Green Candidate Lies In Wait

Whitney back for another run for governor

By Steve Rhodes
|  Friday, Nov 13, 2009  |  Updated 1:25 PM CDT
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Green Candidate Lies In Wait

Whitney for Governor

Rich Whitney is the Green Party candidate.

While the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor duke it out in their respective primaries, Green Party candidate Rich Whitney lies in wait.

A Whitney win would be a shocker, but having garnered 10.4 percent of the vote in the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, he's at least a player. Ten percent could easily swing the election one way or another.

Which isn't to say Whitney is in it just to play spoiler.

“I’m looking at 35 percent or more, whatever it takes to win,” he told the Springfield State Journal-Register's Bernard Schoenburg.

That would take something of a miracle, and Whitney, a Carbondale attorney, doesn't exactly have the charisma of successful third-party candidates like former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, but you never know in politics.

"If people aren't fed up with the Democrats and Republicans now, I don't know what it'll take," Whitney said after filing his election papers.

But will the Democrats and Republicans play nice? Whitney still has a "Let Rich Whitney Debate!!!" Facebook page left over from 2006 that he'll probably have to crank up again, though it will likely just be the Democratic nominee standing in the way. The Republican nominee will be happy to see Whitney shave votes from the left.

But Whitney and the Illinois Green Party aren't so easily pegged. Whitney, for example, takes a conservative position on guns and the Second Amendment.

But that's a long ways off. For now, Whitney has the luxury his eventual opponents don't - a little bit of extra time to organize and shepherd resources without having to worry about a primary opponent.

Full Coverage: Illinois Politics

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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