Green Party Mum About McKinney Joining The Party

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:29pm EDT

( - The Green Party Friday refused to take an official position on the possibility that Georgia Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney would bolt the Democratic Party and join the party led by Ralph Nader. McKinney recently lost her bid for the Democratic nomination and will be leaving the House in January.

Wire service and other reports quoted several members of the Green Party who worked on McKinney's campaign as saying she would leave the Democrats and either run for president or as a vice presidential running mate with Nader on a 2004 presidential ticket.

"There has been a lot of speculation, but it's still just that," said Dean Myerson, political coordinator for the Green Party in an interview with "The national Green Party doesn't ever take positions on who should be our nominee.

"We consider our job to run the national convention and let the grass roots decide. There are individuals within the Green Party who are attempting to draft her into doing this. The national party is not taking a position. We are not supporting or opposing her action here," he said.

"Anybody is welcome to join the party, but the 2004 issue will be decided at the convention in 2004," Myerson concluded.

McKinney's Capitol Hill office Friday had no comment. However, a statement on her website said, "Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is going through all the letters and e-mails asking her to continue the struggle, to run again, to run for the U.S. Senate. Shortly, there will be an announcement on this button."

McKinney, herself, on Thursday blamed the Democratic Party for the losses she and her father Billy McKinney, a Georgia state representative, suffered at the polls, thus fueling speculation that she might leave that party.

"The Democratic Party cost my father his office," said McKinney during a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference in Washington. She lost the Aug. 20 Democratic primary to state court judge Denise Majette.

Cynthia McKinney also accused Georgia Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes of helping Majette. A spokesperson for Barnes denied the accusation.

Calvin Smyre, chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party also dismissed McKinney's criticism, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"In a primary with one Democrat versus [another] Democrat, the voters of Georgia made their decision," Smyre said.

Billy McKinney was defeated in his re-election bid and vowed to leave the Democratic Party and take his daughter with him.

"I've always worked on what the Democrats wanted and tried to defeat Republicans. Now I'm an Independent. We're through with the Democrats," Mr. McKinney told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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