California’s Green Party and Peace & Freedom Party are pointing to major electoral advances after Tuesday’s primary election that ensured both parties’ ballot status until 2026. Party leaders and candidates credit the historic cooperation between the two parties which created the first-ever Left Unity Slate of statewide candidates and resulted in significantly higher-than-usual vote totals.

In October 2021, PFP and the Green Party endorsed a statewide “Left Unity Slate” of candidates from both parties for the 2022 June primary and did not officially compete for the same offices.

“Those who crafted the Top Two Primary scheme did so with the intention of freezing us out,” said Kevin Akin, Peace & Freedom Party state chair. “Today, as a result of forming the Left Unity Slate, most of our statewide candidates received more than 2% of the vote, enough to ensure ballot status for both parties for another four years.” Some Left Unity Slate candidates performed notably better than this threshold and in some state locales garnered nearly 10%.

“Our left unity approach is needed now more than ever, when the majority of voters are realizing that corporate parties have not met and will not meet the needs of our communities,” said Laura Wells, of the Green Party of California’s Coordinating Committee, adding, “we will continue to build together so we can put real choices on the California ballot.”

Seven of the Left Unity Slate candidates for partisan statewide office mentioned the slate in their statements in the Secretary of State’s Voter Information Guide sent to every voter in the state, and the official endorsements by both parties were printed in the sample ballot pamphlets mailed out by all 58 California counties.

A party’s candidates must secure at least 2% of the vote in at least one statewide race in the gubernatorial primary to secure ballot status for the next four years. According to current figures, three Green Party candidates and three PFP candidates won more than 2% of the vote, so both parties remain on the ballot until at least 2026.

Currently, Laura Wells (of the Green Party), candidate for Controller, is now at 3.5%, and Meghann Adams (Peace & Freedom Party) for Treasurer is at 3.1%.

Other Left Unity candidates to receive at least 2% of the vote include Mohammad Arif (PFP) for Lieutenant Governor at 2.1%, Gary Blenner (GP) for Secretary of State at 2.5%, Dan Kapelovitz (GP) for Attorney General at 2.7%, and Nathalie Hrizi (PFP) for Insurance Commissioner at 2.3%.

Running against considerably wider fields than the other statewide races – the gubernatorial election included 26 candidates, the race for US senate ran 23 – Left Unity candidate for governor Luis J. Rodriguez (GP) has earned 1.3% of the vote and John Thompson Parker (PFP) is at 1.2% for senator.

The Left Unity Slate also included Marco Amaral, a non-partisan candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, who is currently at 7.9% in the vote count.

“We are very encouraged by the Left Unity Slate concept, and we’re pleased that each of our candidates clearly got more votes than they would have if just running as individual candidates,” said Akin.

Added Wells: “We are already exploring other forms of cooperation between our parties and expect this will strengthen both parties and have an impact on California’s politics to benefit the people of our state.”

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The California statewide primary election of March 5, 2024, includes first-round elections for political offices at all levels of government in the leadup to November's general election. Keep up with all the news regarding  Peace & Freedom Party and Left Unity Slate candidates as well as PFP's stands on ballot props and other items on the ballot.

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