Green Party of Texas
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|Chairperson||Laura Palmer & Kat Swift|
|Headquarters||P.O. Box 271080
Houston, Texas 77277
|National affiliation||Green Party|
|Part of a series on|
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (February 2012)|
The Green Party of Texas began to organize a serious, statewide, grassroots effort in the late 1990s. Small, active Green groups existed in large cities throughout the state (particularly Houston, Dallas and Austin) before this time, but Ralph Nader's 2000 campaign helped spur the growth of the Green Party of Texas.
Ballot access was achieved in Texas by the Green Party, which allowed Ralph Nader and the names of statewide and local Green candidates to appear on the ballot alongside Democrats, Republicans, Libertarian and Independents.
The drive in 2000 was achieved using volunteers with a little help from paid petitioners, most of them Greens from other states; over 30,000 of those signatures were collected in the last two weeks alone. The goal for signatures was about 64,000 (based on the gubernatorial election of 1998, including a sizable cushion for invalid signatures); over 76,000 qualified signatures were collected. Three Green Party candidates reached the required 5 percent threshold for one statewide candidate to achieve in order to retain ballot access for 2002 (the highest was Ben Levy for State Supreme Court, who received 9.7 percent with 451,338 votes).
Having retained access to the ballot for this year, the Green Party of Texas fielded 28 candidates to appear on the ballot around the state, in addition to candidates for several local races. None of the statewide candidates achieved the required 5 percent of the vote, so the Green Party lost ballot access for 2004. Of the statewide Green candidates, Lesley Nicole Ramsey got 21.7% with 63,871 votes for State Board of Education, District 10; Ruben Reyes got 1.72% with 77,177 votes for Comptroller of Public Accounts; several candidates for statewide judge seats received votes within that range.
Since ballot access was lost, the Green Party of Texas would have had to gather in well in excess of 45,540 signatures (1% of the votes cast for Governor in 2002) in order to regain ballot access. Instead, the party focused on local elections.
The deadline for petition signature gathering ended after only 75 days for the Green Party of Texas on May 29, 2006. The party did not reach the goal of 75,000 signatures or the legal requirement of 45,540 signatures. The actual number collected, mostly by volunteers, was about 27,000 statewide. This election cycle included competition for signatures from two independent candidates (Kinky Friedman and Carole Strayhorn). Many registered voters had already voted in the primaries, meaning that they could not sign petitions for other candidates; remaining eligible people may have been confused by the fact that they were not allowed to sign a petition for more than one independent, nor for more than one third party, but they could sign one of each. Election laws differ widely between states, adding to possible voter confusion.
While they did not gain ballot access, the Green Party was required by the Texas Secretary of State to have declared by January 2 what candidates it would have run for which races if it had gained ballot access. The party announced candidates in about 22 statewide and local races. The highest offices its candidates would have sought were governor and a U.S. Senate seat. Charles Waterbury was a write in candidate for Texas Supreme Court. A number of local offices were also sought, including a county commissioner's seat in Bexar County, Texas. Further information can be found at TXGreens.org.
The Green Party's efforts to get its candidates on the ballot for the 2010 elections was challenged when it was revealed that the Green Party's petition drive had been funded by corporate interests linked to Republican operatives. Republican operatives linked to the reelection campaign of Governor Rick Perry helped to fund the signature drive for ballot access. A court challenge resulted in the Green Party candidates being allowed to remain on the ballot, and the near 92,000 signatures gathered in support of the Green Party from registered Texas voters were validated.
2010 and 2012 elections
In 2010, in the election for Comptroller of Public Accounts, Ed Lindsay received more than 6 percent of the vote, which allows the Green Party to stay on the ballot for the Presidential election in Texas in 2012.
In 2012, the Green Party of Texas ran a record number of candidates. Including for "President (Jill Stein), U.S. Senate (David Collins), Supreme Court of Texas (Charles Waterbury for Place 4 and Jim Chisholm for Place 6), and railroad commissioner (Chris Kennedy for the post normally renewed this cycle and Josh Wendel for the unexpired term), as well as 13 U.S. House candidates, 13 Texas House candidates, two Texas Senate candidates, and nominees for more than a half dozen other positions."
The following are known elected Green Party officeholders in Texas.
- David Lanman, Mayor, Marfa
- Bob Brewer, City Council, Ward 5, Alpine
- George Rice, Water Board, Bexar County
Presidential nominee results
|1996||Ralph Nader (write-in)||4,810 (0.09%)|
|2000||Ralph Nader||137,994 (2.15%)|
|2004||David Cobb (write-in)||1,014 (<0.01%)|
|2008||Cynthia McKinney||909 (0.01%)|
|2012||Jill Stein||24,657 (0.31%)|
- Haenschen, Katherine (11 June 2010). "Top Perry Political Consultant Linked to Green Party Petition Scam". Burnt Orange Report. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- Slater, Wayne (25 June 2010). "Circle of Perry associates grows in the Green Party scandal". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- Alexander, Kate (24 June 2010). "Former Perry aide paid for aborted Green Party petition effort". Austin American Statesman. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- Bustillo, Miguel (15 June 2010). "Texas Democrats Sue After Green Party Secures Ballot Spot". The Wall Street Journal.
- Hamilton, Reeve (2 July 2010). "Green Party Candidates Allowed on Texas Ballot For Now". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- "The 2012 election and the future of the Texas Green Party". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- "Greens holding elected office - US". US Green Party. Retrieved 2010-09-04.