Working Class Party presented candidates in the 2022 election: 11 candidates in Michigan, where it has been on the ballot since 2016; two candidates in Maryland, where it gained ballot status in 2020; and one candidate in Illinois, where it qualified this year.
In Michigan, Mary Anne Hering, the only state-wide Working Class Party candidate, received votes from 135,789 people. In Maryland, David Harding and Cathy White, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, received 17,154 votes. In Illinois, Ed Hershey, candidate for U.S. Congress, received 4,605 votes. In other words, at least 157,548 people voted for a Working Class Party candidate. (The results of the ten other Michigan candidates appear below.)
This election took place in the midst of crises that grow more dangerous: inflation; the disappearance of decent jobs; public services that don’t serve the public; an education system that does not fully educate most children; the changing climate with its intensified storms, floods and fires; and over one million people dead from Covid, the worst rate of death of any developed country.
Every one of these crises derives from the push by the corporations and their wealthy owners to accumulate more wealth – stolen from the labor of the working class in this country and around the world – to the detriment of all the ordinary people.
Finally, there is the push of U.S. imperialism to engage in more wars around the world, directly and indirectly like the one in Ukraine funded by the U.S., which devastate countries and butcher people. All this raises, quite literally, the possibility of a new world war.
Elections are not going to overcome such crises – and this would be true even if Working Class Party was a much bigger party, and even if it had received a much bigger vote.
To change the situation, the working class will have to mobilize its forces, using its key position in the economy to impose the needs and interests of ordinary people. The capitalist class, committed to accumulating more profit, will not willingly go along. The change we need will mean a fight – that’s what WCP raised in the campaign.
To change the situation means that working people must organize ourselves politically, must build our own party – and WCP focused on this in the campaign, discussing what would be the program of such a party.
To change the situation means that working people must overcome what divides us. We have to oppose every attempt of the capitalist class to drive wedges between us; we have to oppose the racist and jingoist and sexist propaganda, violence and attacks that pervade the country – and WCP made this an issue in its campaign.
Maybe the vote for WCP doesn’t seem all that much, when compared to the vote rolled up by the two big parties who live on billions of dollars doled out to them by the capitalist class.
But the vote for WCP was significant. By saying these things all during the campaign, WCP gave working people a way to express their agreement with a working class perspective. At least 157,000 people, if not more, grabbed that opportunity, voting for at least one Working Class Party candidate.
In a country where there has not been even the semblance of a working class party for more than a century, it shows that a part of the working class is ready to organize its own class party. It’s a down-payment on the future.
Liz Hakola, Congress district 1 – 5,480 votes, 1.42%
Lou Palus, Congress, district 3 – 4,192 votes, 1.24%
Kathy Goodwin, Congress district 8 – 9,088 votes, 2.71%
Jim Walkowicz, Congress district 9 – 6,570 votes, 1.76%
Andrea L. Kirby, Congress district 10 – 5,905 votes, 1.81%
Gary Walkowicz, Congress district 12 – 8,046 votes, 2.9%
Simone R. Coleman, Congress district 13 – 8,811 votes, 3.77%
Larry Darnell Betts, State Senate district 2 – 1,636 votes, 2.57%
Linda Rayburn, State Senate district 3 – 10,124 votes, 14.33%
Kimberly Givens, State Senate district 6 – 3,396 votes, 3.12%