From Steve Welzer:
I encourage all GPNJ activists and supporters to consider running this year as a Green Party candidate. Petitions to get on the ballot generally require just 50 or 100 signatures, depending on the office sought. That number of signatures can be obtained with about ten or twenty hours of work during the spring (June 3 is the deadline for submission of petition booklets).
It's of great value to have Greens on the ballot at all levels . . . for local office (like township council or school board), county office (like Freeholder), or district office (like House of Representatives). For the relatively small investment of time, it enables us to reach thousands of people with our message.
Some say we should prioritize direct action, issue-oriented work rather than electoralism. But the two are not mutually exclusive. If you don't have time to wage a full campaign it's still of value to get your name on the ballot and "stand for office." That way most of your electoral effort can be limited to the spring petition drive and you can devote the bulk of your time during the rest of the year to issue activism. By appearing on the ballot you at least give voters a chance to vote Green.
On the other hand, it's great if you can run an active campaign. Running a race for local office like township council or school board can, especially, be a serious endeavor geared toward winning and serving in office.
We are not to the point yet where we can often be contenders for higher level offices, but this should not discourage prospective Green candidates. The electorate is aware of the fact that the whole system is stacked against third parties. As we show commitment and endurance we're gaining recognition and respect. Every candidacy helps.
Personally, this year I've committed to running for the House of Representatives in my district, the 12th. The fact that Rush Holt has declared that he's retiring is good news for us because the press tends to take us a little more seriously when there's no shoe-in incumbent running. I look forward to launching my petition drive around April 1. I'll try to hand in 150-200 signatures to the Division of Elections on June 3. I hope others will consider running in their districts so that the Greens can field something of a slate. The petition to run for House of Representatives is available at: