Howie Hawkins, a perennial Green Party Candidate for office in central New York, is expected to officially jump into the race for governor.
Four years ago, Hawkins, a UPS worker who lives on Syracuse’s South Side, was one of seven candidates for governor, in a race that ultimately put Andrew Cuomo in the governor’s mansion and Hawkins in third. He wants to run again, and is hoping to get a little more respect this time after his showing in 2010.
“Last time I think, especially New York City media, said, 'oh he's an upstate hick' and they totally ignored me," he said.
Hawkins is no stranger to the ballot box; he has run in several races ranging from the Syracuse Common Council to U.S. Senate.
He expects to get the Green Party endorsement as, at this point, he’s the only Green Party member in the state interested in running. So he’s using this time to try to boil down the issues into an easily digestible form for the voters.
“Do I say progressive tax reform? Do I say tax the rich? Those are the kinds of things I’m struggling over how to say it."
Hawkins says he can differentiate himself from the Democrats in New York, where Democrats are the party of choice, by having support beyond the Greens, which includes affected state workers in the Albany area. He believes, while Cuomo is a Democrat, he is center-right on economic issues, and weak on social liberal issues.
"I think a lot of rank-and-file Democrats who are progressive-minded are going to like what we’re saying more so than Cuomo,” he said
Hawkins expects to make an official announcement in the coming weeks.