Ithaca, N.Y. — Ithaca College welcomed the Green Party’s candidate for governor Howie on Friday.

Hawkins is a UPS worker from Syracuse. His running mate for Lieutenant Govenor is Brian Jones, a former inner-city elementary school teacher.

Hawkins discussed his stance on education reform, fracking, environmental issuesand an increase in minimum wage while a group of IC students listened and participated in an hour long Q & A with Hawkins.

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Hawkins at IC.

Zephyr Teachout, a left-wing primary challenger to Cuomo, lost to him last Tuesday. But Hawkins — similarly attacking Cuomo on his left flank — was undeterred.

“If you put the issues and my platform on paper, next to [Andrew] Cuomo’s and [Rob] Astorino’s and remove the names and party labels, my platform would win,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins plans to fight for a $15/hour minimum wage. When asked how small businesses would afford a significant increase in wages, he discussed single-payer health care (a system where all health care billing would go through one government agency for payment) and “raising the standards of the working class.”

Hawkins discussed cutting back largely on public assistance because the rise in wages would offset the demand for those programs.

“There ought to be a guaranteed minimum income above poverty,” Hawkins says when expressing his demand for higher wages.

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Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.