A doctor who ran against Republican US presidential candidate Mitt Romney for Massachusetts governor a decade ago won the chance to challenge him again on Saturday, this time as the Green Party’s presidential nominee.
Jill Stein, 62, an internist from Lexington, Massachusetts, blasted both Romney and US President Barack Obama, saying both had become too dependent on donations from corporations in order to acquire office at the expense of the nation’s citizens.
“We need real public servants who listen to the people — not to the corporate lobbyists that funnel campaign checks into the big war chests,” Stein told applauding supporters at a Holiday Inn in Baltimore, Maryland. “That’s what brought me to the Green Party, the only national party that is not bought and paid for by corporate money.”
Stein acknowledges that her candidacy is a super long shot. Still, she notes that a growing number of people are expressing frustration with the two major political parties and she cites the Occupy Wall Street movement as an example of that.
Stein won 193.5 delegates, compared to 72 for comedienne Roseanne Barr, who did not attend.
Stein hopes the party will qualify for the ballot in at least 40 states, but the total now stands at 21. Stein also notes that the Green Party has qualified for federal matching funds for the first time in its 11-year history.
Stein has been running for office in Massachusetts over the past decade. In the 2002 race against Romney, she only won 3 percent of the vote.
She says she does not worry that even a marginal performance in a single state could tip the scales against US President Barack Obama.
Many viewed Green Party candidate Ralph Nader’s showing in Florida in 2000 as a big factor in Democrat Al Gore’s loss to former Republican US president George W. Bush.
“You don’t get democracy by silencing the voice of the public interest,” Stein said.