Hawkins Demands a Seat in the October 25th Gubernatorial Debate
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party nominee for Governor, called today for Spectrum News to include him and Larry Sharpe, the Libertarian nominee, in the October 25th gubernatorial debate to be held at Pace University in NYC. Both candidates are now running write-in campaigns.
“Both Larry and I won the required number of votes in the 2018 gubernatorial election for our parties’ candidates to be automatically placed on the ballot in the 2022 statewide elections. Just because Governor Cuomo and Democratic Leaders retroactively re-wrote the laws at the height of the COVID crisis in an effort to kill the independent third parties in New York is not a reason for the media to go along with such efforts to suppress democracy. Voters have the right to cast a vote for us this November, and we should be included in the debates, as I was in past gubernatorial elections,” noted Hawkins.
Hawkins added that he and Sharpe should be included in the Oct. 25 debate whether or not the Republican candidate, Lee Zeldin, who has yet to confirm his participation, shows up.
For the first time in 75 years, only two candidates are formally listed on the ballot for Governor. A Zogby poll in April found that 61% of New Yorkers want legislation that “enables third parties to be on the general election ballot.” Another recent poll found that 60% of voters nationally say the nation’s two major political parties are doing a poor job representing their views, and believe a third political party or multiple political parties are necessary in the US. Just 25% said that the two major parties were adequate.
“Democracy is under assault in the US and around the world. The press should be a voice for democracy. Both parties actively engage in voter suppression in ways that advance their electoral chances. Without the Green Party, critical issues such as climate change, universal health care, and income inequality are not being adequately addressed in this election,” added Gloria Mattera, the Green Party state co-chair and the nominee for Lt. Governor.
The Greens noted that candidates have been able to win write-in campaigns in NYS, most recently Bryan Brown last year for Mayor of Buffalo. Former Assemblymember Jack McEneny launched his career by winning a write-in effort for Albany County Legislature.
The Green and Libertarian Parties are continuing their lawsuit in federal court to overturn the NY law effectively killing independent third parties. Two weeks ago a federal judge in a lawsuit brought by the Libertarians struck down a law in Arkansas that increased the number of signatures required to get on the ballot to 3% of the vote totals. NY’s requirement for parties that have lost ballot status to collect 45,000 signatures in six weeks for statewide office is considered the toughest in the United States and one of the most stringent worldwide.
Hawkins noted that the Spectrum’s downstate political news team has been particularly antagonistic towards the Green Party. Hawkins in his 2018 gubernatorial race called for the state to takeover Spectrum as part of his call to create a public broadband utility. Hawkins also noted that ironically, Errol Louis, one of the debate moderators, was previously a Green Party candidate for New York City Council.