Here’s a breakdown from the Secretary of State regarding the filing of the Fitrakis/Rios gubernatorial slate. We filed 1,199 petitions representing 81 of Ohio’s 88 counties. In Franklin County alone, my home, we filed 7,124 signatures. We also filed 1,283 in the Cleveland area (Cuyahoga County) and 757 signatures in the Cincinnati area (Hamilton County). We filed 322 in the Toledo area (Lucas County), Anita Rios’ home, and 163 in the Akron area (Summit County). We also filed 102 in Lorain County and 1071 in the Dayton area (Montgomery County). We did well in the college towns of Athens (Ohio U) with 111 and 244 in Greene County where Antioch College is in Yellow Springs. Major party candidates only have to file 1,000 signatures, but the bipartisan bluster of two effete corporate lapdog parties are in agreement that independents and third party candidates should have to file 5,000 valid signatures.
Overall, we filed 12,295 signatures and the Secretary of State approved 7,853. What these numbers show is that the Green Party has a massive and active grassroots network throughout the state of Ohio, due in no small part to the fact that they stood up for the rights of the voters when the Democratic Party faded away following the 2004 election. The Greens funded and initiated the recount, and my running mate for Lieutenant Governor, Anita Rios, was a plaintiff in many voting rights actions before the court.
Tim Kettler, Green Party candidate for Secretary of State also gained ballot status this week. Kettler was instrumental in forcing Coshocton County to recount all its ballots by hand in 2004, the only county in the state of Ohio to do so.
Once again I want to thank all my signature gatherers and those who signed. We look forward to building a real party of the people. I know some of you are concerned about the Greens playing a spoiler role, so I intend to ask Ted Strickland to drop out of the race, as suggested by blogger Andrew Warner, so a real progressive can run against Blackwell. But here’s another idea: why don’t all the candidates – Democratic, Republican, Green and Libertarian – debate openly in the series of public town hall meetings and let the people decide. Isn’t that what democracy is all about?