By Claire Byun
While the New Orleans Green Party isn’t officially endorsing any candidate for Saturday’s local elections, party organizers did recommend two candidates over the others.
There are five candidates overall for the two special election seats up for grabs Saturday. The first, Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, Division C, has come open from the retirement of Dennis Bagneris. The second race for Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Division B is a replacement for Regina Bartholomew-Woods.
After discussion at their regular meeting Monday, party members voted to recommend Tiffany Chase for Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal and Marie Williams for Orleans Parish Civil District Court.
“We’re not endorsing, just recommending,” Bart Everson, party president, said.
Green Party members sent a questionnaire to each candidate to gauge whose ideas related most closely to party lines. Tiffany Chase, Paula Brown and Marie Williams responded to the questionnaire.
Chase’s answers were deemed more satisfying – and more in line with party ideas – than Brown’s responses, Everson said.
Anika Ofori, party members, said the group’s support isn’t just based on the candidates’ answers. It’s based on their past actions.
“I don’t care what they’re saying, it’s about their record and how they make decisions on the bench,” she said.
The New Orleans Green Party has stopped short of endorsing candidates of other parties for years, but will sometimes offer recommendations to those whose ideals fall most closely in line with Green platforms. Derrick Murray, party member, suggested throwing the party’s weight behind a major candidate “who is already in the game” for future races. Murray said supporting a Democratic candidate would give Green platforms exposure and, possibly, results.
“I think, if the party can keep some things in control, then people who are supposed to be representing us partially might actually represent some of our concerns partially,” he said.
Party member Neil Ranu suggested using candidates to give voice and articulation to social justice issues important to the party. The group could also compel already-elected officials into Green platforms, thus furthering the party’s message.
Both take strategy, communication and work, Ranu said.
To learn more about the New Orleans Green Party, or to get involved, visit their Facebook page.