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With no candidate of its own, local Green Party backs members of other parties to replace Jane Harman

April 19, 2011 |  6:47 pm

Marcy Winograd

What do you do if there's a hot special election and your party doesn't have a candidate on the ballot? If you're the Green Party of Los Angeles County, you endorse people from other parties.

The Greens on Tuesday backed Democrat Marcy Winograd and "Coffee Party" member Michael Chamness in the crowded May 17 special primary to replace former Rep. Jane Harman, a Venice Democrat.

Sixteen candidates are on the ballot in the largely coastal 36th Congressional District: five Democrats, six Republicans, a Peace and Freedom Party member, a Libertarian and three "nonpartisans."  One of the nonpartisans is Chamness, who has sued over the state's new election system that won't allow him to list a party that is not recognized by the state.

The Greens don't normally endorse outside their own party, said Lisa Green, the L.A. chapter's co-coordinator. "But in cases where there is no Green candidate, occasionally there are other candidates that we feel are worth recommending to our members," she added.

Green cited Winograd's peace activism as among the reasons for choosing her and praised Chamness for "exposing the undemocratic aspects" of the new "top two" election system approved by voters last year.

-- Jean Merl

Photo: Democrat Marcy Winograd's peace activism was cited as among the reasons she was one of two candidates endorsed by the Green Party of Los Angeles County. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times