For Some Massachusetts Candidates, 3 Percent Is The Magic Number 

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Can a political candidate win an election with three percent of the vote?

Probably not. But for some political candidates running for statewide office in Massachusetts, running and reaching the three percent threshold presents an opportunity:  official party status.

To achieve official party status, a party must have a candidate run for statewide office and receive at least 3 percent of the vote. It gives the party the right to have an official statewide primary in the next election cycle. 

And this time around, three parties hope that they can achieve official party status for the 2024 election:  the Libertarian Association of Massachusetts, the Green-Rainbow Party, and the Workers Party of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts currently has only two official political parties:  the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. 

The Libertarian Association last had official party status in the Commonwealth in 2020 but lost it after fielding just one statewide ticket:  Jo Jorgensen for president and Spike Cohen for vice president. Jorgensen got 1.3 percent of the vote, hurting the party’s chances of getting official party status.

However, this year, the Libertarian Association has three chances to regain its official status. 

The Libertarian Association is running a ticket in the governor’s race, an auditor candidate, and a treasurer candidate.

Kevin Reed of Boston is running for governor with Peter Everett of Sherborn as his lieutenant governor candidate. They’re on the ballot alongside the Maura Healey/Kim Driscoll Democratic ticket and the Geoff Diehl/Leah Cole Allen Republican ticket.

The Libertarian Association also has a candidate running for auditor:  Daniel Riek of Yarmouth. He is one of five candidates running for the post, including state Senator Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) and Republican Anthony Amore of Swampscott. And the Libertarian Association has a head-to-head race against incumbent Treasurer Deb Goldberg, a Democrat; Cristina Crawford of Sherborn is the Libertarian candidate in the race.

While the Libertarian candidates are heavy underdogs in their respective races, the party is confident at least one of those candidates will crack the three percent mark. 

“The Libertarian Association of Massachusetts, a state organization with no affiliation to any national party, is excited to earn major party status in the Bay State,” Crawford, who also serves as the party treasurer, told NewBostonPost in an email message. “My fellow candidates and I are proud to represent this independent coalition of activists fighting for liberty.”

The Libertarian Association of Massachusetts is a right-of-center political party that advocates for much smaller government.

Like the Libertarian Association, the Green-Rainbow Party also lost official party status in 2020; it did so because the presidential ticket topped by Howie Hawkins mustered just 0.5 percent of the vote; the Green-Rainbow Party didn’t run any other statewide candidates in 2020.

This year is different, however. The Green-Rainbow Party is running two statewide candidates:  Juan Sanchez of Holyoke for Secretary of the Commonwealth and Gloria Caballero-Roca of Holyoke for Auditor.

Sanchez is running against incumbent Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin, a Democrat, as well as Republican Rayla Campbell of Whitman.

And Caballero-Roca is in a five-candidate race for Auditor; five candidates, each representing a separate party, are running.

The Green-Rainbow Party is a left-wing party that advocates for environmentalism and progressivism. 

“For a representative democracy to function for the people, we must have political parties that represent the will of the people,” Green-Rainbow Party co-chairman Mike Pascucci told NewBostonPost in an email message. “In a system governed by the Democratic and Republican parties, third parties are regularly sidelined from fully participating in the democratic process through high hurdles to ballot access. Keeping third parties marginalized doesn’t serve the cause of democracy as it limits the choices voters have to represent their interests.”

The Workers Party of Massachusetts is trying to achieve official party status for the first time this year.

Registered as a political designation in the winter of 2021, the Workers Party of Massachusetts is a socialist political party.

It is running three candidates for office in the 2022 midterm election including one for statewide office. Nick Giannone of Weymouth, who founded the party, is running for Auditor. He is one of five candidates seeking the post. 

Early voting in Massachusetts ran from October 22 to November 4. However, election day is Tuesday, November 8.

The Workers Party of Massachusetts could not be reached for comment on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday this week. 


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