Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has given the red light to the Green Party, ending speculation that she would run for president on that ticket and leaving party leaders wondering where their months-long public courtship went sour.
McKinney, who as recently as August 31 made an appearance at a Green Party event where money was raised to retire campaign debt from her failed re-election bid in 2006, said she wanted her name withdrawn from consideration in a letter delivered to the party Monday.
On Wednesday, stunned party officials said they had not spoken to McKinney since receiving the letter, which is posted on her web site, www.allthingscynthiamckinney.com.
"We're still trying to reconstruct what really happened," said Brent McMillan, the Washington, D.C.-based national political director for the Green Party. "We haven't talked to her, and we're trying to get a meeting with her to find out. We think it's something that might have happened at a party meeting last weekend in California. Yes, this comes as a big disappointment."
McKinney was traveling , according to her Atlanta attorney, J. M. Raffauf, and could not be reached for comment. She was expected to return to Atlanta Wednesday night.
In her letter, addressed to the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States, McKinney, said she had seriously considered running as the party's 2008 presidential candidate after meeting party leaders attending at least a dozen state parties, including the national meeting in July in Reading, Pennsylvania.
"Since the Reading meeting, I have also begun to help Green candidates raise money for their campaigns," the letter read. "For months I have answered questions about my intentions for this race in 2008 by saying that while I am not yet in, neither am I out of this race."
She does not say specifically why she is withdrawing from consideration, only that she made the decision after "careful consideration" of the political conditions in the country, the "level of development" within the party, and her own "readiness to take on such a daunting tasks and my own long postponed personal priorities."
Susan King, a spokesperson for the California Green party, which held a convention last weekend, said party officials believe McKinney was unhappy with the group's decision to add all the Green Party candidates to the ballot for the California presidential primary.
"Instead of picking or choosing a Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney, there are a whole lot of names in the running," said King.
© 2007 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution