Monday, April 23, 2012

Cynthia McKinney Running For US House on Green Party Ticket

Atlanta Progressive News

Former US Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) is planning to run for Georgia's 4th US Congressional seat as a member of the Green Party, the candidate told Atlanta Progressive News.

McKinney is planning to attempt to gather all of some 18,860 petition signatures, which are required under Georgia's extremely restrictive ballot access laws for independent and minor party candidates.
Georgia currently requires independent and minor party candidates for non-statewide offices such as US House District seats to gather signatures from five percent of the registered voters in the District.  In the 4th District, 18,860 signatures are five percent of the 377,189 registered voters in the District.
As previously reported by APN, numerous candidates have attempted in previous years but failed to gain the number of required signatures in Georgia.

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McKinney is running for her old US Congress seat, which she held from 1992 to 2002, and again from 2004 to 2006.

US Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) has held the seat since defeating McKinney in the Democratic Primary Run-off in 2006.

With the Georgia legislature having just redistricted Georgia's US Congressional districts following the 2010 US Census, the new District 4 now contains more Black voters than it recently did, a demographic shift that may benefit McKinney.

The 4th Congressional District is now 57 percent Black.

The new District 4 contains about two-thirds of DeKalb County including Stone Mountain and Scottdale; the southern part of Gwinnett County including Lilburn, Mountain Park, and Snellville; the northeast part of Newton County including Covington, Oxford, and Porterdale; and all of Rockdale County, including Conyers and Lakeview Estates.

In 2006, McKinney was criticized by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper and other corporate media outlets after an incident in which she was approached from behind by a Capitol Hill police officer who did not recognize her.  A police report stated she struck the officer, but McKinney was never charged.

McKinney nearly won the Democratic Primary in 2006 with 47.1 percent of the vote to Hank Johnson's 44.4 percent.  A third candidate received 8.5 percent.

Johnson defeated McKinney, however, in the Run-off, with 59 percent to McKinney's 41 percent.
Johnson faced no challenger in 2008.

In 2008, Faye Coffield, a private investigator and former assistant to McKinney, attempted to gain ballot access as an independent, in order to run against US Rep. Johnson.

However, Coffield was not able to gain a sufficient number of signatures.

Coffield later sued the State of Georgia over its ballot access laws.  As previously reported by APN, the courts ruled that Coffield failed to show sufficient evidence regarding the number of other candidates, besides herself, who had also tried and failed to gain ballot access in Georgia.
In 2010, Johnson faced former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones and former DeKalb Commissioner Connie Stokes in the Democratic Primary, but defeated both.  Jones also defeated Liz Carter, a Republican, in the General Election, in the heavily Democratic-leaning District.

Johnson has struggled with health issues in recent years after a lengthy battle with Hepatitis C.
Johnson has also faced his own media criticism after he suggested during a Congressional hearing that the island of Guam might capsize.  It was meant to be was a figure of speech, but some in the media did not seem to appreciate the humor.

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