Illinois Green Party Sets Sights On Fall Election
Now that Illinois’ two major political parties have candidates for this fall, the state Green Party is trying to make waves with a list of its own, with candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and secretary of state.
The party announced its slate of candidate for statewide office over the weekend, and is starting a petition drive to get on November ballots.
State Green Party Chair Rich Whitney said voters are being told the state has no choice but to cut pensions and funding for schools through a regressive tax system.
But he admitted his party is still feeling its way through the campaign:
“There’s no path that’s laid out for us," Whitney said. "We don’t know what the right formula for success is, but I have to say that in modern times, what the Green Party is doing now represents the best chance of breaking through the two-party duopoly that we’ve seen in decades.”
Whitney said there was improvement for his party in recent years, placing two candidates on the ballot for Congressional seats, and getting some elected at the local level, including a Carbondale City Council member.
University of Illinois Political Science Professor Brian Gaines said it’s unlikely the Greens have much of an impact on the ballot, but could influence what major party candidates talk about.
“Not that the other candidates pay a great deal of attention to them, but if they’re shrewd about the way they pick the issues, and they pick their issues cleverly, then sometimes they can force the issue onto the main party candidates’ agenda," he said.
Gaines expects the Greens to finish with 1-to-3 percent of the vote this November. The Greens also want a progressive income tax, and a statewide ban on fracking.