ATPR: Jonathan Pelto, a former member of the Democratic Party who was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1985 to 1995, has announced he will seek the Green Party’s nomination for Congress in Connecticut’s 2nd congressional district. Pelto ran as an independent candidate for Connecticut Governor in 2014 but ultimately failed to collect enough signatures to be placed on the ballot. Pelto received 568 write-in votes, or 0.05% of the total, in the general election. Below is Pelto’s press release from his website, JohnathanPelto.com, announcing his decision:
Below is the press release that was issued this morning. Since my gubernatorial effort in 2014, I’ve learned that the only effective way to get substantive media coverage on the important issues that challenge our state and nation is to be a candidate for office. Since issues like the corporate education reform industry attack on public education and the nation’s unfair tax system that coddles the rich and burdens the middle class deserve far more attention, I have decided to run for Congress under the Green Party banner. Discussing the critical issues we face is the most important step toward educating persuading and mobilizing people to stand up and speak out. Watch for more information and a website soon. Your support and participation would be greatly appreciated.
For Release: For More Information Contact:
July 12, 2016 Jonathan Pelto 860-428-2823
Pelto to run under Green Party Banner for 2nd Congressional District Seat
Long-time education advocate and former State Representative seeks to empower voters with issue agenda
(Storrs, Connecticut) Jonathan Pelto, a public education advocate and former Connecticut state representative, announced that he will run for Congress in Connecticut’s 2ndCongressional District this year as a member of the Green Party. The Green Party’s nominating convention will be held on July 30 at Mansfield Public Library’s Buchanan Auditorium.
“I’m running for Congress as a Green Party candidate because this year’s election is so critical for sustaining the future of our democracy.” Pelto said, “I’m not running against Joe Courtney, whose performance in Congress has been extremely admirable, but to ensure that a variety of key issues are raised in this political campaign cycle. Uncontested and under-contested elections reinforce apathy, and this year, perhaps more than any other in recent memory, we need every voter to understand what is at stake and participate by voting.”
The Connecticut Green Party is the Connecticut affiliate of the Green Party of the United States. Ralph Nader, the Green Party’s Presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000, is from Connecticut and signed Jonathan Pelto’s petition to run for Governor in 2014.
“A Congress that will adopt a fair and equitable tax system that requires large corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share, so that we can pay for vital services and reduce our national debt, is essential for securing the future of our country and create a healthier, safer and more equitable future for all of our citizens” Pelto added.
“In addition to highlighting the importance of an equitable and viable tax system, I will use this campaign to articulate an agenda that stops the privatization of public education and deals with the student debt crisis. Other critical issues include creating a more open and honest government, effective legislation that stops the wealthy from buying political decisions and laws that support, rather than undercut, renewable energy so that we can reduce the devastating effects of climate change. We must also work to convert our defense industry to develop products for commercial markets,” Pelto concluded.
Over the past ten years, Green Party members have been elected to local positions in New Haven, Windham and New London. The Connecticut Green Party holds a ballot line in the 2nd Congressional District, having received at least the required one percent of the vote in every election cycle since 2008.
“Jonathan Pelto is Connecticut’s leading voice on behalf of public education” said New London Board of Education member Mirna Martínez. “His willingness to stand up and speak out on the important issues we face will make him an outstanding candidate. We are looking forward to having him heading our Green Party slate in eastern Connecticut.”
Scott Deshefy, who gained ballot access in 2008 to become the first Green Party candidate to run in the 2nd Congressional District, added, “The Green Party is about educating and persuading voters to become better informed and more active in our democracy. Jonathan Pelto’s candidacy is a major step forward in our effort to reach more voters with our agenda of fairness, equity, social justice and grassroots democracy, which touched off the current progressive movement.”
This year’s race presents an unprecedented an opportunity to raise the visibility of the Green Party and to present sensible and humane solutions to the challenges faced by our country, state, and municipalities
“As Connecticut approaches the critically important 2018 gubernatorial campaign, the party and its Congressional candidate must receive at least one percent of the vote in the 2016 election, in order to maintain ballot access and its minor party status in the 2ndCongressional District. I hope to be able to ensure that the Green Party gets those votes” Pelto said.
Pelto, 55, has long a long record of involvement in Connecticut politics and government. Pelto was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1984, where he served five terms. During his legislature tenure he served in a variety of leadership positions including deputy majority leader of the House. In 2014 Pelto was an unsuccessful petitioning candidate for governor.
Pelto is the founder and coordinator of the Education Bloggers Network, a confederation of more than 240 pro-public education bloggers around the country. For the past six years Pelto has written the Wait, What? Blog, which is purportedly the most read commentary website in Connecticut.