Howie Hawkins

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Howie Hawkins
Hawkins in 2018
Personal details
Howard Gresham Hawkins III

(1952-12-08) December 8, 1952 (age 71)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political partyGreen (2001–present)
Socialist (1973–present)
Other political
Greens/Green Party USA (1990s–2019)[a]
EducationDartmouth College
WebsiteOfficial website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service1972–1978

Howard Gresham Hawkins III[1][2] (born December 8, 1952) is an American trade unionist, environmental activist, and perennial candidate from New York. A co-founder of the Green Party of the United States, Hawkins was the party's presidential nominee in the 2020 presidential election. His ideological platform includes enacting an eco-socialist version of the Green New Deal—which he first proposed in 2010—and building a viable, independent working-class political and social movement in opposition to the country's two major political parties, and capitalism in general.[3]

Hawkins has played leading roles in anti-war,[4] anti-nuclear,[5] and pro-worker movements since the 1960s. Hawkins is a retired teamster and construction worker; from 2001 until his retirement in 2017, Hawkins worked the night shift unloading trucks for UPS.[6][7]

Hawkins has ran for numerous political offices on 25 occasions, all of which resulted in losses.[8] He was the Green Party of New York's candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2006. In 2010, Hawkins ran as the Green Party's candidate for Governor of New York, which restored ballot status for the party when it received more than the necessary 50,000 votes. In 2014, Hawkins ran again for the same office and received 5% percent of the vote. Hawkins ran for Mayor of Syracuse in 2017 and received roughly 4% of vote. He then ran a third time for Governor of New York in 2018, but received less than 2% percent of the vote.

Hawkins received 407,068 votes, or 0.2% of the electorate in the 2020 presidential election,[9] receiving nearly a percentage less of the popular vote compared to 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein.[10]

Hawkins ran for Governor of New York in 2022, but since the Green Party only received 32,832 votes in New York in the 2020 election, a far cry of the 130,000 needed, the party lost ballot access and Hawkins ran as an Independent write-in candidate.[11] He failed to win, as the sum of all write-ins only came to 9,290 votes, or 0.2%.[12]

Early life and career[edit]

Hawkins in the 1970 Burlingame High School yearbook

Hawkins was born in San Francisco, California, in 1952, and raised in nearby San Mateo, California.[13][14][15] He grew up in a diverse neighborhood in the city near the Bayshore Freeway, which had seen a large influx of migrants from the southern United States, both black and white: Hawkins has credited his southern-inflected accent as being a result of this.[16] His father was an attorney who was a football and wrestling student-athlete at the University of Chicago and served in the counter-intelligence unit for the U.S. Army's Manhattan Project during World War II.[13][14] He became politically active at the age of 12, when he saw how the multiracial Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party was denied recognition at the 1964 Democratic Convention.[15]

After high school, Hawkins attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He was never granted a degree because he did not complete the foreign language requirement. While at Dartmouth, he founded the Dartmouth Radical Union which opposed Dartmouth's investment in corporations that supported, among other causes, apartheid in South Africa and the Vietnam War. Despite his anti-war activism, he joined the Marine Corps after being drafted in 1972.[17][18] He was never ordered back to active duty after completing boot camp.[5]

That same year Hawkins campaigned for Bernie Sanders, then the Liberty Union Party candidate for senate and governor of Vermont.[19][20] In 1973, Hawkins joined Socialist Party USA, a membership which has continued to the present day.[21] In 1976, Hawkins was one of the co-founders of the Clamshell Alliance which was an anti-nuclear power organization aimed at stopping its use in New England.[19]

Green Party[edit]

In the 1980s Hawkins joined the green movement. In 1988, he and Murray Bookchin founded the Left Green Network "as a radical alternative to U.S. Green liberals", based around the principles of social ecology and libertarian municipalism.[22] In the early 1990s a press conference was held in Washington, D.C., that featured Charles Betz, Joni Whitmore, Hilda Mason, and Howie Hawkins to announce the formation of the Greens/Green Party USA.[23] Later in December 1999, Mike Feinstein and Hawkins wrote the Plan for a Single National Green Party which was the plan to organize the ASGP and GPUSA into a single Green Party.[24] A perennial candidate, Hawkins ran in multiple New York Senate and House races.[25] In 2010 he surpassed the 50,000 vote requirement to stay on the ballot in the gubernatorial election and four years later he received enough to move the Green Party line to Row D as he had taken one-third more than the Working Families Party and twice as much as the Independence Party.[26] However, in 2018 he lost 80,000 votes, but retained ballot access and was only lowered one row down to Row E.[27]

In 2012 Hawkins was approached over the possibility of running for the Green Party nomination, but declined due to his employment commitments at UPS forcing him to campaign for offices in New York at most and would interfere with a national campaign.[28] Following Hawkins' retirement he was approached again to run by a draft movement with a public letter addressed to him that was signed by former Green vice presidential nominees Cheri Honkala and Ajamu Baraka, former Green mayoral candidate and Ralph Nader's 2008 running mate Matt Gonzalez, and other prominent Green Party members.[29]

Hawkins was accidentally listed on ballots in Minnesota as the Green Party candidate for vice president, along with Jill Stein for president in the 2016 general election. Although Ajamu Baraka was Stein's running mate on the party's national ticket, Hawkins was inadvertently placed on the Minnesota ballot due to the party using him as a stand-in before the vice-presidential candidate was chosen.[30] With Hawkins listed, the Green Party ticket for President of the United States in Minnesota received nearly 37,000 votes statewide, an increase of 0.82% from the party's previous result in 2012.

Political positions[edit]

In 1993, Hawkins favored anarcho-communism as well as libertarian municipalism, as the "best way of integrating worker's control and community control in a process of social change that ultimately yields in a marketless, moneyless, stateless cooperative commonwealth".[31] Hawkins was also a member of the Industrial Workers of the World.[32]

Hawkins disagrees with the "party-within-the-party" approach to the Democratic Party exercised by organizations such as the Democratic Socialists of America or by individuals such as Bernie Sanders.[33] Instead, he believes that socialists should immediately create an independent left-wing party.[33]

Hawkins became the first politician to include the Green New Deal in their election platform when he ran for Governor of New York in 2010.[34] Hawkins supports the Green Party's version of the Green New Deal that would serve as a transitional plan to a one hundred percent clean, renewable energy by 2030 utilizing a carbon tax, jobs guarantee, free college, single-payer healthcare and a focus on using public programs.[35][36] He self-describes as an eco-socialist and libertarian socialist.[37][38]

New York politics[edit]

Hawkins was the Green Party of New York's candidate for the United States Senate in the state of New York. Hawkins received 55,469 votes in the November 2006 election (during which Hillary Clinton was re-elected), for 1.2% of the total votes cast.[39]

In 2008, Hawkins ran for the United States House of Representatives in New York's 25th congressional district on the Green Populist line. Hawkins won 9,483 votes, losing to Democrat Dan Maffei by 147,892 votes.[40]

Hawkins' Gubernatorial Performance

In May 2010, Hawkins was nominated to run for Governor of New York as the Green Party candidate. His campaign was also supported by the Socialist Party of New York.[41]

On November 2, 2010, Hawkins received nearly 60,000 votes (1.3%), allowing the Green Party of New York to be listed on the ballot for the next four years.[42][43]

In December 2010, Hawkins was named co-chair of the newly recognized Green Party of New York.[44]

Hawkins announced his candidacy for 4th District Common Councilor in Syracuse in September 2011, running as a Green Party candidate.[45][46] His opponent was a Democrat, Khalid Bey. Hawkins received endorsements from the Syracuse Post Standard, UNITE HERE Local 150, and the Greater Syracuse Labor Council.[47][48] Hawkins planned to sponsor resolutions for state tax code reforms to require more from the state's wealthiest, and to share more revenues with cities. He also supported the establishment of a municipal development bank to provide financing for local cooperative businesses and a 0.4% "commuter tax" on the incomes of suburbanites working in the city.[49] Hawkins lost the election to Bey.[50]

On May 20, 2013, Hawkins announced that he would again run for 4th District Common Councilor in Syracuse. His opponent was incumbent Democrat Khalid Bey.[51] On October 16, 2013, Hawkins published a fiscal position paper with mayoral candidate Kevin Bott focused on a new scaled local income tax, and the role of the state in the fiscal crisis in Syracuse. Bott and Hawkins point out that New York revenue sharing with its biggest cities has decreased from the teens to just about one percent since the 1970s.[52][53] Hawkins lost the election to Democrat Bey by a vote of 1,471 to 995.[54]

On April 9, 2014, Hawkins announced his second candidacy for Governor of New York at the LCA Pressroom in Albany, New York. His campaign positions included a "Green New Deal" platform, a "Clean Money" system for public financing of elections, ending New York's role in the national Common Core standards, and a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour from the then-current $8 an hour in New York.[55] Hawkins' running mate for Lt. Governor was New York City educator and union activist Brian Jones.[56] Hawkins and the Green Party received 184,419 votes (4.8% of the vote), which moved the Green Party up to the fourth line on state ballots for the next four years (surpassing the Working Families and Independence parties).[57]

In 2015, Hawkins ran for Syracuse City Auditor against incumbent Marty Masterpole. Hawkins noted that Masterpole had filed only two financial audits, and criticized him for auditing city skating rinks and golf courses while the city suffered from high poverty, failing infrastructure and struggling schools.[58] Former District 2 city councilor Pat Hogan suggested to Hawkins that he should run for auditor, stating, "I'm not turning Green ... I am more concerned about the city than the party. The auditor is supposed to be a watchdog on the city budgets and Marty isn't doing any watching. There's a dearth of independence in city government."[59] Hawkins lost the election, winning 35 percent of the vote.[60]

In 2017, Hawkins ran for Mayor of Syracuse as a Green Party candidate to replace outgoing mayor Stephanie Miner. One of his central campaign points was to restore the Erie Canal through Downtown Syracuse to help aide in the revitalization of the neighborhood, with the belief that 'Cities that capitalize on their waterways tend to have more vibrant downtowns[61]'. Hawkins won 4.1% of the vote (excluding write-ins) and lost to independent Ben Walsh (54.4%, excluding write-ins),[62] the first independent in the city's history.

On April 12, 2018, Hawkins announced his third run for Governor of New York on the Green Party line. Hawkins and running mate Jia Lee received 95,716 votes (1.7%).[63]

2020 presidential campaign[edit]


In 2012 Hawkins was approached over the possibility of running for the Green Party nomination, but declined due to his employment commitments at UPS forcing him to campaign for offices in New York at most and would interfere with a national campaign.[64]

However, following Hawkins' retirement he was approached again to run by a draft movement with a public letter addressed to him that was signed by former Green vice presidential nominees Cheri Honkala and Ajamu Baraka, former Green mayoral candidate and Nader's 2008 running mate Matt Gonzalez, and other prominent Green Party members.[65]


On April 3, 2019, Hawkins announced that he was forming an exploratory committee to prepare for a potential candidacy for the Green Party 2020 presidential nomination and later Hawkins formally launched his campaign on May 28, 2019, in Brooklyn, New York.[66][67][68]

On August 23, 2019, the Hawkins campaign announced they had met the requisite federal matching funds for California and New York.[69] The campaign must receive $5,000 from residents, with no more than $250 counted for each contribution, in at least 20 states to qualify for the funds. Only his campaign and Steve Bullock's applied for primary season matching funds.[70]

On October 26, 2019, Hawkins won the nomination of the Socialist Party USA in his effort to unite smaller left-wing parties together.[71] In November, Hawkins won the nomination of Solidarity.[72][73]

On May 5, 2020, Hawkins selected Angela Walker as his running mate.[74]

On July 11, 2020, Hawkins was chosen as the Green Party's nominee for the 2020 U.S. presidential election. His platform includes the Green New Deal (funded in part by cuts to military spending), Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee, a $20 minimum wage and a guaranteed minimum income.[34]

On November 3, 2020, the results of the election were declared. Hawkins had received 407,068 votes (0.26%) of the popular vote, and 0 electoral votes.[75] This was the third best showing a green party member had received, after Jill Stein and Ralph Nader. Hawkins conceded the election to Joe Biden.

Electoral history[edit]


  • Hawkins, Howard (2006). Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate. Haymarket Books. ISBN 978-1-931859-30-1.
  • Howie, Hawkins (2020). The Case For An Independent Left Party: From The Bottom Up.
  • Howie Hawkins New Politics (magazine)


  1. ^ Prior to being a political party in the early 1990s, The Greens/Green Party USA was a Left–Green activist movement that started in the 1980s. The Greens merged into the Green Party in 2019.


  1. ^ "1975 | Dartmouth Alumni Magazine | December 1976".
  2. ^ "10/2/20: Everything to Know About the Green Party's Presidential Candidate, Howie Hawkins". October 2, 2020.
  3. ^ Hawkins, Howie (April 11, 2006). Independent politics : the Green Party strategy debate. Haymarket Books. ISBN 9781931859301.
  4. ^ "U.S. Vets Lead Civil Disobedience Action at Crestwood to Protest Seneca Lake Gas Storage". January 27, 2016. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  5. ^ a b McKinley, Jesse (October 19, 2018). "0-for-23: An Undeterred Green Party Candidate on His Long Losing Streak". The New York Times. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  6. ^ Baker, Chris (April 3, 2019). "Syracuse's Howie Hawkins mulls a run for president". syracuse. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  7. ^ "It Ain't Easy Being Green". Eugene Weekly. January 9, 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  8. ^ "Syracuse's Howie Hawkins secures Green Party nomination for president". June 23, 2020.
  9. ^ "Official 2020 presidential general election results" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. February 1, 2021. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  10. ^ "Howie Hawkins' commentary on his 2020 campaign". Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  11. ^ "Independent candidates seek voice in New York race for governor".
  12. ^ "New York Governor Midterm Election 2022: Live Results and Updates". Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  13. ^ a b Tribune, Chicago (August 6, 2000). "HAWKINS".
  14. ^ a b "Wrestling, 1939 : Photographic Archive : The University of Chicago".
  15. ^ a b Tarleton, John (October 28, 2014). "Meet Howie Hawkins, the Anti-Cuomo". The Indypendent. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  16. ^ Rizzo, Nicky (November 8, 2010). "Howie Hawkins saves Green Party, loads trucks". Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  17. ^ Sandler, Rachel (2015). "Howie Hawkins runs for city auditor to promote left-wing Green Party policies". The Daily Orange. Syracuse, New York. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  18. ^ "Howie Hawkins: Biographical Profile and Positions on the Issues". Vote-USA. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  19. ^ a b "Howie Hawkins will probably be the Green Party's 2020 nominee". The Economist. March 26, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  20. ^ Muddle, Zac; Hawkins, Howie; Wood, Stephen (November 27, 2019). "Another socialist for US president". Workers Liberty. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  21. ^ "MEET THE NORTH CAROLINA GREEN PARTY'S CANDIDATES FOR 2020". North Carolina Green Party. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
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  26. ^ "Third party's profile rises". November 28, 2014. Archived from the original on November 18, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  27. ^ Breidenbach, Michelle (November 6, 2018). "Howie Hawkins wins enough votes to keep Green Party status in NY". Archived from the original on April 12, 2019. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  28. ^ "Why is Syracuse's Howie Hawkins running for president? 'It's hard to say no' | Eye on NY |". April 10, 2019. Archived from the original on April 10, 2019.
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  30. ^ Pugmire, Tim (August 22, 2016). "MN ballot will show wrong Green Party veep candidate". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  31. ^ Hawkins, Howie (1993). "Community Control, Worker's Control and the Cooperative Commonwealth" (PDF). Society and Nature. 3: 60.
  32. ^ Dunn, Brendan Maslauskas. "Howie Hawkins for 4th District Councilor – Interview by Brendan Maslauskas Dunn". Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  33. ^ a b Hawkins, Howie. "The case for an independent Left party". International Socialist Review. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  34. ^ a b Harding, Robert (July 12, 2020). "Syracuse's Howie Hawkins, a lifelong activist, is Green Party's nominee for president". Auburnpub. Archived from the original on August 24, 2020. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  35. ^ Atkin, Emily (February 22, 2019). "The Democrats Stole the Green Party's Best Idea". The New Republic. Archived from the original on March 1, 2019.
  36. ^ Schroeder, Robert (February 12, 2019). "The 'Green New Deal' isn't really that new". Market Watch. Archived from the original on April 16, 2019.
  37. ^ Solender, Andrew (September 8, 2020). "Third-Party Candidates Played A Major Role In 2016, But 2020 Is A Two-Man Race". Forbes. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  38. ^ PRIMO NUTMEG. Green Party's Howie Hawkins on Anarchism. PRIMO NUTMEG #175. 5-30-19. Retrieved 6-1-21 from:
  39. ^ "C:\Documents and Settings\hhardwick\Desktop\WEBSITE\EOU\2006 STATEWIDE JD GOV BY AD.qpw" (PDF). Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  40. ^ "Results" (PDF). 2008.
  41. ^ Mariani, John. "Socialists back Howie Hawkins' Green bid for governor". June 14, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010. The Syracuse Post Standard, Monday June 14, 2010
  42. ^ "Election 2010: Election Results". The New York Times. Retrieved November 3, 2010. The New York Times
  43. ^ Mariani, John "Howie Hawkins' votes for governor boost Green Party's ballot status". November 3, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2010. The Post Standard, November 3, 2010
  44. ^ Green Party certified as ballot qualified Party in NY; elects statewide officers Archived December 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^ "Howie Hawkins to run for Syracuse Common Council". September 12, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
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  47. ^ "Endorsements". Howie Hawkins. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
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  50. ^ "Khalid Bey declared winner in Syracuse Common Council race after absentees ballots are counted". November 17, 2011.
  51. ^ "Green Party's Howie Hawkins announces race for 4th District Syracuse city council in live chat". May 20, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  52. ^ Delaney, Ryan (October 17, 2013). "Greens call for more state aid and local income tax". Retrieved October 17, 2013.
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  54. ^ Knaus, Tim (November 5, 2013) "Two new faces to join Syracuse Common Council, if results hold." Syracuse Post-Standard. (Retrieved Mar 24, 2013.)
  55. ^ Gormley, Michael (April 9, 2014). "Green Party candidate for NY governor calls for $15-an-hour minimum wage". Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  56. ^ Moody, Richard "Green party solidifies ticket".| accessdate=May 27, 2014
  57. ^ "Results" (PDF). 2014.
  58. ^ Knauss, Tim "Race for Syracuse city auditor heats up: Are 4 audits a year enough?". October 9, 2015. , October 9, 2015
  59. ^ Shepperd, Walt "Green Wants to Watch City's Greenbacks". October 14, 2015. Syracuse New Times , October 14, 2015
  60. ^ O'Brien, John (November 3, 2015) "Syracuse auditor: Marty Masterpole beats Howie Hawkins." (Retrieved 11-15-2015).
  61. ^ "Let's bring back the Erie Canal: 5 policies Howie Hawkins proposes to fix Syracuse". syracuse. October 31, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  62. ^ "Election 2017: Results for Syracuse mayor, other Onondaga County races". syracuse. November 8, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  63. ^ "NYS Board of Elections Unofficial Election Night Results". Archived from the original on November 20, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  64. ^ "Why is Syracuse's Howie Hawkins running for president? 'It's hard to say no'". April 9, 2019. Archived from the original on April 10, 2019.
  65. ^ "Sign On: Greens And Allies Urge Howie Hawkins To Seek Presidential Nomination". March 29, 2019. Archived from the original on April 2, 2019.
  66. ^, Robert Harding. "Howie Hawkins, Syracuse resident, exploring run for Green Party presidential nod". Auburn Citizen. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  67. ^ "Howie Hawkins for President Exploratory Committee – A Green Ecosocialist for President". March 29, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  68. ^ "Howie Hawkins will seek Green nomination for president". Times Union. May 28, 2019. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  69. ^ Hawkins, Howie [@HowieHawkins20] (August 23, 2019). "Thank you, @cagreenparty" (Tweet). Retrieved August 26, 2019 – via Twitter.
  70. ^ Winger, Richard (September 30, 2019). "Montana Governor Steve Bullock Will Apply for Primary Season Matching Funds". Ballot Access News. Archived from the original on October 2, 2019. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  71. ^ "Howie Hawkins wins Socialist Party USA nomination for 2020 presidential race". October 28, 2019. Archived from the original on November 4, 2019. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  72. ^ "Howie Hawkins for President". Solidarity. October 31, 2019.
  73. ^ Socialist Party USA [@SPofUSA] (October 26, 2019). "The Socialist Party is excited to announce Howie Hawkins as its presidential nominee for the 2020 election!" (Tweet). Retrieved October 26, 2019 – via Twitter.
  74. ^ Saturn, William (May 5, 2020). "Howie Hawkins Announces Running Mate". Independent Political Report. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  75. ^ Multiple Authors, Multiple Authors (November 3, 2022). ""U.S. Elections for the President, Senate and the House of Representatives"" (PDF). Retrieved November 18, 2022.

External links[edit]

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Preceded by Green nominee for President of the United States
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Preceded by Socialist nominee for President of the United States