09 August 2007

Voting Socialist in 2007/2008

Now that it's early August, a good number of socialists have declared candidacies and begun campaigning. While I'm sure there are socialist that I have either failed to get information on, or haven't declared yet, as of now it looks like three socialist parties are putting up candidates around the country this year.

As of now, the best candidate I can find is standing in the Boston city council election, as an at-large candidate. Matt Geary, of Socialist Alternative, is as far as I know the first Soc. Alt. member running as a political candidate outside of the Green Party. His campaign site gives a good listing of platforms and demands, and he gives good focus on youth and students (being only 22 himself.) The only hitch is that since the Boston city council election is non-partisan, Matt will not be listed as a socialist on the ballot, nevertheless Matt does not seem to hide his politics, like some erstwhile socialists do when seeking office in the US. In addition to Socialist Alternative, Matt's campaign has been endorsed by the Boston local of the Socialist Party USA, and the Young People's Socialist League is also considering an endorsement.

The Socialist Workers Party is the second party fielding candidates this year. As usual, it seems, the SWP is fielding the most candidates out of any socialist organisation. While I do have many disagreements with the SWP's politics, not to mention their electoral sectarianism and the fact that they don't seem to publish their campaigns much outside their own newspaper, I do appreciate that they do run candidates. Their candidates are as follows: in Iowa, they're running Diana Newberry for mayor of Des Moines, and Seth Galinsky for at-large Des Moines city council. In Massachusetts, William Estrada is running for Boston at-large Boston city council. Hopefully you can vote for more than one candidate in that election, so that the socialist vote is not split. If not, I'd recommend voting for Matt Geary. In New Jersey, the SWP is putting up Sara Lobman for 29th District state senate and Edward Beck for 29th District state assembly as candidates. And in Pennsylvania, Ryan Scott is running for mayor of Pittsburgh, John Staggs is running for mayor of Philadelphia, and Osborne Hart is running for at-large Philadelphia city council.

The Socialist Party USA unfortunately didn't do so well this year as far as fielding candidates goes. We only had one: Tino Rozzo, running for 1st District New Jersey state senate, and he was challenged off the ballot by a Democratic state assembly candidate. Still, I believe Tino is contesting as a write-in candidate. The SP-USA is, however, thinking forward for 2008. Back in June, we set up a Presidential search committee to look for and encourage SP members (and other socialists) to think about running for president or vice-president on the Socialist Party ballot line. So far, thirteen candidates have declared interest; two of those candidates have only expressed interest in being the vice-presidential candidate, but the eleven others are open for either office. The names of the thirteen, plus contact information and answers to the questionnaire sent out to them (when it becomes available) can be found at the SP's election site: www.vote-socialist.org. In the interest of getting on the ballot in as many states as possible, the SP also hopes to get the endorsement from the Peace and Freedom Party of California, and the Liberty Union Party of Vermont. In addition, one or two people have expressed interest in running for congress on the SP ballot line (such as the person I mentioned in my previous post), so hopefully 2008 will be a better year for us in terms of candidates.

Again, this list isn't final. If I find out about more canididates, I'll post them here too, probably in a final post before the 2007 elections.

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