Green Party candidates reflect On 2021 PA election
PHILADELPHIA – In the 2021 General Election, the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) had 12 candidates on the ballot and several write-ins. When the smoke cleared, the Green Party had seven candidates win election. Several Green Party candidates offered their thoughts on the 2021 campaign. Those thoughts are collected here to help future candidates, especially those who are running for office in 2022.
On Running for Office in 2022
Andrew Moses Yanez Oliva (Elected Judge of Elections, Berks County) said: "The advice I would offer Greens who plan to run for office in 2022 is this: start as early as possible. There were so many inevitable "hiccups" which I had not anticipated and felt pressured to navigate well under constrained circumstances; be they temporal or procedural. The more time you have, the better you will be able to anticipate issues and appropriately address them."
Matthew Reitenauer (Elected School Director, Berks County) said: "The advice I would offer to any Green Party candidates that are running in 2022 would be to focus on the local issues, like clean water, saving farmland, and pesticides."
Jay Sweeney (Elected Borough Auditor, Wyoming County) said: "I would advise Greens to seek offices that have no challenger or no candidate." [For some PA electoral offices, the Democratic and/or Republican Parties nominate no candidate.]
Richard L. Weiss (Ran for Common Pleas Court Judge, Allegheny County) said: "Ground work is the most effective. Going door to door works but requires many people."
On Mail in Voting
Jay Sweeney: "I am not opposed to mail in voting. Mail in voting is harder for third party candidates, unless, of course, ballot access is made easier."
Andrew Moses Yanez Oliva: "I think that more voters, in general, due to the pandemic, were made aware of the mail in option. I personally registered to receive a mail in ballot annually and automatically for convenience purposes."
Matthew Reitenauer: "I believe mail in voting is a great thing for Green Party members. It lets the people stay safe at home and vote. Mail in voting also makes it easier for people to vote for who they truly want instead of being persuaded elsewise by people working the polls. This process is also a safer, more convenient way for those who are handicapped to be able to vote. Those people's votes are very important too."
Jay Sweeney: "Mail in voting deprives the voter a chance to meet a Green Party candidate and their volunteers who may be working the polls. I may have gotten 3% of the vote where I didn't have representation, while I got 20-30% or better in places where I or my volunteers worked the polls."
Richard L. Weiss: "Hopefully more people will vote and will see the Green Party on the ballot. Campaigning has to be early in order to reach mail in voters."
On Elections in General
Jay Sweeney: "Democracy demands a choice and the voters deserve one. I am proud to be a Green. I saw the way the Democrats gloated over winning a vote in the House of Representatives and the ugliness of the Republicans in denouncing it. However, I don't see progress until we can build a coalition big enough to tackle the two corporate parties."
Andrew Moses Yanez Oliva: "I would like to invest more effort in winning local elections and cultivating a grassroots democracy culture and ethos in my community. The whole idea of running for Judge of Election in my precinct was to gain crucial and integral political skills to run for office in the future."
Richard L. Weiss: "If the current PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro is elected PA Governor in 2022, there may be a special election for PA Attorney General. In that case, I would make myself available to run if the Green Party of PA will endorse me."
The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party's Four Pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please visit www.gpofpa.org. Please follow GPPA on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
For more information, please see:
"2021 November Election Results," GPUS News Release, November 2021,
"Reflections on 2020 Election by Green Party Candidate Michael Bagdes-Canning," GPPA News Release, December 11, 2020,
"PA Green Party Candidates Reflect on 2019 Election," GPPA News Release, November 15, 2019,