AUGUSTA (AP) – Green Party vice presidential candidate Pat LaMarche was in her home state Tuesday kicking off a campaign she says will stress health care, jobs, the environment – and mostly getting President Bush out of the White House.

The Green Party ticket of Texas lawyer David Cobb and Maine radio personality LaMarche was nominated at the party’s convention last weekend in Milwaukee.

LaMarche heads to Oregon on Friday and plans to visit the nearly two dozen other states where the Greens have ballot access. LaMarche won 7 percent of the vote as a Green candidate in Maine’s 1998 gubernatorial election.

, said she initially opposed having a presidential ticket from her party in this year’s race.

But two months ago, she was asked by party activists if she would run. LaMarche had promised her children, who are 17 and 18, that she would not run for a major office again without their permission. The children, Becky and John, gave their approval.

LaMarche said it’s “incredibly humbling and flattering” to be the Green candidate for vice president.

As she campaigns, her major themes will be the war in Iraq, the environment, health care, jobs and the economy, but LaMarche said the main message will be to defeat Bush.

Cobb said the war in Iraq “is going to be one of the absolutely central issues in this campaign.” In a statement on FOXNews.com, Cobb called himself “a peace candidate, and we are running unflinchingly on that message.”

Party officials say 205 Greens hold local and state offices and at least that many are running for office in November.

AP-ES-06-29-04 1711EDT



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