep momentum going for the Green Party.
New Jersey Greens are running Seth Kaper-Dale as a 2017 candidate for governor.
Kaper-Dale is a high profile pastor and social justice advocate. He "has a well organized campaign," according to national Greens Media Director, Mr. Scott McLarty.
"The attention the [Kaper-Dale] campaign brings, makes his competition important," McLarty said in comments for IVN.
Kaper-Dale has had extensive media coverage in religious publications, and major news outlets, for his social advocacy. His work building homes for young adults who have aged out of foster care was featured in, among others, PBS's Religion and Ethics Weekly.
The New York Times ran an article on Kaper-Dale's extraordinary achievements protecting immigrants rights, and getting ICE to look more compassionately at individual cases.
A peer in his work, Amy Gottlieb, immigrant rights director of the American Friends Service Committee, called his accomplishment "amazing" in the NYT article. She's quoted in the piece saying:
“One, you just never believe that ICE is going to work with you on anything, given the history, and given the intensive arrest efforts for the last two or three years, it’s hard to believe that people are ready to recognize that every single case has a human angle.”
Kaper-Dale's work in these areas, and others, like prison reform and LGBTQ rights, have been featured in dozens of high-profile outlets including NPR, the Huffington Post, and the New Republic, as well as several mainstream media news outlets like Fox, ABC, and NBC.
Jill Stein, the Green's 2016 presidential candidate calls Kaper-Dale's race, "a breakthrough moment for Greens everywhere," and called Mr. Kaper-Dale a "social justice giant."
Though Greens hope that such a high-profile community member can bring in the limelight, Nate Fishman, Kaper-Dale's operations director, says that though he has gotten a lot of attention for his social justice work, "the corporate media is blocking attention" for his candidacy, and separating his advocacy from his party status.
In 2018, Greens will run Constance Gadell-Newton Esq. for Governor, in Ohio. According to the Ohio Greens, Gadell-Newton started her career prosecuting war criminals in the Hague, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Gadell-Newton is currently a co-chair of the Ohio Green Party, and defense attorney in Columbus.
She is running on typical Green issues: justice reform, immigrant rights, universal healthcare, and fair wages. She also adds protecting gun rights to her list of concerns.
Running candidates for governor brings a lot of attention, says McLarty.
"We have had candidates running for governor before, and some have done very well," he said in his interview.
For example, McLarty offered, the Howie Hawkins campaign in New York. Hawkins did not win, but he garnered 50,000 votes, enough to gain the Greens party status in New York until 2020.
Even when they don't win, said McLarty, having candidates run for governor brings visibility to the Greens, and can bring in the numbers they need for a more established party status in the US.
After a blockbuster campaign season for ballot access in 2016, having two high profile campaigns might help carry the Greens momentum into the next few elections.
Photo retrieved from Global Greens.