|National Co-Chair of the |
Socialist Party USA
October 26, 2013 – October 18, 2015
Serving with Stephanie Cholensky
|Preceded by||Billy Wharton|
|Succeeded by||Pat Noble|
|National Vice Chair of the |
Socialist Party USA
October 15, 2011 – October 26, 2013
Serving with Stephanie Gussin
|Preceded by||Jim Sanders|
|Succeeded by||John Strinka|
|State Chair of the |
Socialist Party of California
June 25, 2011 – February 1, 2017
|Preceded by||Office created|
|Succeeded by||Lynn Lomibao & Amanda Riggle (as State Co-Chairs)|
October 30, 1974
Reading, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||June 28, 2020 (aged 45)|
|Alma mater||Troy University|
Emidio "Mimi" Soltysik (// soll-TISS-ik; October 30, 1974 – June 28, 2020) was an American socialist political activist for the Socialist Party USA. He was the party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election alongside Angela Nicole Walker, who was the party's vice-presidential nominee.
From October 2013 to October 2015, Soltysik served as national co-chair of the Socialist Party USA. Prior to that, he served as national vice chair from 2011 to 2013. Soltysik also served as state chair of the Socialist Party of California from its chartering in 2011 to 2017.
Emidio Soltysik was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. After high school he became a professional musician until his mid-thirties. Speaking of that period, he said in an interview: "I was incredibly self destructive, self absorbed, and almost entirely focused on instant gratification. By the time I reached my early 30s, I felt as if I had bottomed out. Substance abuse had taken a heavy toll on my health, both physically and mentally, and I found myself in a position where I was essentially starting from scratch."
Soltysik then returned to higher education and graduated from Troy University and then went on to earn an MPA degree at California State University, Northridge. He later said "I came to the conclusion that, if the first half of my life was spent tearing humanity down, the second half of my life would be dedicated to making a substantive difference." On June 28, 2020, Soltysik died after a prolonged struggle with liver cancer.
In 2014, Soltysik was one of eight candidates in the primary for California's 62nd State Assembly district. Under California's nonpartisan blanket primary system, the top two candidates from the primary, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Soltysik finished in 7th place with 2.5% of the vote.
In October 2015, Soltysik filed a Federal lawsuit against the California Secretary of State because he had been required to list "Party Preference: None" on the 2014 primary ballot; the California election law allows candidates to list only a party preference of a qualified party or "None" on the ballot, and the Socialist Party was not a qualified party in California.
2016 presidential campaign
On October 17, 2015, the Socialist Party USA's national convention nominated Soltysik for president and Angela Nicole Walker for vice president. The party did not have automatic ballot access in any state.
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