The Green Party’s candidate for governor was handily defeated in Tuesday’s election, but the
party still has something to celebrate.
Unofficial election results show the Greens met Ohio’s new standards to qualify as a minor
political party without the need to gather signatures.
Ohio’s new third-party rules are being challenged in federal court. But under current state law,
minor parties get automatic ballot status for four years by winning 2 percent of the vote this
year, or 3 percent in future elections.
Green Party gubernatorial candidate Anita Rios won 3.3 percent in Tuesday’s contest.
Rios and her running mate, Bob Fitrakis, were the only top-of-the-ticket third-party contenders.
A federal judge kept two disqualified Libertarians from the fall ballot, including gubernatorial
candidate Charlie Earl.
That means — unless the court steps in — Libertarians will have to gather about 30,000
signatures and meet other rules to be recognized as a minor political party in 2016. To achieve
party status for four years after that, its presidential candidate would have to get 3 percent of
In 2012, Libertarian presidential contender Gary Johnson had 49,493 votes, or 0.9 percent.
Despite differing political views, the Greens and Libertarians want the Ohio law to be
“While we’re on the ballot, we’re not going to rest until the Libertarian Party is returned to
the ballot to its rightful place for voters to consider,” Fitrakis said yesterday.