Run for Office
The Green Party of Allegheny County is now accepting applications for Green candidates in the 2019 municipal general election!
A guide to the offices available and ballot access requirements is now available here.
Green candidates do not run in the primary election, but instead run in the general election only. To run as a Green, you cannot be a candidate in the primary election and must be a registered Green by 30 days before the primary election. Please Contact Us if you have questions or would like to apply!
Some offices have modest time and financial requirements and are an easy way to get involved in government. If interested or you have any questions, please Contact Us.
Contact Green Wave to get Started!
The "Green Wave" committee is the state-wide effort by the Green Party of Pennsylvania and local Green Party chapters to build local parties and recruit and assist Green Party candidates in running for office.
The Green Wave website has further information on running for office, such as resources about which offices are up for election each year and where to go to learn more about state and federal campaign finance law. We encourage you to check it out if you have any questions about your campaign!
2019 is a municipal (local) election year, meaning city and county offices are generally available to run (but may depend on the district you live in). For more information on the offices and what is required to run, please check out the Green Wave Guide to Municipal Offices. A list of incumbents and ballot access requirements in Allegheny County is also available.
To get started as a new candidate, please fill out the form on our Contact Us page and indicate you would like more information about running.
Candidates with experience running for office that are ready to apply for the Green Endorsement can directly fill out our Candidate Questionnaire Form.
Why Run for Office?
While activism and direct community efforts can often effect the change we want to see, many issues require more formal backing to solve. For example, laws may need to be changed, or we may wish to fund projects through taxes.
Why run as a Green?
Running as a Green party candidate brings several benefits.
First, Greens all around the country run on a unified vision of the 10 Key Values and are free to speak their minds about Green issues and solutions since the party refuses corporate sponsorship and is a truly independent, grassroots party. Running as a Green helps educate voters about the worldwide Green movement and solutions to the issues facing us. In fact, many voters already know about the Green Party and what our values are; we often get many positive compliments while petitioning for ballot access! Your campaign can excite and energize voters and volunteers and help build the party as an alternative to the two-party system.
Second, since Greens do not participate in the primaries, Green candidates may focus all of their energy on the general election in November rather than the primaries in early spring. You effectively get an extra 6 months of campaigning compared to primary candidates, giving more time to reach more voters. Plus, due to Pennsylvania's closed primary system, if you ran as a major party candidate in the primary, you could be excluding voters from other parties and independent voters that would vote for you if they could. There is the potential to pick up many more votes from these independent voters in the general election and win with a real coalition of community support.
Third, the Green Party is recognized as a "minor party" under PA state law, which entitles us to certain ballot access protections that other third party or independent candidates may not get. We can offer lower petition signature counts for statewide offices, and are allowed to nominate candidates for any vacancies or special elections that occur.
How do I run?
The exact details depend on the office you are seeking, but generally speaking it only takes a few forms and a small fee (some local offices are free to file though!) to become an official candidate on the ballot.
To get started, consider the following:
- What is the message of your campaign? Think about issues affecting the community that you would like to see addressed. What level of government is most appropriate to deal with those issues? For example, improving your local school district is most likely best handled at a local level, while pollution, fracking and climate change might be best dealt with at a state or federal level.
- What's your time and money commitment? Depending on what your message is, next consider how much time you intend to devote to the campaign. Some offices might require less time and money, but may not get as much media attention if raising awareness is a major goal of your campaign. Also consider what happens if you win the election: would you have time to perform your elected duties? Most local offices only require a couple meetings per month in the evening after work, whereas state or federal representatives are expected to serve full-time.
- Does your message fit well with the Green Party? Take a look at our Platform and 10 Key Values to determine if you'd feel comfortable running as a Green Party candidate. We require all of our candidates to be registered with the Green Party before receiving the nomination. State law typically requires you to be registered a Green at least 30 days prior to the primary election that year, too.
Once you've answered these questions and determined you'd like to run as Green, the next steps are typically the following:
- Contact Us, and let us know you're interested in running of office. If you're not sure which one, let us know you're undecided and we'll help talk you through the options.
- Ensure you meet the requirements for the office you seek. Some offices require that you have lived in the district for so many years, or be above a certain age, for example.
- We'll provide you with a Candidate Questionnaire form and then schedule an opportunity to speak with Green Party representatives about details of your run. Your questionnaire and interview information will be shared with our members. Party members will then vote on your endorsement for the Green nomination.
- If approved by the local and/or state party, you must sign a Candidate Agreement agreeing to uphold the 10 Key Values and support the Green Party platform during your campaigning and while in office if elected, and agree to run a grassroots campaign that refuses all corporate and super PAC money. The Green Party will then provide you with a signed statement of nomination to include with your paperwork.
- Now that you are endorsed, you may petition for ballot access by gathering signatures from registered voters in the district your are running for. Your nomination papers are filed with the county and/or state and/or Federal Election Commission (FEC) prior to August 1st. Signatures are not needed if you are a special election candidate.
- You are now an official candidate on the ballot and can continue campaigning for office until November! Be aware of any campaign finance laws and report your fundraising and expenditure activities as necessary to the appropriate government office.
Most local offices have low ballot access and time requirements and do not require much, if any, money to run and campaign. We encourage everyone to consider at least running for local office, especially those with no prior experience. Local office is a great way to give back to your community and advance the Green Party platform. However, there are also county, state, and federal offices, all of them doable if you are interested! Talk with us about your ideas.