Socialist Party USA

Delegates at the Socialist Party USA National Convention in Chicago selected Walter Brown and Mal Herbert as the party's presidential ticket on October 19, 2003.
Selection of the presidential ticket occurred on the third and final day of the Convention.  SP-USA National Secretary Greg Pason reports that at the nomination there were 68 delegates present; some came and left during the voting so the total votes per round varied from 65 to 68 and down to 61 for the vice presidential election.

Serial runoff voting: Each seated delegate gets one vote per round.  After each round the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated:
First Round:
Walt Brown - 24
Eric Chester - 18
Lisa Weltman -14
Don Doumakes -10
Don Doumakes is eliminated
Second Round:
Walt Brown - 33
Eric Chester - 19
Lisa Weltman -13
Lisa Weltman is eliminated
Third Round:
Walt Brown - 37
Eric Chester - 30
Eric Chester is eliminated
*Walt Brown nominated as the 2004 Socialist Party USA's presidential candidate.

The vice presidential vote was held by a show of 'red cards' by delegates:
Mal Herbert - 41
Mary Cal Hollis -20
*Mal Herbert was nominated as the 2004 Socialist Party USA's vice presidential candidate.

Geoff Braasch*, from Toledo, Ohio, is the Ohio State Party Chair; he is pursuing a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology and is openly gay.  He has worked as a labor consultant and is a former Lutheran pastor.  Braasch joined the SP-USA in 2000.

Walter F. (Walt) Brown, from Oregon, served as a Democrat in the Oregon State Senate from 1975 to 1987 and as Mallheur City legal counsel and Deputy District Attorney.  He joined the SP-USA in 1948, founded the SP of Oregon in1992, and ran for Congress in 1998, 2000 and 2002.  Brown served in the U.S. Navy from 1944-1970.

Eric Chester is a writer living in Montague, Massachusetts.  He joined the SP-USA in 1989 and was the party's vice presidential nominee in 1996.  He is the author of Rag-Tags, Scum, Riff-Raff and Commies: The U.S. Intervention in the Dominican Republic, 1965-66 (2001) and is working on True Mission: Socialists and the Labor Party Question in the United States (forthcoming, 2004.)

Mary Cal Hollis*, from Boulder, Colorado, was the party's presidential nominee in 1996 and its vice presidential nominee in 2000.  She has served on the SP-USA National Committee since 1994.  Hollis is a stay-at-home mom and former special education teacher.

Lisa Weltman, from Michigan, is a single mother with one daughter who has worked as a teacher, printer, metal punch-press worker, secretary, longshoreman, and drapery maker.  She joined the SP-USA in January 2003.

Mal Herbert, Eric Chester's choice for Vice President, is a retired schoolteacher living in Putney, Vermont.  She has run for various offices as a candidate of the Liberty Union Party from 1984 to 1996, including a 1996 campaign against Howard Dean.

*Geoff Braasch withdrew before the vote.  Mary Cal Hollis withdrew as a presidential candidate before the voting, after which Don Doumakes, one of her backers, decided to run.  Doumakes is a software developer from Logan, Iowa.

Biographies condensed from Sept.-Oct. 2003 issue of Socialist, magazine of the Socialist Party USA and candidates' websites.