The Peace and Freedom Party took a major step toward expanding beyond their California base on Saturday, nominating actress and activist Roseanne Barr for president. Earlier this year Barr sought the Green Party’s presidential nomination, but was defeated by Dr. Jill Stein.
This weekend’s victory gives Roseanne’s campaign new life and a much-coveted spot on the California ballot.
Former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson, the presidential nominee of the Justice Party, was thought to be a leading candidate for the Peace and Freedom nomination. He entered and won a plurality of votes in the party’s non-binding primary election back in June, however his campaign failed to elect a significant presence on the State Central Committee, the party’s governing body. Several days before the convention, Anderson opted to withdraw himself from contention rather than risk what was likely to be an embarrassingly lopsided defeat. The result is a major blow to the former mayor’s campaign, which will now focus on the dozen or so smaller states that his Justice Party is able to obtain ballot access in.
Other contenders for the Peace and Freedom nomination included Stewart Alexander and Stephen Durham, the nominees of the Socialist Party and Freedom Socialist Party, respectively. Another contender, Peta Lindsay, opted to withdraw from the race and threw her support to Barr.
On the second round of balloting, Barr prevailed comfortably…
First ballot: Barr 29, Durham 18, Alexander 12, 4 abstentions.
Second ballot: Barr 37, Durham 16, Alexander 6, 5 abstentions.
Adding some additional star power to the ticket, the Peace and Freedom convention then voted 50 to 14 to confirm Roseanne’s preferred choice for vice-president, well known anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan.
Peace and freedom: we will seize the narrative!
— Roseanne Barr (@TheRealRoseanne) August 5, 2012
In 2008 the California Peace and Freedom Party nominated independent candidate Ralph Nader for president, and the Nader campaign also placed their candidate on the ballot in Iowa under the Peace and Freedom label. This time around, it appears that the PFP is serious about building a national party and the Barr campaign is expected to use the Peace and Freedom label for the duration of the campaign, and in as many states as possible. The Barr/Sheehan ticket has already begun working with activists in several states to organize chapters of the Peace and Freedom Party.
Saturday was a good day all around for Roseanne. Following her nomination, the former sitcom was set to be the center of attention at the taping of a Comedy Central Roast will be televised August 12. The comedy special has been heavily promoted by the network, and these events are one of the cable channel’s top audience draws. A similar roast of Charlie Sheen was watched by more than 10 million viewers on the night it premiered last September.