Yet another candidate has announced a run for New York governor. Syracuse’s own Howie Hawkins is seeking the Green Party nomination for the state’s top job. Four years ago, Hawkins earned more than 184,000 votes, which he says pushed the state in new directions.
“We got five percent and Governor Cuomo, I think, was compelled to compete for those progressive votes by adopting some of our demands like the ban on fracking, the millionaire’s tax, the $15 minimum wage, paid family leave. Well, we moved policy, and we intend to do the same thing this time.”
Hawkins says this time around it’s not so much about winning, but rather about raising issues like desegregating schools and offering better public services. His slogan is ‘DEMAND MORE,’ and he says if enough working class citizens get out and vote, it can help influence decision making.
“So these are the kinds of reforms we think we can get Cuomo to move and get the whole political system in the state to move. We may not win the office, but we’re going to make a difference in state policy.”
Hawkins isn’t the only candidate running on a progressive platform. Cynthia Nixon is positioning herself as a progressive candidate seeking the Democratic nomination. But Hawkins says he doesn’t think Nixon will win the party’s primary, or run on another party line.
“I would really be surprised if the continue running independently of the Democratic Party because those forces have been submitted to the Democratic Party. Now, if they do want to run independent, while we’ll be competing in the fall, I think then, if they really want an independent party on the left we should get together and figure out how to unify.”
On the republican side, Senator John DeFrancisco and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro are competing for the GOP nomination. Libertarian Larry Sharpe is also in the race.