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Howie Hawkins says Green Party has a shot at victory

Ryan Delaney
Howie Hawkins, from Syracuse, is running for governor again as a Green Party candidate.

Green Party politician Howie Hawkins says a third party candidate has a chance to win the governorship.

The left-leaning Working Families Party has endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Democrat running for reelection, but some members of the party weren’t happy with the choice.

Hawkins, a perennial progressive candidate for office, sees that as an opportunity.

"And I think, after this Working Families Party endorsement of Andrew Cuomo, it really opens up the possibility, it’s a long shot, but actually we could win this election," he said.

He says with their endorsement of Cuomo, Working Families lost credibility, but he’d still be open to their support.

Hawkins also says there should be unity on the progressive front.

"The difference between us and Working Families on the long term strategy is they want to elect more Democrats; we want to elect independent progressives," he said. "But we agree on some of the policy issues and even if we have different electoral strategies, we should be together on issues like raising the minimum wage."

Hawkins cites polls saying a union-backed third party candidate could earn more than 20 percent of the vote, which is on par with the Republican Party candidate, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

"Well, I’m a working Teamster with a name," said Hawkins.

The Syracuse native works for UPS.

He ran for governor four years ago and earned enough votes to automatically qualify for the ballot in November.