Green Party candidate Kinsey won’t run for U.S. Senate again

Bob Kinsey came really, really close to becoming Colorado’s version of Ralph Nader this year.

As Colorado’s Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, Kinsey got 2.1% of the vote Tuesday. Bennet beat Buck by a 1.1% margin, with 97% of precincts reporting.

Kinsey says many of his supporters wouldn’t have voted at all, and others might have voted for Buck. Still, if Green Party voters here reflect the Green Party voters in Floriday for Ralph Nader in 2000, then Kinsey took more votes from Bennet. Had the race been close enough, this could have swung the election to Buck.

Does Kinsey have regrets?

“Well you know what, Bennet is in favor of increasing military spending. Neither one [Buck or Bennet]  is going to challenge the military any more than Obama is. No I have no regrets. I have no regrets that I tried to get this country to talk about the military.”

Kinsey, who got about 2% of the vote when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2008, was almost invisible in the Denver media this election cycle. His name appeared once in The Denver Post over the past year. He said he got some decent coverage statewide, but not much, even by left-leaning outlets like KGNU radio in Boulder. I asked him what the media missed in not covering him.

“My major focus is foreign policy,” he said. “I want to cut the military budget by 75% and use that money to create jobs. If you include in miliatrey spending the drug war, Homeland Security, the CIA, and other agencies, that’s over a trillion dollars a year. The AFSC calculated that you could provide every unemployed person with a $50,000 job and the U.S. would still spend more on the military than any other country in the world.”

In 2008, Democrats worried that Kinsey could tip the election away from Mark Udall. They worried again this year. But Kinsey will be one Green candidate they won’t have to worry about when Udall is up in four years.

“I am 73-years-old,” Kinsey told me when I asked if he’d run again. “Next time around for Senate, I’d be 77. What I plan on doing is trying to get the Green party to get some other good candidates and build a party. I don’t think so. I’ve done it three times, once in the 4th Congressional [2004] and twice for Senate, and  I gave people the opportunity to vote against militarism, and I got 35,000 votes.

I don’t have the energy at 77 to do it again, but I will continue to speak out against militarism.”

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