Green Party of California Widens Endorsements

PO Box 485, San Francisco, CA 94104                                For Immediate Release: April 25, 2018

Contact: Eric Brooks, 415-756- 8844 Laura Wells, 510-504- 4254 Erik Rydberg, 530-781- 2903


San Francisco, CA – The Green Party of California (GPCA) announced today that for the first time in its three decade history, it has voted to endorse candidates from other parties in statewide elections. GPCA delegates voted by a two-thirds supermajority to allow the Greens to endorse any candidates who do not accept corporate campaign contributions, and who do not belong to a political party that accepts corporate contributions.

In addition to endorsing Green Josh Jones for Governor, the GPCA endorsed non-partisan Gayle McLaughlin for Lieutenant Governor, and four Peace and Freedom Party statewide candidates, John Parker for U.S. Senate, Mary Lou Finley for State Controller, Kevin Akin for State Treasurer, and Nathalie Hrizi for Insurance Commissioner. Akin, who is the current State Chair of the Peace and Freedom Party, said that the endorsements "are very helpful and much appreciated, and should help us get substantial votes in the June 5th Primary. In these times of crisis, working people need to unite to defend themselves and push for peace, against austerity, and to protect our rights.”

“With the so-called Top Two Primary, voters in California were promised more moderate candidates and more competitive races,” said GPCA spokesperson and former Governor candidate Laura Wells. “But instead, voters in November see only candidates who are funded by Super PACs, corporations and billionaires, and often see only two Democratic or two Republican candidates to choose from.”

“Before Top Two, candidates from parties like the Greens, Libertarians, and Peace and Freedom were always on the November ballot,” Wells said, “This kept single-payer health care on the table, in addition to other advancements like living wages, police and prison reform, properly funded schools, free college tuition, and public banks - as well as electoral reforms like ranked choice voting, getting money out of politics, and proportional representation.”

By reaching across party lines, Greens intend to improve the chances for progressives and independents to make it to the November ballot to be heard and elected. Following the 2016 election, with an infusion of former Bernie Sanders organizers, the GPCA has grown by 50% adding 12 new active counties. “This played a role in the expanded endorsements decision.” Wells said, “And several former Sanders supporters are running for office as Greens now.”

Erik Rydberg, a GPCA Spokesperson and former Sanders organizer now running for California Secretary of State, said he learned two key lessons from the 2016 election, “One, that no real change is ever going to come from the Democrats and the Republicans because of the iron fist of corporate control over those parties. And two, that the only way to defeat the corporate parties is for revolutionary electoral movements like the Green and Peace and Freedom parties to join together as a force to be reckoned with.”

Another former Sanders organizer, Green Party candidate for Governor, Josh Jones, pointed to the fact that California is still engaging in oil fracking, a practice widely objected to by California voters. “The politics of the 20 th century are over, and are being replaced by a 21 st century politics of unity to challenge the corporate control and endangerment of every aspect of our lives. Multi-national corporations like Chevron, Shell and BP are working to manipulate our elections and steamroll our environmental laws for shareholder profits. A change in political leadership is an imperative for social and environmental survival.”

The GPCA Standing General Assembly confirmed on Monday, April 15, that the Green Party of California has endorsed the following statewide candidates for the June 2018 primary election:

Governor - Josh Jones, Green Party of California

Lieutenant Governor - Gayle McLaughlin (no party affiliation)

U.S. Senate - John Parker, Peace & Freedom Party

Controller - Mary Lou Finley, Peace & Freedom Party

Insurance Commissioner - Nathalie Hrizi, Peace & Freedom Party

Treasurer - Kevin Akin, Peace & Freedom Party



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