History of the Peace & Freedom Party

Since their ballot status is currently in jeopardy, I figured I’d post a very brief history of the Peace and Freedom Party since it’s not an entity that gets much coverage (on this site or in any media, really).

The PFP was founded in 1967 and by 1968 had begun splitting apart. In that year’s Presidential election the “Peace and Freedom Party” nominated Eldridge Cleaver and received 36,571 votes nationally. The “Freedom and Peace Party” nominated Dick Gregory who received 47,149 votes.

In 1972, the PFP got behind the People’s Party candidacy of Dr. Benjamin Spock. The large majority of Spock’s 78,759 votes came from states where he held the Peace and Freedom ballot line.

The party Margaret Wright in 1976 and in 1978, candidate Elizabeth Cervantes Barrón garnered about 300,000 votes (4.6%) for California State Controller.

Maureen Smith received 18,116 votes in the 1980 Presidential election, all from California. In 1984 they endorsed Sonia Johnson’s candidacy.

In 1988 there was a 3-way split, with 3 different conventions. Herbert Lewin seems to have appeared on the ballot as the PFP Presidential candidate in a few states. The Lewin campaign received 10,367 votes (9,953 of those came from New Jersey).

In 1992, Ron Daniels polled 27,949 votes for President with 18,597 coming from the state of California. From that point on the party remained active essentially as a single state party.

In 1996, Marsha Feinland received 25,332 votes, all in California.

In 1998 the party lost ballot access in California and failed to run a Presidential ticket in 2000… the first time that had happened since 1984.

By 2003 the party’s ballot access was restored thanks for an impressive and frenzied voter registration drive.

In 2004 the party nominated Leonard Peltier and Janice Jordan for President and VP. Peltier is a Native American currently serving two consecutive life sentences for the murder of two FBI agents in the 1970’s. Appearing on the ballot in only California the pair received 27,607 votes, or about 0.22% of the statewide vote… 0.02% nationally.

The party’s website claims numerous nonpartisan officeholders:

Peace and Freedom Party Candidates have done well in nonpartisan elections. PFP members have been elected to city councils, school boards, and special district boards in Alameda, Inyo, Modoc, Monterey, Santa Barbara, and Sonoma Counties and have held majorities on the Cotati City Council and on local Park and Recreation boards. PFP candidates have received over a third of the vote for Los Angeles City Council and Community College Board. At the present time, three of the nine members of the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board (an elected body that administers the city’s rent and eviction control ordinance) are Peace and Freedom Party members.

For more information: http://www.peaceandfreedom.org

3 Responses to “History of the Peace & Freedom Party”

  1. Chronicler Says:

    Excellent article, Austin!

    I did a short history of the PFP for the encyclopedia - do you want to merge your information into the article? If not, let me know and I will do it.

  2. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Oh, that’s a good idea… you can feel free to go for it. :)


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