Hartford Courant, United States
Third-party candidates rarely win statewide elections. But they have managed to force issues onto the radar and have even seen some of them become law. Social Security happened that way. Ross Perot forced Bill Clinton to tackle the budget deficit. In New Haven, the Green Party got ruling Democrats to embrace campaign finance reform.
So third-party candidates like Cliff Thornton - who's seeking to become the Green Party's candidate for governor - should not, must not be discounted.
Since retiring from the former Southern New England Telecommunications Corp. nine years ago, Thornton, 61, has crusaded to end the drug war. He's cared about the issue since his school days in Hartford's North End, when his mother died of a heroin overdose two weeks before his graduation from Hartford Public High School.