January 19, 2010
By ANNA M. TINSLEY
Looking for something a little different this political season?
If so, Green Party of Texas members believe that they’ll be able to provide that.
They know that most Texans are focusing on Republican and Democratic primaries and that no Green Party candidate has been on the state’s ballot since 2002.
But Green members say they hope for a revival in 2010.
They’re fielding 21 candidates in Texas this year, seeking positions ranging from governor, lieutenant governor and comptroller to congressional and legislative posts, state board of education seats and county jobs statewide.
Now they just need 43,991 Texans to sign a petition to get Green candidates on the November ballot. . .
The Green Party of Texas has been around for years but got a boost in a statewide grassroots effort in the late 1990s, promoting "green living," liberty, a clean economy and each generation passing along a clean environment to the next.
Many recall the role that Ralph Nader, then a Green Party candidate, played in the 2000 presidential election.
Some say he was a spoiler that year, winning almost 2.9 million votes and helping tip the race toward then-Texas Republican Gov. George W. Bush and away from Democratic Vice President Al Gore.
"Nader got enough in Florida that he probably made the difference," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "A lot of Democrats blame the Green Party for that to this day."
But the Green Party is seeking a revival in Texas, something that Jillson said is possible. It could be hard, however.
"The Greens see votes go up when the economy is good and people can focus on Green issues," Jillson said. "They need good economic times where people feel comfortable and confident that they can worry about the quality of life and environmental issues in general."
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