Malachy Hits Street Festivals To Get 15,000 Signatures In His Bid For Governor of New York State

Where can you find Malachy McCourt these days? The 74-year-old author/activist can be found, clipboard in hand, at street fairs and festivals covering the area between New York City and Woodstock trying to get on the ballot for Governor.

In May, at a convention in Albany, the Green Party of New York State (GPNYS) nominated Malachy McCourt for Governor. That was the easy part, since he won by acclamation.

Now, McCourt needs to get 15,000 signatures from all around the state to earn a place on the ballot in November. With Malachy McCourt’s celebrity: he has appeared on radio, movies and even soap operas, and has a NY Times best-selling book, A Monk Swimming — and the tenacious activists in the Green Party helping him petition, there are great hopes for success. Still 15,000 is a lot of signatures. And, in order to protect from potential challenges to the petitions, the goal is to file at least 30,000.

Malachy McCourt is hopeful, noting: “A trio of us got close to 500 signatures on the weekend in approximately 4 hours.” The trio included his wife, Diana McCourt, who is known for her activism in the disability community and her work to close down Willowbrook in the 1970’s.

Malachy is part of a slate of candidates nominated by the Green Party. One of Malachy’s key issues is to bring home the National Guard from Iraq, so that they can help here at home. Since all of the Green Party statewide candidates are pledged to use their office to bring an end to the War in Iraq, they have been named The Green Party Peace Slate.

The GPNYS has hired Judith Einach of Buffalo as the Statewide Petition Coordinator to help get the job done. She is assisted by a crew of volunteer, regional coordinators throughout the state. Einach notes that the strategy has been for Greens to “walk neighborhoods, visit summer fairs and festivals, and stand on crowded street corners filling up page after page with signatures.” McCourt and his friends petitioned at the Rosendale Street Festival in Ulster County last weekend, gathering signatures while music played in the background. Jim Brown, a Malachy supporter and a Green candidate for Congress in the 3rd CD, petitioned at the Long Beach Medical Center Health Fair. Even further east, two sets of volunteers petitioned at the Slainte Irish Festival in Patchogue.

One of the early signers of the petition was Larry Kirwan, of the band, Black-47. Kirwan’s signature is on display at Malachy’s campaign web-site. Having politically active, Cultural Creatives such as Larry Kirwan on board has been a big boost to the Malachy for Governor campaign. In fact, it was Kirwan’s suggestion to set up the MySpace account for Malachy, which brought a big boost to the campaign this week, with lots of bands and bloggers attaching themselves to the campaign.

The Greens are not an official “party” under New York State Law. Instead, they are considered an “independent body.” That makes it harder to run candidates. Though, it also means that any voter in New York can sign the petition, and any voter in New York can gather signatures.

Downloadable petitions are available at many places on the web, including Malachy’s campaign web-site and the state Green Party web-site, Or, follow those links to find e-mails and phone numbers for Malachys campaign, the statewide coordinator, or your local contacts.


Malachy’s web-site:

Jim Brown for Congress in the 3rd CD(Nassau/Suffolk)
Jim Brown’s web-site:

Green Party of New York State web-site:

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