President of the United States—updated
According to Green Party Watch, here is the Texas delegation to the Presidential Nominating Convention:
Jill Stein: 15
SKCM Curry: 3
Darryl Cherney: 2
Kent Mesplay: 2
Bill Kreml: 1
The win for Stein continues a nationwide pattern: Among states that have had their primary elections, caucuses, or conventions, Stein has won all of them. Unless something changes radically in the next three months, she will likely be nominated resoundingly on the first ballot in August.
David Wager, longtime treasurer for the Harris County and Texas Greens, reports that all the candidates for the various state offices had their nominations confirmed:
Railroad Commissioner: Martina Salinas
Supreme Court, place 3: Rodolfo Rivera Muñoz
Supreme Court, place 5: Charles Waterbury
Supreme Court, place 9: Jim Chisolm
Court of Criminal Appeals, place 2: Adam "Bulletproof" King Blackwell Reposa
Court of Criminal Appeals, place 5: Judith Sanders-Castro
Those were the only candidates who registered to run for those positions. GPTX has a history of fielding only one candidate per office, whose only opposition is None of the Above.
At Sunday's annual meeting, the delegates elected Laura Palmer of Harris County to another two-year term as co-chair. She will continue to serve along with Dallas County's Aaron Renaud, who was elected at last year's meeting. Also elected to the SEC:
Secretary: katija assata gruene, formerly known as kat swift (Bexar)
Treasurer: David Wager (Harris)
Members at-large: Antonio Diaz (Bexar), Wesson Gaige (Denton), Ona Marie Hendricks (Dallas)
The following resolutions passed at the meeting:
- In order to support fair elections, the HCGP requests that the State Executive Committee review range voting for elections to public offices.
- The HCGP requests that the Green Party of Texas State Executive Committee review the bylaws related to binding votes from the precinct being carried forward, to ensure that this procedure reflects in practice the intent of the GP-TX membership in making the related bylaw amendments in 2015.
- The GP-TX shall request of the State of Texas Legislature the crafting of laws to implement emergency provisions for the cancellation and rescheduling of primaries and party conventions.
The last of these resolutions was inspired directly by an occurrence last month. State law called for non-primary parties like the Greens to have their precinct caucuses on a specific date: This year, it was Tuesday 8 March, one week after the Texas Primary. Due to the small number of caucus-goers—even in our largest counties like Harris, Dallas, Bexar, Tarrant, Travis, and El Paso—county Green Parties hold their precinct conventions in one central location, rather than in voters' home precincts.
Well, on 8 March, Greater Houston had some downpours and high winds that made it dangerous to travel into central Houston from our far-flung suburbs. At the next session of the Legislature in 2017, GPTX will lobby for changes to the State Election Code permitting party organizations to postpone caucuses and conventions.
Imagine if one of the major parties could not get together to conduct business on a specified date due to inclement weather. Imagine Republican delegates from Lubbock or Texarkana or McAllen unable to get to Houston because of canceled flights. Do you think the Secretary of State would allow some wiggle room on those convention dates?
Pinning Hopes on Martina
Now begins the true campaign season in Texas. At the risk of repeating some earlier posts, let's break things down a little.
- In order for the Greens to retain its spot on the Texas ballot for 2018, one of its candidates for statewide office must receive 5% of the vote this November.
- The Texas Democrats have fielded candidates for all seven statewide offices up for election this year. (There is a place on the Court of Criminal Appeals for which the Greens did not find a candidate.)
- In recent elections, the Democrats have left some holes that made it easier for Green candidates to get that all-important 5%. Without a Democrat in the race, Judith Sanders-Castro eclipsed the 10% mark in 2014 in her CCA race.
- With a Democrat in the race, only one Green statewide candidate other than Ralph Nader has taken more than 2% in Texas. That candidate was Martina Salinas, when she ran for a different seat on the Railroad Commission in 2014. She received 2.03%, just fewer than 94,000 votes.
- Candidates for judicial positions usually do not campaign very actively in Texas.
- Texas Greens will have to bust their butts campaigning for Salinas and the presidential nominee in order to elevate the Party's profile in the state and get that 5%.
- Otherwise, in 2018, the Greens will be back to hitting the streets to collect signatures on petitions. That can be loads of fun, but it can also be frustrating and exhausting.
My sincere hope is that Martina Salinas will rise to this challenge. Even while working full-time, she did some great weekend campaigning in 2014, especially in the Rio Grande Valley. Part of rising to the challenge will be creating a website, through which the voting public can get acquainted with Salinas, and with her positions. At this time, she has...a Facebook page.