David vs. Goliath – NY40SD
[Note: Jeff Green is a longtime Green Party member and community activist. He lives in the Town of Kent in Putnam County. When Jeff discovered that Democrat Justin Wagner had filed an Opportunity to Ballot with the Board of Elections – to hijack the Green Party line – he decided to get into the race to protect the independence and integrity of our line , enlisting the help of Greens from around the state in making calls to enrolled Greens in the district urging them to write in his name. The following is a thank you note he sent to us.]
Good morning, all.
I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who helped us last week challenge the ‘Opportunity to Ballot’ Democrat Justin Wagner initiated against our party line in his race against ultra right-wing Republican/Tea Party Senator Greg Ball in the newly formed 40th Senate District in Putnam and Westchester counties in the lower Hudson Valley of New York state.
Not a day after the information became public, Senator Ball launched his own campaign to grab the line using his (non-existent) opposition to hydrofracking as his cause célèbre thinking he could trick Greens into writing his name in on the ballot instead of Justin Wagner’s. We cannot forget that Senator Ball is anti-union, anti marriage equality and anti, well, pretty much everything yet he launched a massive campaign to grab our party line which may prove to have been successful. He is a tenacious campaigner.
On the same day I organized what and how I could in an effort to save the line.
Not having the hundreds of thousands of dollars, paid and volunteer staffs and in-place organization of the Democrats and Republicans, Green (and non-Green!) volunteers from up and down state came together to make more than 250 phone calls to likely Green voters and spread the word via email, social media and personal contacts.
In the end there were roughly 50 write-ins cast, 30+ from Westchester and 13 from Putnam. Westchester counts their write-ins on Tuesday, September 18th and Putnam counts theirs on Friday, September 21st.
While I hold no hope of a win here seeing how we are out-manned, out-gunned and out-funded, the effort was valiant nonetheless and something to be proud of. I do know that both major parties dedicated an entire week to the effort which means that, at least, we scared them silly and made them sweat. What Democrat Wagner thought would be a cake-walk turned out to be a slog through a minefield.
A win would be a miracle. A second place finish would be nice. A third place finish would still be productive as Democrat Wagner will come out of this, win or lose, bloodied and battered by the experience. And if Senator Ball should win it will be fun attending his campaign events thanking him for his support for marriage equality, environmental and economic justice and his support for Jill Stein. I can’t wait to see the faces of his ultra right-wing, gun-toting, Christian fundamentalist supporters when I mention all that.
Best to all and thanks again,