The governor's race is hotly contested here in Illinois. The mud is flying between Republican candidate Judy Baar Topinka and incumbent Rod Blagojevich. In the midst of the action, a third party candidate is making his presence known.
The Rockford Register Star announced today it will endorse Green Party candidate Rich Whitney for governor and a surprising number of people seem to agree with that choice.
A Zogby/ Wallstreet journal poll from this week shows Whitney's support at 16%. That's unprecedented support for a third party candidate here in illinois. Whitney is also endorsed by the State School News Service and Southwest News Herald, the largest community newspaper in Chicago. The Register Star editorial staff met with all three candidates and examined their records before deciding to step away from the traditional party candidates.
Registar Star Editorial Page Editor Wally Haas says, "If we were just going to have a protest vote, a protest endorsement, we could have endorsed zippy the squirrel. But instead, Mr. Whitney is not only a third party candidate, but he's a viable third party candidate."
Says Whitney, "People are just so disgusted and really cannot calculate the lesser of the two evils of the other two candidates that they are really taking a more serious look at my candidacy."
Haas says in a statewide election a newspaper endorsement does not generally sway voters too much. It's mostly about getting information out about the candidate. So far this year, Green candidates have won 24 out of 62 elections around the country.