Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor in New York state, likes the position he's in after looking at the results from this week’s gubernatorial primary.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo won with 60 percent of the Democrat vote, while a third of the vote went to liberal Fordham Law School Professor Zephyr Teachout. Hawkins figures that leaves him as the only option for progressives in the fall election.
A UPS worker from Syracuse, Hawkins believes the primary results highlight Cuomo’s weakness among progressive Democrats, saying it validates his reason to run this fall.
"Voters want an alternative to Andrew Cuomo, that they’ve rejected his policies, and I think it’s good news for my campaign,” Hawkins said.
He says progressives are not happy with Cuomo on a number issues, including the controversial gas drilling process known as hydrofracking, a living wage and tax cuts for the rich, as well as corruption. He believes he’s the best place for Teachout supporters to go to in the general election.
“I like where I’m sitting," Hawkins said. "I think we can really fight in this campaign and make it a debate, and change at least the political discussion in the state, if not who ultimately wins.”
Hawkins is also asking Teachout for her support in the general election.
"I’m really going to work hard to get the people who voted for her to vote for me," he explained. "I think if there’s an anti-Cuomo vote, I’m the anti-Cuomo vote. If there’s a progressive vote, I’m the last progressive vote on the ballot.”
He says he figures if he can get the voters who pulled a lever for Teachout to commit to him, he would have a chance to win.
“It’s a long shot, sure," Hawkins said. "He’s got $40 million dollars, at least, and I’m approaching $80,000, so do the math. It’s a perfect metaphor for the one percent and the 99 percent. I'm candidate 99 percent, he’s governor one percent. I think a lot of people in the 99 percent are going to vote for what they want and maybe not get it, than vote for what they don’t want and get it.”