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Madelyn Hoffman.

Hoffman becomes 2nd independent to file for governor

Green Party candidate making her 7th run for office

By David Wildstein, June 08 2021 10:37 am

Madelyn R. Hoffman, a longtime environmental and social justice activist, has filed her nominating petitions to run as the Green Party candidate.

This is her 7th bid for public office.

The 64-year-old Hoffman filed with 1,275 signatures.

The deadline for independent candidates to file nominating petition for the November general election is 4 PM today.

Hoffman became the second independent candidate to file to run against Gov. Phil Murphy and his soon-to-be-selected Republican opponent.

Joanne Kuniansky of the Socialist Workers Party is already on the ballot.

Three former others are also in the race – if they file nominating petitions: David Winkler, a veteran who has founded the Patriot Party; Libertarian Gregg Mele; and Justin Maldonado, who briefly ran for mayor of Peth Amboy last year.

For decades, independents had to file at the same time Democrats and Republicans filed for the June primary election, but that changed around 1997 when the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a later deadline.

The precedent cited was a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down early filing deadlines for independents that came after Rep. John B. Anderson (R-Illinois) dropped his bid for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination and sought to run as an independent in all 50 states.   Some of the filing deadlines had already passed, forcing Anderson to mount legal challenges.

Hoffman spent eighteen years as executive director of New Jersey Peace Action.  She has been on the political scene for decades; in the 1980s she led the opposition to the Warren County trash incinerator project and headed the Grass Roots Environmental Organization (GREO).

As the Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in 2020, Hoffman finished third in a field of five candidates with less than one percent of the vote.  She trailed incumbent Cory Booker by 2,502,890 votes.

In 1996, she was the Green Party nominee for vice president on a ticket with Ralph Nader.  Because of New Jersey’s early filing deadline for independent candidates – it was in April back then – Nader ran with Hoffman in New Jersey while running with Winona LaDuke in most states.

Bill Clinton carried New Jersey by a 54%-36% margin against Bob Dole, with Ross Perot winning 9%.   Nader and Hoffman won 1% of the vote.

She ran for governor in 1997 and finished fifth in a field seven candidates with 0.44% of the vote.  Incumbent Christine Todd Whitman was re-elected by 25,426 votes, 47%-46%.  Hoffman received 10,703 votes.

She challenged Rep. Michael Pappas (R-Rocky Hill) in 1998 and won 1,409 votes (0.76%).  Democrat Rush Holt unseated Pappas by a 50%-47% margin.

Hoffman returned to the ballot in 20187as the Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate.  She finished third in a field of seven candidates with 0.70% — 1,686,504 votes behind incumbent Bob Menendez.

Campaign buttons from Madelyn Hoffman’s 1997 campaign for governor of New Jersey. (David Wildstein Collection.)
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