Germantown no longer has a gubernatorial candidate to call its own.
Paul Glover, a self-described “social entrepreneur” who received the Green Party’s nomination for governor of Pennsylvania earlier this year, has exited the race.
The 66-year-old, who faced longer-than-long odds to become the second governor from Northwest Philadelphia in the 21st century, failed to collect the 17,000 signatures necessary to get on the ballot as a third-party candidate.
The signature imbalance
Speaking to NewsWorks on Monday, three days after the petition deadline passed, Glover reiterated that rules which require Republicans and Democrats to only gather 2,000 signatures left him at a competitive disadvantage.
Having personally collected “several hundred” signatures, he said his statewide “posse” ended up in the 14,000 range by Friday’s deadline.
That included a late push from former Green Party vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala‘s political team in Kensington, he noted.
“They were the biggest boost late in the game, collecting at 50 cents a signature. I was a popular job creator in Kensington,” he said, estimating that that effort drew several thousand signatures. “If we could have hired petition gatherers earlier, it would have been a done deal.
“So, that’s a lesson learned: You’ve got to have money early to be sufficient in a state like Pennsylvania that requires [third-party candidate to get signatures equivalent to] two percent of the number of votes cast in the last election for the highest [vote-garnering candidate]. That total can range anywhere from 17,000 to 70,000.”
He noted that a “voter’s choice amendment” to level that playing field has gotten little-to-no traction in Harrisburg.
Reflecting on his campaign, Glover noted that difficulty getting media attention for events and platform-position announcements translated into problems spreading word about his candidacy in the race versus incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf.
“That’s the Catch-22: In order to gather volunteers, you need money. In order to get money, you need the media,” he said. “We needed to be present publicly so people understood there was a choice besides the [major-party] candidates.
“After attending 200 meetings, responding to nine questionairres and issuing 40 campaign-platform [announcements] and press releases, I admit to discouragement that we were getting no traction. I realized that I would need to begin to refocus my life.”
What’s next for him?
Glover said there are some positives to take from the experience, though. The petition effort helped an estimated 30 Green Party candidates’ efforts to qualify for down-ballot races statewide.
“And, I have enjoyed meeting a lot of people I would not otherwise have met, learning a lot about the state, the people and some issues that I didn’t already understand,” he said. “The Green Party has a great future in Philadelphia because so many needs are neglected by Democrats and Repubicans, and the Greens have an agenda for rebuilding the city to broadly benefit everyone.”
As for the future, Glover said he will continue to work on bringing a statewide dental co-op to Pennsylvania as well as convincing Eighth District City Councilwoman Cindy Bass to endorse his proposal to bring a Patch Adams community based health-care clinic to Northwest Philadelphia.