Why should I run as a Green candidate?
Greens believe the duopoly parties will never support our mission to put people, peace, and planet over profit. Though countless astro-turf organizations spring up to offer change, only the Greens have committed clearly in their platform to the people’s issues and to maintaining a ballot line for their advocacy. If you are committed to maintaining this independent voice, and are prepared to demand that this point of view have a place on the ballot, you may be a good Green candidate!
I am interested in running as a Green candidate. What should I do?
Consider what office you might want to run for, its qualifications, potential opponents, and other pertinent details. Review the party platform so that you are aware of any areas of disagreement. If you still feel running as a Green would be a good fit, please complete our Green Screen candidate survey. Hopefully, a member of our candidate development committee will then contact you to further facilitate the candidate recruitment & screening process. GPTX lost ballot access in 2016, but running in non-partisan local elections is still viable.
What do I need to do to become a candidate?
Depending upon the office you wish to seek, you will need to file a candidate application with the appropriate election authority during the legally specified filing period. For the November 2018 general election, the filing period will be Nov-Dec 2017, but county and local elections will operate on different schedules, so please check all details with your local election authority. In addition to filing your candidate application, you will need to appoint a campaign treasurer with the Texas Ethics Commission or your local election authority in order to begin to operate your campaign. Federal candidates are subject to Federal Elections Commission reporting requirements.
As a candidate, what will I need to do?
Beyond your initial campaign treasurer appointment & application, you will need to provide campaign basics such as contact information, website & social media, and basic responsiveness to press and scheduling inquiries. A campaign manager is recommended to help you operate your campaign. You and your treasurer are solely responsible for your campaign.
What support can I expect from the party?
GPTX will operate a Candidate Development Workshop in Fall 2017 to offer guidance from experienced candidates & preparatory support services to potential candidates, to include a headshot picture, assistance with refining messaging, and connection with other party members & resources. Beyond this, GPTX can not promise concrete support. Support drawn from the party will largely be based on the strength of the party in your area, so as candidates the hope is that you will take a leading role in calling Greens in your area together & strengthening the party organization. We need you, to help us, help you!
What about ballot access?
This is key. GPTX must regain ballot access this cycle, so it is important that we have as compelling & engaged a slate of candidates as possible, so that the public can get excited enough to support putting them on the ballot. Beginning with our precinct nominating conventions on March 13, 2018, we have a 75 day window to collect nearly 48,000 validated Green voter signatures. Our best chance of succeeding in this endeavor is to have excellent public participation during the March 13 precinct conventions, and then numerous organized signature gathering teams during the petition period to complete the collection.
Will my name appear on the primary election ballot?
No. In Texas, Greens are a convention nominating party & do not appear on the primary election ballot. In order to support Green Party ballot access, you must save your primary vote to participate in the Green nominating conventions instead. Petition signatures must also be gathered from voters who did not vote in a major party primary. We need you to help make sure a Green nominating convention is held in your county on March 13, 2018 & that a local team is ready to begin collecting signatures.
What does the convention nominating process entail?
The convention nominating process is stipulated in Texas Election Code & GPTX by-laws, but in general terms, Green voters are given an opportunity to approve a slate of candidates on the precinct convention date March 13, 2018. Delegates are elected to subsequent county, district, and state conventions, ultimately resulting in the nomination of our GPTX slate of candidates. GPTX must meet the ballot access signature collection requirement to have this slate of candidates placed on the general election ballot.
Will my name appear on the general election ballot?
If GPTX successfully meets the ballot access signature collection requirement and you are nominated by the convention process, yes. Candidates must choose either to file as independents or to file with the party chair to be included in the party convention nominating process. If filing with the party, the candidate’s placement on the general election ballot will be contingent on the outcome of the party’s convention and ballot access petition process.
What is the role of the Campaign Manager?
•Help organize the campaign
•Help schedule speaking engagements & voter outreach
•Coordinate volunteers (*opportunity for party building)
•Respond to inquiries
•Help with messaging & strategy
Whether filing as an independent or with the party, GPTX needs candidates & campaigns to build party networks & public awareness.
What are some basic campaign activities?
•Seek out Forums & other public speaking opportunities
•Coordinate volunteers & party for voter outreach (block walking, phone banking, literature distribution, event tabling & voter registration*)
•Deliver Green Party message to public
How should candidates interface with and build the Green Party in Texas?
Cooperate to email contacts from GPTX database in their district
Literature (party brochure & 10kv cards to start)
Develop short issues speech
Web/social media presence
Awareness of Texas Ethics Commission or other regulatory reporting requirements
What GPTX can not offer
•No guaranteed financial support
•No guaranteed volunteer support
•No guaranty of successful ballot access
GPTX does not have a local presence in many areas, and so candidates & campaigns must be prepared to become the foundation that local parties form around. Additional training is available for party volunteers on specifics of interfacing with GPTX’s Nationbuilder & other systems.
What is the difference between filing as an Independent candidate and filing with GPTX?
Independent candidates (other than for statewide office) generally require 500 petition signatures. For a non-statewide campaign committed to making it on the ballot, this is an easier target which still allows opportunity to strengthen party networks. Independent candidates can not be legally affiliated with a political party, and so could not participate in the Green convention. Petition signers for independent candidates can not have voted in a primary or convention of a party that nominated a candidate for that office.
Independent candidates for statewide office must meet the same 1% requirement as a party – 47,183 petition signatures.
So any statewide candidate would have to meet the party threshold…
Party ballot access requires the operation of nominating conventions & petition signature collection beginning March 13, 2018.
GPTX will need volunteers to hold nominating conventions in their own counties on March 13, 2018. Precinct & county nominating conventions must be posted publicly in advance, and will need to be held in cooperation with GPTX. So GPTX will need volunteers all across the state to take on that coordination responsibility in their own county. Precinct conventions on 3/13 begin the 75 day period for signature collection, and subsequent county, district, and state conventions must also be held. Voters signing in to participate in GPTX nominating conventions may not have voted in any other party’s primary or convention. Voters signing the ballot access petition may not have voted in any other party’s primary or convention.
Ballot access requires 47,183 verified voter signatures. In addition to collection, voter signatures will also have to be verified & collected together for ultimate submission. In order to safely exceed this threshold, additional signatures will need to be collected, at least 110% submitted 10 days BEFORE the deadline to submit a supplementary petition on the deadline. This substantial administrative task must not be overlooked.
In conclusion, the question of independent vs. party ballot access will depend significantly on prospective candidates.
Whether GPTX regains ballot access is up to you, as prospective candidates, to lead the charge in petition collection & inspiring voter support & building the party through your campaigns.
Disclaimer: Compiled information is drawn from the Texas Secretary of State and Texas Ethics Commission websites as well as state electoral code and is subject to individual verification and/or subsequent correction. No warranty is expressed or implied nor legal advice given. All responsibility related to candidacies will reside with individual candidates and their designated treasurers under the relevant legal jurisdictions.