1:25 PM EDT, July 12, 2012
It's been years since Baltimore hosted a political convention, but almost under the radar one's happening here this week.
Members of the Green Party of the United States are gathering downtown starting today, opening a three-day convention to pick a presidential candidate.
Jill Stein, a physician and environmental health advocate from Massachusetts is the frontrunner, with 138 of the 184 delegates assigned so far. Comedian and actress Roseanne Barr, who's been active in politics over the past decade, is running second.
The party is struggling to gain a toehold in a political landscape dominated by the two major parties. Its candidates are only guaranteed a spot on the ballot in 20 states right now, but it's still fighting to get before voters in several other states, including Maryland. According to the party web site, it's 3,000 signatures short of the 10,000 needed by Aug. 8 to get on the November ballot here.
Party officials acknowledge their decided underdog status in competition with the Democratic and Republican parties, but maintain that American voters deserve more of a choice. Their platform focuses on economic and environmental sustainability.
Most of the convention will take place at the University of Baltimore, but the nomination on Saturday (Bastille Day - is that just a coincidence?) will be held at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor.
My colleague John Fritze will be covering the convention. Follow his reports here and elsewhere in The Sun.
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