Party for Liberation and Socialism leader Gloria La Riva gained a spot on the California presidential ballot on Saturday by winning the nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party. According to websites and Twitter accounts associated with the La Riva campaign, the candidate now has ballot status in California, New Jersey, Louisiana, New Mexico, Colorado, and Iowa.

Not big enough for debates

The number of states listing her on the ballot are not enough to meet the first test to be included in the fall’s presidential debates.

The Commission on Presidential Debates requires a candidate to be on enough ballots to win the majority in the Electoral College. In addition to ballot status, the Commission requires candidates to show at least 15-percent support in major public opinion surveys.

Candidate praises Castro

Where La Riva is on the ballot, she increases the number of alternatives to Democrat Hillary Clinton by one. La Riva is not likely to appeal to voters who are not far left.

In recent days, La Riva has devoted her Twitter account to several tweets praising former Cuban President Fidel Castro, who celebrated his 90th birthday on Saturday. “Fidel had boundless courage facing US imperialism,” she wrote in one message, “that’s why the Cuban people, all freedom-loving people love him too.”

From Black Panthers to Roseanne Barr

The Peace and Freedom Party was established in 1968.

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In some states, the party’s nominee was comedian Dick Gregory. In California, the presidential nominee was Eldridge Cleaver, a Black Panther Party leader. In 1972, the party nominated Dr. Benjamin Spock for President.

The famous pediatrician dedicated his campaign to opposition to the Vietnam war and for the repeal of victimless crime laws. The party was the target of several takeover attempts over the years.

In 1974, libertarians made headway within the party. That year, the party’s candidate for governor, Elizabeth Keathley, sometimes campaigned in the nude. In 2012, the party nominated actress Roseanne Barr for president after she lost the Green Party nomination to Jill Stein. Cindy Sheehan, a prominent antiwar activist, was Barr’s running mate.

California’s voting options

The California ballot is now unofficially complete.

Ready for November are Clinton, La Riva, Stein, Republican Donald Trump - who is also on California’s ballot as the American Independent Party nominee; and former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, the candidate of the Libertarian Party.

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