Maryland's 92-Year-Old Green Party Nominee To Continue Peace Quest
Bob Auerbach may not have won a seat in the U.S. House but he got more than 4,600 votes.
Maryland's 92-year-old Green Party nominee for Congress, Bob Auerbach, has a penchant for optimism. He stood outside the Greenbelt Community Center polling station on Election Day passing out literature in temperatures barely above freezing.
He admitted, "I'm not hot, that's true." But he turned even the chilly weather to a positive, adding later, "You were fortunate if you were in the sun, you got a little warmth."
Auerbach said he has had 12 operations on his left knee, his right eye is 95 percent blind, he has hearing aids in both ears and a metal plate in his left hip. But he preferred to talk about what he could do.
"I still walk around without any cane," he said—a point he proved Tuesday when he walked to the polling station, turning down an offer for a ride from a campaign volunteer.
Results from the Maryland State Board of Elections show Auerbacher received 4,626 votes in his bid for Maryland's 5th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. That seat was won by incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer who had more than 220,800 votes. Auerbach also finished behind Republican candidate Tony O'Donnell but ahead of Libertarian Arvin Vohra.
"Luckily I got more supporters," Auerbach said comparing this year's showing to his 2004 run for Congress. Eight years ago, he received 4,224 votes. If the Greens can get one additional person interested, Auerbach said, "it's a great advantage for us."
"I tend to be optimistic and I tend to look for the good part in everything—the parts that I agree with," Auerbach said.
But his positivity can't find anything to agree with when it comes to building up America's military, and he clashed over it with the main competitor in the race, Hoyer.
Auerbach didn't disparge Hoyer, but the Green Party candidate became animated when discussing his opposition to Hoyer's support of military funding measures. Hoyer had pledged to continue working to ensure that a Maryland energetics systems and technology lab complex had funding and expressed support for several military facilities in the state.
Auerbach, a lifelong peace activist, shares his thoughts on war, peace, violence and non-violence in the video attached to this story.
Hoyer may have won the election, but Auerbach believes it is the Greens' advocacy for peace and non-violence that will triumph in the end. He was an early activist for racial equality and feels like the country has come a long way since the 1930s when he embraced the issue. On Wednesday, Auerbach celebrated what he considers to be another Civil Rights victory, Maryland's ballot question vote to approve same-sex marriage.
These successes encourage him to believe that peace and non-violence will eventually prevail as well.
The election may be over, but retirement is not in Auerbach's future, he plans to get right back at it. One week from election night, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, the Greenbelt Greens have a meeting scheduled at 7 p.m. at a table in the New Deal Café, and the man who values each person as a great advantage, plans to attend and continue his quest for world peace.