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Wisconsin Green Congressional candidate Chester Todd is running for a cause

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Racine, WI – In the heart of Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district, a new motto has emerged for the upcoming election cycle – “This time I’m voting Green Party.”

The man behind this slogan, Chester Todd, seeks to challenge the political establishment with a congressional campaign rooted in the Green Party’s principles of peace, environmental stewardship, and social justice.


Chester’s journey is not one of privilege but of struggle and resilience. His life, marked by personal battles against racism and discrimination, shaped his worldview and his political convictions. Growing up, the sting of systemic racism was a daily reality for Chester. He explained, “Racism back then was really blatant here in Racine. There was an old saying in the Black community: ‘The dos for them are the don’ts for us.’ That meant that white people – whatever they do, that meant we really couldn’t do that.”

From an early age, Chester recognized the burdens that pervasive, systemic racism placed on his parents.

“I watched my stepdad, who, in order to buy a home for us – he had to take an enormous amount of BS,” he shared. “Even today I get emotional thinking about everything that he had to take in his life to just make sure me and my mom made it.”

After a stint in the Navy as a young adult, Chester returned to Racine to work at Webster Electric, a manufacturing company that produced communication equipment such as amplifiers and intercoms. Chester’s stepfather worked there, and it was a goal of Chester’s to work alongside him. He encountered racism on the job almost immediately. “Second day in, I saw a white guy walk over and pat my dad on the head, you know, like he was a dog,” he said. “And of course my father – my stepdad, I call him my father – he took it because he had to sup- you know, he had to take care of us.”

Chester’s journey is not one of privilege but of struggle and resilience. His life, marked by personal battles against racism and discrimination, shaped his worldview and his political convictions ….. Chester’s story is more than a political campaign; it’s a narrative of a man who turned his pain into purpose and adversity into empathy.

Chester recalled other experiences: from feeling the sense of alienation that came along with being the only Black man stationed on his ship during his Navy days, to facing discrimination in the Racine community. He described going out to local bars as a young adult and finding out that bartenders would break and throw away the glasses he drank out of. “There’s a whole lot of things that just are pent up inside of you. I think each and every Black person walking has that stuff,” he remarked. “We keep it inside.”

Ultimately, experiencing a life marked by discrimination became too difficult to bear, leading Chester to turn drugs to numb his emotions. “If I could shoot some heroin, I could sleep half the day away. I didn’t have to deal with it,” he recalled. “I had 30 years of shooting dope, dropping dope – I was just a drug addict.” Still, Chester takes accountability for the choices he made during that time. “I made some real bad choices in my life trying to cope with the racism, but I didn’t know any other way,” he reflected. “I’m not gonna say it [racism] made me a drug addict, but drugs certainly helped release the pressure.”

Chester eventually overcame his heroin addiction, earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Carthage College and a master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. In his work as a counselor, he used his experiences and expertise to mentor and teach others. He became an advocate for the marginalized and an outspoken activist for social justice in the Racine community.

Wisconsin Green Congressional candidate Chester Todd gathers signatures to qualify for the November 2024 General Election ballot www.chestertodd.org/nomination-papers

Now, as he steps into the political arena, Chester carries with him a lifetime of experiences as well as the voices of those who have been silenced. As a result, his platform is heavily focused on environmental and social justice.

His policy positions include advocating for an end to the Palestinian genocide, demanding reparations for historically oppressed groups, and calling for legislative action to mitigate the effects of climate change. He stands firm in the belief that healthcare is a human right and education is the gateway to a brighter future.

Since announcing his candidacy in March of this year, Chester’s campaign has rapidly gained momentum – and support. “We have a fantastic campaign team,” said Campaign Manager Pete Karas, a former three-term Green member of the Racine Common Council himself. “We are pleased to have a core staff of skilled and passionate activists working on this campaign and helping to spread Chester’s message. It’s exciting and energizing.”

Chester’s story is more than a political campaign; it’s a narrative of a man who turned his pain into purpose and adversity into empathy. He is not just running for office; he is running for a cause, for a district that he believes deserves better. His campaign slogan, “This time I’m voting Green Party,” is a call to action, a plea for voters to break away from the two-party system that he argues has failed them.

“We need an honest, common-sense, people-powered approach to repair our broken system.” Chester writes on his campaign website. “Together we can create a better and more just America.”
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For more about Chester Todd’s Wisconsin Green Congressional campaign, visit www.chestertodd.org and follow www.twitter.com/ChesterToddW

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