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Green Party candidate for NY governor calls for $15-an-hour minimum wage

Howie Hawkins is the Green Party candidate for

Howie Hawkins is the Green Party candidate for governor. Credit: Facebook

ALBANY -- A night shift truck driver on Wednesday announced his candidacy as the Green Party candidate for governor by calling for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

Howie Hawkins of Syracuse announced his latest candidacy for governor on a platform of a “New Green Deal” aimed at helping the working poor. The platform is based on President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression.

Hawkins also would end New York’s role in the national Common Core of higher standards that has outraged some parents and teachers.

Hawkins, who ran against Cuomo four years ago, said he hopes to have $7,000 to $10,000 in his campaign fund by Friday. Cuomo had reported more than $33 million in his account in January.

Hawkins said the liberal Green Party won’t engage in “political ventriloquism” this year by simply creating a protest vote and hoping the Democratic Party adopts some of the Green Party measures. Hawkins said the Green Party that has won three mayoral seats in New York is now looking to elect more candidates to the state Legislature and Congress.

He said the party will rely greatly on social media and other Internet resources to get their word out.

“Our goal is not to influence the major parties,” Hawkins said in Albany. “It’s to replace them.”

The state’s minimum wage is $8 an hour, raised in January from $7.25. It will rise in phases to $9 an hour in three years under the law passed in 2013.

There was no immediate comment from Cuomo. Republican candidate Rob Astorino declined to comment.

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