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Green Party selects Jill Stein for presidential run

A third-party candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Jill Stein easily won the Green Party nomination and will appear with running mate Cheri Honkala on ballots in 21 states.
A third-party candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Jill Stein easily won the Green Party nomination and will appear with running mate Cheri Honkala on ballots in 21 states.(Laura-Chase McGehee/Associated Press)

Lexington physician Jill Stein was nominated for president by the Green Party of the United States at its national convention Saturday in ­Baltimore.

A third-party candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Stein easily won the Green Party nomination and will appear with running mate Cheri Honkala on ballots in 21 states. Green Party officials said they hope to increase that to 45 states by November.

Stein acknowledged in a phone interview that she is the underdog candidate in the presidential race, but said that her campaign will resonate with Americans who feel that the two-party system is not representing their interests.

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“I think we have underdog voters, these days,” said Stein, 62. “We have underdog citizens. The 99% is the underdog. It’s not a bad position to be in.”

She received 193.5 out of 294 delegate votes Saturday, or about 66 percent, to win the nomination. Among Stein’s competitors for the nomination was comedian Roseanne Barr, but by the time of the convention it was clear that Stein would win easily, said Scott McLarty, a media coordinator for the Green Party.

“Dr. Stein, first of all, is enormously intelligent, and she articulates the platform of the Green Party of the United States very well,” McLarty said in a phone interview from the convention Saturday. “The United States desperately needs another party. We need a party that represents Main Street ­instead of Wall Street.”

This is the first time a Green candidate has qualified for federal matching funds, said McLarty. The party first gained federal recognition in 2001.

Stein supports the party’s Green New Deal, which outlines ideas to “create 25 million jobs, end unemployment, and transition the country to a green economy,” according to her website.

“The proposal also guarantees a halt to foreclosures and evictions, tuition-free public ­education from preschool through college, and Medicare for all, and an end to corporate domination of democracy,” accord­ing to her website.

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Stein said she plans on running a traditional campaign, traveling around the country talking to voters. While her campaign does not have money to buy major television spots, she said, she will use social ­media to help draw Americans disenchanted with the current state of politics.

“The message is propagating itself,” she said. “People are very hungry for what we are talking about. They’re coming to find us.”

Stein won 3 percent of the vote when she ran for governor in 2002 against eventual winner Mitt Romney, now the ­Republican Party’s nominee for president. She ran as the Green-Rainbow candidate for state representative in 2004, and for secretary of state in 2006.

Honkala is an antipoverty activist who serves as national coordinator for the Poor ­People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, according to Stein’s website.

McLarty rejected the notion that Stein could be a spoiler by siphoning votes from President Obama this November. “We are unable to take any votes away from Mr. Obama, because Mr. Obama doesn’t own any votes but his own,” said McLarty. “It’s important we break away from this two-party system.’’