If a presidential candidate declared him- or herself to be both a Democrat and a Green, one would have to wonder what drugs they were on. But in a small suburb such as Ferndale, pledging allegiance to both parties worked like a happy pill for City Council candidate — and top vote-getter — Craig Covey.
Voters re-elected him to a second four-year term last week. Covey says he has been a lifelong Democrat. But last summer the 45-year-old sought the Greens’ support.
“I had a very controversial four years as a councilman and wanted to make sure that progressives, unions, gays and lesbian voters and liberals were united in my particular race for re-election,” says the outspoken Covey, who is CEO of the Ferndale-based Midwest AIDS Prevention Project.
“I also knew that the Greens were fairly well organized in Ferndale,” he says.
To obtain the Greens’ backing, Covey had to declare himself a member of the party, says Green activist Tom Ness. Covey also maintained his Democratic status and listed both party affiliations on his campaign literature in an election that is officially nonpartisan.
As Election Day approached, Ness worried that pissed-off donkeys would turn their backs on Covey.
“In my mind, I believe the Dems organized against Craig,” says Ness, who saw key members posting yard signs for candidates other than Covey.
“I was so nervous thinking we would be the cause of Craig not winning, but then he won overwhelmingly,” he says.
Covey, competing against six others for two seats, received about 1,470 votes, compared to the second-place finisher, who garnered 1,240.
Not exactly a landslide, but a clear victory for the liberal pol. Now, if the same thing could be accomplished on a national scale. …Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.