Dillon runs in Miss. contest

Dillon runs in Miss. contest

Green seeks governor’s post in Nov.
by Landon W. Huey, Green Party of Mississippi†

Wed 10/01/03†
GreenPages, Vol 7, No.3

While the rest of the nation is largely unaware and most of Mississippi has ignored it, the Green Party of Mississippi, soon to be affiliated with the Green Party of the United States, has presented its first candidate for any office, Sherman Lee Dillon.

Back in January, Dillon commented at a Hinds County Green Party meeting that he might be interested in running for governor.†

Those in attendance perked up and made assurances; some even pledged time and money. At the next meeting, Dillon said he was going to run. Vice-chair for the state party and former Nader organizer Landon W. Huey volunteered to head up the campaign.

News quickly spread, and the party soon endorsed Dillon as their candidate. Along with the party, Dillon is supported in his efforts to become governor by his wife Louise and their seven children: Polly Thornhill, Daniel, Katie Coates, Anna, Margaret, Andrew and Jesse.

Dillon, a lifelong Mississippian who describes himself as a blues musician, discovered the Green Party more than a decade ago while on tour in Germany.

He recalled in an interview with a local alternative paper in Jackson, the Planet Weekly, “I was on tour in Germany, I guess it was ë91. We were on our way to a show and somebody was going to throw a cigarette butt out the car window. Our driver said, ëNo, you don’t do that here. In Germany, we don’t do that. The Green Party is real strong here and you’ll get in big trouble.’

“I thought that was so interesting. Then he said, ëNow, you can go down there and drink out of that stream if you want to. We take care of our environment. It’s the only one we’ve got.’

“I thought that was such a good idea. I came back to America and started looking it up, and I registered as a member of the national party.

“For four or five years, I think I was the only Mississippian in the party. Finally, there were enough of us to organize here.

“We’re registered with the Secretary of State’s office. We’re an official party. We’ve been through all the hoops. It’s not just a fad. From now on there will be a Green candidate for governor.”

Greens across the state are energized by Dillon’s candidacy. They feel that this local musician and teacher is the best choice the state has had in years.

Meagan Jourdan, a college student, wrote to the campaign saying, “Today I registered for the first time as a Mississippi voter. Sherman Lee Dillon is the first candidate who, honestly, has given me the willpower to do so.”†

State chair Janet Rafferty said in a speech that “members of the Green Party of Mississippi are proud to have as their first candidate for governor, a modest and honest man who advocates and lives in light of Green values: Sherman Lee Dillon.”

Dillon is campaigning on a five-plank platform. His number one issue is campaign finance reform. Dillon believes that “special interests have only one thing in mind ó their own welfare, not that of the people. If we change the way elections are funded more citizens would be elected, not politicians.”

If elected, Dillon pledges to present an Arizona style “Citizen’s Clean Election Act” to the Mississippi legislature.†

To demonstrate his resolve, he declared in his candidacy announcement speech, “Personally, I have set a limit on my campaign contributions of $200, and I do not accept donations from corporations.†

“Considering that this race will go down in the history of our state as the most expensive to date, I think that is saying a lot.

“I want this to serve as a message to the people of Mississippi, to let them know that if elected Governor I will be listening to them, not the dollars that propel my competitors into office.”

The four other planks in Dillon’s platform are the Four Pillars of the international Green Party.

Dillon stated in an open letter to the people of Mississippi, on his campaign Web site (www. dillon4gov.com), that “the Democratic and Republican parties have become so reactionary that their goals seem more determined by the other’s actions rather than by any underlying principle or philosophy. The Green Party’s principles, on the other hand, are clear.†

“There are four pillars to the party. The first is social justice ó all people should be treated fairly. The second is grassroots democracy ó everyone should get an equal voice.†

“Thirdly, we are committed to environmental responsibility. We want to give our children the same world that we were given. Lastly, we are dedicated to nonviolence ó to find peaceful means to accomplish our goals and resolve our conflicts.”

Until the California recall, Dillon was the only Green gubernatorial candiate in the nation.

It is his hope that Greens across the nation will lend support to his campaign. Mr. Dillon has promised to campaign in all eighty-two of Mississippi’s counties and to visit every public college and university.

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