For a long time, Benicia has been in a congressional district that is colored blue on the electoral map. Jason Kishineff, an American Canyon resident, is hoping to turn it green.
Kishineff, a stay at home father and former pharmacy technician, is challenging Rep. Mike Thompson’s seat. He has lived in American Canyon for the past eight years and lived in Benicia for seven years prior to that. Previously a registered Democrat, Kishineff supported Bernie Sanders in his run for president in 2016. When it became clear the senator would not secure the nomination, he moved over to the Green Party.
“I couldn’t be a Democrat anymore,” he said. “The Democrats just looked too corrupt to me, so I went with the party that most closely represented my beliefs.”
“It’s a very similar platform,” he added. “If anything, the Green Party is more pacifistic.”
Kishineff does not take corporate money, which he says is one thing that sets him apart from Thompson.
“I’m in this to kick corporate money out of our political system so that we can pass an agenda that’s supported by the people,” he said. “Mike Thompson is taking corporate money and passing an agenda that is not necessarily supported by all the people. I think if the people knew some of his voting record, he wouldn’t do so well.”
“He is a nice guy, I understand, and that’s what people see,” he added.
Among the issues Kishineff supports are universal health care, a livable minimum wage, ending Citizens United, stopping for-profit wars and moving to 100 percent renewable energy, including more electric vehicles.
“Somebody’s got to save this planet, and it’s not gonna be people who take money from oil companies,” he said.
Another top priority for Kishineff is reforming the election system, including removing laws that suppress voters, instating an automatic voter registration system for when individuals turn 18, mandating paper ballots and reforming the debate process so that third parties can have more access to participate.
“Only two mainstream voices are allowed to be heard in most of this country,” he said. “Right now, we have a debate commission that’s run by two Republicans and two Democrats, and they have no problem agreeing to stricter rules that keep out Libertarians, Greens and other third parties. It used to be 4 percent of the average polling numbers would get you on the debate stage until Jesse Ventura won governor of Minnesota, then they made it 15 percent. Now it’s impossible. You can’t get 15 percent polling numbers without getting your voice out there.”