Several Key Independence Party Leaders Endorse John Hagelin For Reform Party Nomination
Primary Campaign Begins in Earnest in New York
- NEWS CONFERENCE -
John Hagelin's bid to beat Pat Buchanan for the Reform Party nomination will receive a boost Thursday when state and county several key leaders of the Independence Party of New York appear at a news conference to announce statewide support for Hagelin.
State Chairman Frank MacKay, Independence activist Lenora Fulani, and Manhattan Chair Cathy Stewart, along with Chairs of the Independence Party from Kings, Bronx, Erie, Broome, and Richmond counties, have given their endorsement to John Hagelin in the Reform Party this week to approximately 1 million voters.
Hagelin will hold a press conference Thursday, July 6, in New York at 11:00 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Regency Room, to accept the endorsements and announce his plans to win the Reform Party nomination.
Frank MacKay, who is also the party's Suffolk County chair, said that in the national Reform Party primary "the choice for Independence members is clear. I urge everyone to vote for John Hagelin, our voice for democracy and inclusion."
Two-time independent presidential candidate Lenora Fulani, who resigned last month as co-chair of Buchanan's campaign, citing his efforts to turn the Reform Party into a party of and for social conservatives, noted that "New York's Independents can make a big mark on presidential politics this year by voting for John Hagelin in the Reform Party primary. For us, it's not the big names, but the big vision for democracy and inclusion that counts."
Manhattan County chair Cathy Stewart added, "We'll be working hard over the next few weeks to pull the vote for John Hagelin. We think that the rank-and-file membership of the party will be very responsive to Dr. Hagelin's message of political reform and building a nonideological party that's inclusive."
Approximately one million ballots are being mailed out this week for the month-long primary, targeting three classes of eligible voters: registered members of a Reform Party state affiliate, petition signers who helped one of the independents qualify for ballot access, and any voter who requested a ballot before the June 30 deadline. Voters can submit their ballots by mail or email until August 9. The winner will be announced August 11, at the Reform Party's national nominating convention being held in Long Beach, California. eBallot, a company based in Seattle, Washington, is administering the balloting process.
The Reform Party nominating committee met this week and certified John Hagelin and Pat Buchanan and for the ballot--making them the only two candidates who will appear and ending speculation that Ross Perot would be a late entry into the race.
Hagelin is a Harvard-trained physicist who has worked for eight years building independent party politics as the presidential candidate of the Natural Law Party.
"I am honored by this tremendous show of support from the Independence Party," Hagelin said. "The Independence Party has become a model of inclusivity, openness, and democracy, which deserves to be showcased throughout the country. Independents like Ross Perot and Jesse Ventura carved out a populist vision for this party--a vision I support and one for which the Independence Party has become a model. I plan to travel around the state and reach by direct mail all Independence Party members with my message."
There are 172,000 registered members of the Independence Party of New York, well over half the party's current national registration. Hagelin has also received support from Jim Mangia, national secretary of the Reform Party, and from other national and state leaders throughout the country.
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