WISCONSINREPORT.COM (03/31/08) - The Wisconsin Green Party members have chosen to support a woman to be the Green Party candidate for President of the United States. Cynthia McKinney received an overwhelming majority of votes cast in the Wisconsin Green Party Presidential Preference Primary during the weekend. McKinney received 79 percent of the Wisconsin Green Party primary votes. Kent Mesplay received 10 percent of the votes. Ralph Nader received 5 percent of the votes as a write in. Nader has been courted to be the Green Party national candidate, however, he is not on the official Green Party primary ballots.
The Wisconsin Green Party Spring Gathering and Presidential Preference Convention was held Sunday, March 30, 2008 at the River Center at the Gruenhagen Conference Center, UW Oshkosh.
Cynthia McKinney received an overwhelming majority of the votes cast in the Wisconsin Green Party Presidential Preference Primary. McKinney received 79 percent of the vote; Kent Mesplay received 10 percent, Write-Ins for Ralph Nader 5 percent, Kat Swift 2 percent, Uncommitted 2 percent, and Jesse Johnson 1 percent.
Nader stated in February, 2008 that he would not seek the Green Party nomination, noting that the Green Party already had four announced primary candidates. Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader also announced at the end of February that Matt Gonzalez, a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, would be his running mate.
Both McKinney and Mesplay campaigned in Wisconsin this past fall.
Wisconsin is allotted 24 delegates to the Green Party of the United States Presidential Nominating Convention, July 10-13, 2008 in Chicago. There, 836 delegates from around the country will determine the Green Party’s nominee for President of the United States.
In Oshkosh Green Party members chose 24 delegates to the national convention representing the ballot results. Nineteen delegates were allotted to Cynthia McKinney, two to Kent Mesplay, one to Ralph Nader, one to Kat Swift, and one for Uncommitted.
Delegates are pledged to vote for the candidates to whom they are allotted for the first round in Chicago. For the second and subsequent rounds, candidates are instructed to vote only for candidates who have agreed to accept the nomination of the Green Party of the United States, and have agreed to run on all Green Party ballot lines.
The Green Party currently has 21 state ballot lines, and is working to obtain more.
“Wisconsin Greens have a lot of respect for the work that McKinney has done in Congress, particularly her persistent opposition to the war, her fight for social justice, and her concern for our environmental health,” said Ronald Hardy, co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party.
Born in Atlanta , Georgia on March 17, 1955, Cynthia McKinney is the daughter of retired nurse, Leola McKinney and one of Atlanta 's first Black law enforcement officers, former Georgia State Representative Billy McKinney.
Education: Cynthia has earned a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California and a Masters of Art in Law and Diplomacy from the prestigious Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
She served as diplomatic fellow at Spellman College, Atlanta, Ga. in 1984 and has served as a faculty member at Clark Atlanta University and Agnes Scott College.
Public Service: Cynthia's debut into public office came in 1988 when she was elected to the Georgia State Legislature. In 1992, Cynthia made history when she became the first African American woman to represent Georgia in the United States House of Representatives.
Cynthia was re-elected to 6 terms in congress between 1992 and 2007.
While in Congress, Cynthia served on the House Armed Services Committee, House International Relations Committee for 10 years where she was the highest-ranking Democrat on the Human Rights Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Budget.
Kent Mesplay was born July 19, 1962, and raised in Papua New Guinea to Lutheran Missionary parents. He was a Green Party primary candidate in 2004. Mesplay is an Air Quality Inspector at the Air Pollution Control District, San Diego, California.