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Local Green Party candidate campaigns on education, combating climate change


Randy Paul, chair emeritus for the Monroe County Green Party, answers a question Nov. 19, 2019, at the Monroe County Public Library. Paul officially announced his candidacy for the District 2 county commissioner position Feb. 6. Alex Deryn

Randy Paul, the chair emeritus for the Monroe County Green Party, announced Thursday his candidacy for the District 2 county commissioner position. He said he does not expect to win, but is running because he wants the Democrats to have a challenge.

“You can make a difference in politics without necessarily winning the campaign,” Paul said.

His campaign platform is based on working to solve the climate crisis and educating the community on climate change. Though he is running to be a county commissioner, Paul said he'd like to remove the position as part of a plan to change the current government structure.

The party has stagnated and handles most problems slowly, not seeing a reason to be scared or determined to fix problems such as the climate crisis, he said. 

Paul plans to run his campaign largely out of his home, getting word out about his candidacy via social media posts and press releases. 

His campaign isn’t accepting donations. Paul said he would rather people donate to their favorite environmental group than to throw money into his campaign. 

Paul is taking money from his monthly Social Security income to buy paper for his printer for personal communication and bus fare so he can get around. He won’t be distributing fliers or handouts so there are no printing costs. 

Another way Paul said his campaign is different from others is the ideas he’s bringing to the table, such as changing government structure and working to educate the community about the climate crisis. 

Monroe County's government structure hasn't changed since President James Madison was in office in the early 1800s, and it’s outdated, Paul said. He said he wanted to eliminate county commissioners because he sees them as ineffective and a waste of resources. He said he'd prefer to have a chief executive that would function as a mayor for the county.

He also said electing positions like the county coroner or county auditor didn't make sense because it can quickly become a popularity contest instead of focusing on qualifications. He said the chief executive he is advocating the county adopt would appoint these positions.

If his campaign is successful, it would be another step toward the Green Party being recognized as legitimate in Monroe County, Paul said. He said getting votes would prove a campaign can be run for the public good rather than personal gain.

“It’s not running to win, but rather running to get those ideas out there,” Paul said. 

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