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Michigan Green Party nominates pipeline protester for U.S. Senate

Chris Wahmhoff fought off charges related to his protest of a tar sands pipeline and is now the Green Party of Michigan nominee for U.S. Senate.
Chris Wahmhoff fought off charges related to his protest of a tar sands pipeline and is now the Green Party of Michigan nominee for U.S. Senate.
Chris Wahmhoff for U.S. Senate with permission

This past weekend, the Green Party of Michigan held its convention in Detroit to nominate its nominees for federal, state, and local offices ranging from U.S. Senator and Governor down to Trustee for Washtenaw Community College and announced the candidates on its website Monday.

Among the nominees is one who is willing to stand up for his political and environmental convictions. Chris Wahmhoff, who is the Green Party of Michigan nominee for U.S. Senate, spent his thirty-fifth birthday skating inside a pipeline under construction in Marshall to protest tar sands. He faced trespassing charges that have since been dismissed.

Wahmoff followed in the footsteps of 2012 Green Party nominee for President Jill Stein, who had been arrested for trespassing during a protest against the Keystone XL pipeline in the middle of her election campaign two years ago.

Wahmhoff, who will be facing Democrat Gary Peters, Republican Terri Lynn Land, and Libertarian Jim Fulner, along with likely nominees from the U.S. Taxpayers Party and Natural Law Party, joins ten other candidates who will appear on Washtenaw County ballots in November.

State Offices

The Green Party candidate for Governor is Paul Homeniuk of Lansing. Homeniuk appears to be a newcomer to politics, not having been nominated for office by the Green Party before. He runs his own educational consulting company, Practical Education Solutions, and teaches part-time at Washtenaw Community College. He also wrote a book, "The Passionate Baker."

Homeniuk's running mate is Candace Caveny of Lapeer, nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Caveny has run at least twice before for office as a Green, first in 2010, when she ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Michigan's Tenth District, and again in 2012 when she ran for the State Board of Education.

Homeniuk and Caveny will likely be facing Republican incumbents Rick Snyder and Brian Calley, Democrats Mark Schauer and Lisa Brown, Libertarians Mary Buzuma and Scotty Boman, and nominees from the U.S. Taxpayers Party and Natural Law Party.

For the first time in more than a decade, the Green Party of Michigan nominated a candidate for Attorney General. John Anthony La Pietra of Marshall had previously run for Calhoun County Clerk in 2012. The last Green Party nominee for the office was Jerry Kaufman, who ran against Gary Peters and Mike Cox in 2002.

La Pietra will be facing Republican incumbent Bill Schuette, Libertarian Justin Altman of Ypsilanti, and nominees yet to be determined from the Democratic Party, U.S. Taxpayers Party, and possibly the Natural Law Party.

Educational Boards

Six candidates for university governing boards and the State Board of education received nominations. Ian Swanson of Grand Rapids is the sole nominee for University of Michigan Regent. Adam Adrianson of Portage and Terry Link of Laingsburg are running for Michigan State University Trustee. Margaret Guttshall and Latham T. Redding, both of Detroit, are repeating their 2012 candidacies for Wayne State University Governor. Sherry A. Wells of Royal Oak is the nominee for the State Board of Educatio.

The Greens also endorsed a local candidate for Washtenaw Community College Trustee. Eric Borregard of Dexter had previously run for University of Michigan Regent on the Green Party slate in 2012.

Correction: A previous version of this story mistakenly stated that the Green Party nominated Borregard for Washtenaw Community College Trustee, a non-partisan office. Parties cannot nominate candidates for non-partisan offices other than Michigan Supreme Court. They can endorse candidates for non-partisan office that have already made the November ballot, which Borregard did by petition.

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