The Green Party of Nassau County has drafted New Hyde Park resident Cassandra Lems as a candidate in the 7th State Senate District race in an effort to stop Democratic candidate Adam Haber from grabbing the Green Party line in the November election.
“We consider the Democratic and Republican parties as major corporate parties. We don’t believe in cross-endorsements or fusions. We want to make sure a registered Green is on that line,” Green Party county Chair Jim Brown said last Friday.
Lems, 58, will face Haber in a Sept. 9 write-in primary to be decided by approximately 250 Green Party voters Lems said are registered in the 7th Senate District.
“If we get this ballot line, this will be a big win for us,” Brown said.
He said the Green Party has sent out a direct mail piece to get voters to cast their ballots on Sept. 9.
The 7th state Senate district includes Mineola, Roslyn, Westbury, New Hyde Park, Williston Park, Garden City Park, Manhasset, Great Neck, Port Washington and parts of Floral Park, Franklin Square, Elmont, Valley Stream, Carle Place and Hicksville.
In early August, the New York League of Conservation Voters announced its endorsement of state Sen. Jack Martins’ (R-Mineola) re-election campaign for the 7th state Senate Dristrict.
Brown said he became aware of petitions circulating for Haber as the Green Party choice two weeks ago.
He said he was “disappointed” that the Democrats were trying to take the Green Party line in the election.
Jacob Tugendrajch, Haber’s campaign communications director issued a statement on Friday saying, “Adam Haber is seeking the Green Party line because he is committed to protecting the environment and strengthening environmental recovery and resiliency efforts as we continue to move forward from Hurricane Sandy. Adam has received support from local environmental activists and advocacy groups, and his work to create new open space like East Hills Park and with AllHands.org during immediate Sandy recovery efforts demonstrates his focus on environmental issues. His priorities and viewpoints are in line with the Green Party and he will be proud for his name to appear as such on the ballot.”
A New Hyde Park resident for the past 15 years, Lems said she registered as a Green Party voter two years ago because she believes in the values of the party.
She said Green Party officials asked her to run after they learned about Haber’s Green Party petition initiative.
A paralegal specializing in foreign patents and trademarks, Lems has also has been a writer and editor, an office manager and a professional singer.
“I think I’d be good at the job and I’m certainly willing to run,” she said in an interview on Friday. “I really strongly believe the two-party system isn’t really working and there should be other voices in a campaign.”
If she outpolls Haber in the write-in primary, Lems said she intends to stay in the race as an active candidate.
“If I win, I will run in November,” Lems said.
If elected, Lems said she would focus on protecting the environment of New York, passing equal pay laws, and enacting legislation designed to ensure that all working New Yorkers can earn a living wage.
Lems is an active member of Nassau County’s Community Emergency Response Team, participating regularly in training classes, exercises, and public outreach and education.
She also has been a member of the Mineola Choral Society since 1998, and has sung in the Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera Company of Long Island since 2003.