Illinios Green for Governor, 2010

To the list of states with promising third party or independent candidates running for governor, we may add Illinois, where Rich Whitney has announced that he will seek the office on the Green Party Ticket. Though Whitney is considered a long shot, if he garners more than five percent of the vote, as the state's mandatory minimum ballot access laws dictate, the Greens will remain an "established" party and have one fewer hoop to jump through in the next election cycle. Whitney ran for governor in 2006, and received more than ten percent of the vote, but was soundly defeated by the now disgraced Democrat Rod Blagojevich. Mike Riopell has some more details and context on Whitney's bid for governor:
Rich Whitney announced Wednesday he is making another bid to be Illinois governor in 2010 as a member of the Green Party. It's the Carbondale attorney's second attempt at the office. In 2006, he surprised many observers and captured more than 10 percent of the state vote, falling behind Democrat Rod Blagojevich, who won re-election, and the Republican challenger, then-state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka. Whitney rode what was considered to be a wave a general dissatisfaction with the two candidates and state government in general. Now, with controversy swirling around the state budget and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's arrest and removal from office, Whitney told reporters 2010 could be similar, if not better, for the Greens. "I have to think people are going to be ready for a substantial change in 2010," Whitney said. The 2010 election will be an important one for Whitney and the Illinois Greens. Whitney needs to get 5 percent of the vote for the party to remain an "established" one in Illinois, meaning Greens can get their names on ballots for other state offices more easily. His 10 percent tally in 2006 meant the Green Party was able to easily put up candidates for Congress and the Illinois General Assembly in the 2008 election. None won, but the party will work this weekend on a slate of candidates for the state's top jobs and U.S. Senate.

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