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There has been some discussion on social media recently about the co-chair elections for the Green Party of Colorado.  This is an election for an interim replacement to fill a vacancy that was created when one of the co-chairs resigned in October.  Co-chairs serve for two years, and the current/former co-chairs were initially elected on August 29, 2015.  The new interim co-chair will serve out the term ending some time around the end of August 2017.

According to our state party bylaws, section 5.8, “If a Green Party of Colorado officer’s position is vacated in between official state meetings, the Council or both co-chairs in agreement may make a temporary appointment in the manner as specified in the Procedures and Guidelines until the next state meeting under consultation with each local.”

Since there was only one co-chair left after the former co-chair’s resignation, rules of basic democracy demand that the decision be made by the state council.  The state council’s major decisions are made via proposal in our online forum.  State council members are chosen by their local chapters, and each recognized chapter may have up to 4 members on the council.  State party officers are considered at-large members.

The vote is being taken using “ranked choice voting,” or what we call the “solution to the spoiler effect.”  Council members are ranking the three candidates, by order of preference,  who have been nominated, on a scale from 1 to 3.  Council members do not have to rank all candidates, however.

If you are a registered Green and accepted into our online forum, you can observe the vote and discussion here. Only council members may vote or discuss, however.

The three candidates are, in reverse alphabetical order:

  •  Robert Worthey, recent candidate for U.S. Congress
  • Arn Menconi, recent candidate for U.S. Senate
  • Dave Bell, immediate past chair of the Poudre Valley Green Party (Fort Collins)

Dave Bell was the only candidate to send in a statement about his candidacy for co-chair, and his statement is as follows:

As humbled as I am to receive it, I have chosen to accept the nomination for interim State Co-Chair of the Green Party of Colorado. I believe that it is the right thing to do because I believe that this party deserves a dedicated, long time Green who believes in all of the 10 key values, and wants to see this party become a viable political force in Colorado and the US.

To start, I would like to state that I want the Green Party to be seen as an autonomous political force and that the clearest path forward I see is organizing and party building outside of major election years. I believe that the only way this party will be successful in changing the society that we live in for the better is to effectively analyze and tenaciously act upon the challenges that we face individually and collectively.

During my time as the chair of the Poudre Valley Green party, I helped to reactivate and mobilize a diverse group of dedicated local Greens. With the help of my fantastic team here, we saw registered Greens rise in Larimer County by about 45%. We helped to organize a few very successful GP events, including a panel held at Colorado State University in April of 2016 as well as a 4th of July party that gave exposure to around 150 people for our candidates. We also organized the August 27th rally for Jill Stein in Fort Collins that had upwards of 400 people attending, and raised $1,700 for the Jill Stein campaign on site.

My goals:
• Establish and maintain monthly leadership meetings with Co-Chairs from all chapters to facilitate more communication and collaboration between locals.
• Implement candidate vetting and support systems that focus on the ability to win races.
• Fundraising that will support the following:
• Keep the state party financially healthy so that we can continue to gain access to and use up to date party building tools such as Nation Builder.
• Paid positions for campaign/volunteer coordinators and campaign start up funding that will decrease the burden on candidates especially at the beginning of their campaigns.
• Build stronger relationships with social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock, Veterans For Peace, PFLAG, etc.
• Work to increase voter registrations to 50,000+ voters in the next two years to give our state candidates debate access.
• Work to increase membership in Green locals throughout the state.
• Work to bring more locals online.
• Continue to organize around the various issues that exist around the state.
• Workers Rights
• Immigration
• Homelessness
• Fracking/Environment
• Health Care
• etc.

In closing, I believe that the Green Party is the only hope for true political change in the United States. Because of that, I believe it is our responsibility to continue the work to change the system that adversely affects so many people here and around the world. I believe that we can accomplish these goals and that we are already on the right track. How ever this interim election shakes out, I look forward to working with each and every one of you to make the Green Party of Colorado a flagship for the National Party. With that, I ask for your vote!

We will announce the winner when the vote ends at midnight on Tuesday, November 22, 2016.