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California Greens wish Matt Gonzalez well as he leaves Green Party to fight for ballot access as VP on Nader independent ticket

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO - Greens here reacted favorably today to reports that former president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors - favorite son Matt Gonzalez, who narrowly lost a 2003 mayoral race here - has left the Green Party to run as vice president on the Ralph Nader for President ticket.

"We wish Matt well. He has made it clear that he is leaving the party because of restrictive ballot access rules in many states, including Idaho, Delaware and Oregon, that prevent members of political parties to run as independents. We look at Matt's decision as a practical one, a sabbatical or leave of absence, to continue the fight the Green Party has been waging for free and fair elections for all, and ballot access," said San Francisco Green Party spokesperson Erika McDonald.

Gonzalez reportedly informed media outlets Tuesday that he would remain active with future Green campaigns and is committed to alternatives to the two-party system. Nader, the Green Party presidential candidate in 2000 and presidential candidate in 1992, 1996 and 2004, tabbed Gonzalez, a civil rights attorney, for vice president on his independent ticket late last week.

The Green Party now has four outstanding candidates now vying for the nomination in the Green Party, including former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Texas Green Party co-chair Kat Swift, Southern California environmental engineer Kent Mesplay, and West Virginia actor and producer Jesse Johnson. Former Black Panther Party leader Elaine Brown and University communications professor Jared Ball have since withdrawn.

The Green Party's nominee for President will be chosen at its Presidential Nominating Convention in Chicago July 10-13. The US Green Party remains committed to selecting a nominee and mounting an all-out campaign in every state.

"The Green and independent presidential campaigns' impact on this race will be determined by each candidate's ability to attract voters. If the Republicans win this year, it is because they ran the best race, or they cheated. I put neither of these options past them. Those who cry 'spoiler' at the notion of a Green Party and/or independent presidential run conveniently choose to overlook the growing body of evidence that the 2000 election was tampered with." said San Francisco Green Susan King.

-30-

Contacts:
Susan King (San Francisco), 415.823.5524,
Erika McDonald, SF spokesperson, 415.337-1499,
Crescenzo Vellucci, Press Secretary, 916.996.1970,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
Web: http://www.cagreens.org
EMail:

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