How to get and keep a Green Party presidential nomination

How to get and keep a Green Party presidential nomination

By Jim Witters, Green Party of Delaware

Becoming the Green Party’s presidential nominee is not as simple as de­claring your candidacy and watching the contributions and votes start rolling in.

Tom Yager, co-chair of the national par­ty’s Presidential Candidate Support Com­mittee, explains the process:

When a candidate decides to seek the Green Party’s presidential nomination, the pro­spective candidate contacts the Presiden­tial Campaign Support Committee and fills out a questionnaire, which has questions about the prospective candidate’s views on what the goals of the presidential campaign should be.

The prospective candidate also must pledge in writing to appear on all offered state­wide Green Party ballot lines after receiving the nomination, have a website to pro­mote his or her candidacy, and to not be registered in another political party.

Upon meeting these criteria, the candidate becomes eligible for PCSC recognition after a period of one week, if there are no objections from PCSC members.

To maintain PCSC recognition after December first of the year preceding the presidential election, the candidate must receive verifiable support from 100 Green Party members, including members from at least five state parties. After Dec. 31, it is necessary to establish a campaign committee and file with the Federal Elections Commission to maintain recognition.

After February first of the presidential election year, the candidate needs to raise $5,000 (not including self-financing) to retain recognition. It is possible for the candidate to lose recognition by missing a deadline but regain it by taking the necessary steps at a later date.

Although a presidential candidate can win the nomination without PCSC recognition, it is much more difficult. When determining who will be on the ballot in their presidential preference processes, state parties tend to use the list of candidates who are recognized by the PCSC or have been recognized at some time during the election cycle.

In some states, Green parties are holding state-financed primaries. The law about whether a state Green Party has the right to a state-funded primary varies from state to state. In some states, all ballot-qualified parties have the right to a primary, but in other states, there are different levels of ballot access in which only major parties are permitted to hold state-funded primaries. Other state parties use mail or online primaries of their membership, caucuses, or conventions.

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