About the candidates
Greens are people from your community, not career politicians. Many are activists who run to bring attention to specific issues that affect you. They all share a commitment to the Green Party's 10 Key Values. If we want a government of the people, for the people, by the people, then we need our community members to step up.
Our 2020 endorsed ticket -- keep reading below for more information on these candidates
President & Vice President - Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker
State Treasurer - Tim Runkle
Auditor General - Olivia Faison
Attorney General - Richard L. Weiss, Esq.
State Representative, 23rd District - Jay Ting Walker
State Representative, 45th District - Garret Wassermann
State Representative, 64th District - Michael Bagdes-Canning
State Representative, 128th District - Noel Antonio Rivera
Timothy Runkle graduated from Millersville University with a Bachelor’s degree in Geology. He currently works in the environmental consulting industry as a Senior Project Manager resolving client risks and liabilities while ensuring the protection of human health and the environment. His field of expertise involves complex environmental problems that require a firm handle of regulatory, business, and stakeholder knowledge.
Tim has been involved with his local Green Party since 2005 and he presently serves on several committees of the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) focusing on fundraising, outreach, and education. He is presently in his second term as Treasurer for the Green Party of Pennsylvania and co-chairs the Lancaster County Green Party. In 2017, he ran for Elizabethtown Borough Council and Judge of Elections receiving 8.5% of the vote in the three-way race for Borough Council and winning the Judge of Elections office. In 2019 he won the Elizabethtown Tax collector election through a write-in campaign; however, chose not assume the office.
Tim has worked on projects that increase the accessibility of the average person to obtain elected office. As part of a team within the Green Party of Pennsylvania he helped develop GreenWave, which is the educational and outreach program serving independents and third party candidates. He is an active participant in seeking ballot access and has worked within the petitioning programs for the Jill Stein 2016 campaign, Jules Murmelstein’s Superior Court Judge race in 2017, and the Green Party’s 2018 slate of candidates. Tim has lead training courses with the National Green Party covering the aspects of campaign finance and minor parties. Locally he has presented Green positions for political science and ecology programs at Elizabethtown College.
As an energetic follower of public legislation, Tim is a frequent contributor to newspapers circulating in central Pennsylvania. His letters to the editor intend to alarm readers about our legislative actions with a focus on peace, justice, ecology, and democracy.
Olivia Faison is a third generation Philadelphian, and a product of the Philadelphia school system. She is chair of the Health Center #4 Advisory Committee, and secretary on the Board of Directors for the City of Philadelphia Health Centers. She has served as the inspector of elections at her polling place since 2008. Olivia is also an entrepreneur, currently involved in forging business relations with Mozambique. However, the cap she wears with the most pride is that of block captain, which places her directly in touch with the needs of her neighbors and her community.
Pollution from dirty energy, water contamination, and lead is hurting our kids. It is hurting our community. And it puts all of our lives at risk. It hurts the poorest among us are hurt the most when climate change and unchecked industrial contamination sink their teeth in. We cannot wait any longer to act. We must take immediate action on climate change and industrial pollution, allowing Pennsylvania to lead the green revolution.
Olivia is running with the Green Party, but progressives and liberals of all stripes agree a lot more than we disagree. Our fight is not against each other. We are allies. The fight is against the vision of greed at all costs, at the cost of our communities, our health and our progress. We can get so much more done if we vote the naysayers out and elect people with a vision for a greener, more equitable Commonwealth.
A vote for Olivia Faison is a vote for left-leaning Pennsylvanians to demand that the People and Plant come first in Pennsylvania. You’ll be electing a scientist, an ally for the Green New Deal, and a fighter for you.
Richard L. Weiss, Esq., supports criminal justice reforms including ending cash bail, decriminalizing drug use and sex work, and establishing citizens' police review boards with strong police professionalism standards.
Richard was born in Pittsburgh, and has worked as an attorney for the Federal Government in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and in Indonesia on financing for development projects. He possesses a J.D. from the University of Denver, a Master of Laws in International legal studies from American University in Washington, D.C., and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Jay Walker and is running as a Green Party candidate in November 2020 to be District 23’s next state representative. His top goal in office is to end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. Jay's background is in transit and environmental advocacy and he would take on those fights head-on in Harrisburg. Jay is looking to create a new model of civic engagement where everyone’s voice is heard and not just those who can attend meetings, make big donations, or have the right friends.
Jay is the son of an immigrant single mother. Like so many other single parent households, his was a working poor family. Jay was always the kid who loved reading and asked tons of question. His politics developed in college with exposure to environmental activism and Democracy Now. Jay has been a strong believer in racial justice from an early age due to amazing public school teachers and from his own personal background. This combination of a working class perspective, exposure to progressive values, and a strong sense of racial justice have led to who he is today.
He (like many others) got a major civic engagement wake up call after the November 2016 election. Having been involved with environmental and transit activism groups, Jay heard the lamentations that elected representatives don’t listen. It feals like nothing ever changes. This became readily apparent when Jay learned about gerrymandering from Fair Districts PA. He decided that instead of having our words fall on deaf ears, he would step up and drive the change he believed in. Link to Jay's website.
Garret Wassermann has an M.S. in both Mathematics and Applied Physics, and currently works in computer software security research at Carnegie Mellon University. Garret previously taught college-level courses in mathematics and computer science at several colleges in the Pittsburgh area. He enjoys gardening and casual hiking in nearby state parks with his wife Amanda. They have lived in Coraopolis for more than 7 years.
Garret's campaign has a very simple goal: NO ONE goes hungry, homeless, or without life-saving medication or healthcare ever again. Poverty and healthcare rationing are signs that today's government and businesses are failing the people. And we've got to stop pollution and climate change before all of these problems get much worse. Corporations haven't saved us, politicians haven't saved us. We clearly have to save ourselves -- we can, and we will.
The common thread of all these issues -- poverty, pollution, climate change -- is a lack of real democracy and freedom in this state. The people deserve a direct say in how their government and their economy works, to create a new economy that works for everyone and not just a few, to create a government that is actually rooted in real democracy instead of an easily-corruptible representative system. Garret's campaign is about taking the steps necessary to reclaim a government of the people, for the people, by the people, that puts people and planet over profits.
Garret believes that every resident of Pennsylvania deserves an equal say in the rules, laws, and general decisions that affect their lives and their communities. He fully supports reducing the power of money in our elections and ending political bribery, so that equal power and dignity may be restored. Wealth inequality is what breeds the power imbalance, so any full long-term solution must look at removing private wealth from the system. Link to Garret's website.
Michael Bagdes-Canning is, first and foremost, husband (Karen, 42 years), father, and grandfather. He is a retired teacher; he spent 36 in the classroom. He was President, Vice President, and building representative of his union local. He has held elective office since 1989, serving on the Cherry Valley Borough Council. He is currently Vice President. For the past 10 years, he has been involved as a frontline organizer in the climate and anti-fracking fight. He serves on the Planning Group of Marcellus Outreach Butler (a local anti-fracking group) and the Better Path Coalition (he is one of the founders). He has also served on the Coordinating Committee of the PA Poor People’s Campaign (statewide) and a direct action campaigner with Beyond Extreme Energy (national). Link to Michael's website.