With all precincts counted, the Wilson campaign for State Auditor achieved ballot status for the Working Families Party on Nov. 7 with surprising support from 19 percent of voters. Only 3 percent was needed to get ballot status for the new party.
Over 60 grassroots labor and community organizations backed the formation of a new Working Families Party and ten unions and ACORN took the bolder step of endorsing Rand Wilson for State Auditor as the party’s first Massachusetts candidate.
“Over 369,500 citizens cast a vote for a brand new Working Families Party to send a message urging our elected officials to refocus on the bread and butter issues that matter most to working people,” said Wilson, a veteran union organizer who was virtually unknown prior to the election campaign. “It also shows the widespread interest in a party that is committed to an electoral strategy that won’t risk spoiling an election or asking supporters of our platform to waste their votes on purely symbolic candidates.”
Wilson campaigned vigorously for the passage of Question 2, a statewide referendum allowing independent parties to build coalitions with candidates from other parties, but count their votes on a separate ballot line. Unfortunately the ballot initiative failed.
“Half a million people voted for Question 2,” said Wilson. “That’s a good start for an innovative idea to improve our democracy so that people in Massachusetts would have more choices and a better chance to have their voices heard.”
“Many unions and community groups united behind Rand Wilson’s candidacy to build support for the Working Families Party. Now we have earned a new place on the ballot for the voice of working class people,” said Teamsters Local 122 Secretary-Treasurer John Murphy. “In the absence of the election reform we sought with Question 2, the future of our party depends on whether we can use that ballot line to support our platform in a meaningful way. Some politicians may be breathing a sign of relief, but this was only a shot across the bow we are not going away!”
To see the final vote totals for the State Auditor’s race visit: www.boston.com/news/special/politics/2006_elections/general_results/auditor.html