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Activist Chris Lugo seeks U.S. Senate seat; critical of ‘misdirected’ national priorities

After a long summer of consideration I have made the decision to enter the race in Tennessee as a candidate for the US Senate. — Chris Lugo

Chris Lugo has decided to toss his hat into the ring of contenders for a Tennessee seat in the U.S. Senate, working from a progressive, independent and green platform that first and foremost is an anti-war stance that advocates an end to the Iraq War and refocusing of energy and tax dollars on domestic issues including public safety, transportation infrastructure, and alternative energy.

“I plan to work to represent a progressive voice in Tennessee in the 2008 elections. As the former 2006 Green Party of Tennessee candidate for US Senate, I plan to build on my experience and knowledge for the 2008 elections. My work as a peace activist working with statewide coalitions to end the war in Iraq for the past five years will be helpful in getting out the antiwar message which is at the core of my campaign. I hope you will consider supporting my effort to be that voice in Tennessee.

“I am the only candidate running for Senate in Tennessee who stands for the progressive ideals that have made this country great. I am truly interested in the needs of the poor, the elderly, women and children, working people, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and the environment. I am the only candidate who stands for peace. I have a long history of service to my community and working for a better Tennessee.”

Lugo reminded voters that the Iraq War has passed the four year mark with thousands of Americans killed and an estimated 700,000 to 1.2 million Iraqis killed. Millions more have become refugees.

“This misguided war in Iraq has cost our state seven billion dollars. This is an incomprehensible price to pay for nothing. The war in Iraq has cost the United States what was left of its good name internationally, in addition to creating hundreds of thousands of enemies… By staying in Iraq, remaining as an occupying power, we have only reinforced perspectives in the Middle East and throughout the world that we are rogue bullies, hellbent on occupation and devastation wherever it is deemed to be in the interests of the rich and powerful of this nation.”

Lugo criticizes the current administrations’ neglect of our nationĀ at the expense of the Iraq War, citing the

“…abandonment of our cities … the national disaster of Katrina and the displacement of over 250,000 mostly poor people of color.

“Our transportation infrastructure is crumbling and federal estimates put the cost of replacement at $11 billion for just the most immediate repairs to guarantee public safety, let along investing in options such as light rail, urban rezoning to reduce sprawl, and investment in alternate energy such as wind and solar. Our national priorities are completely misguided and misdirected.”

Lugo is concerned about the widening gap between the nation’s richest and poorest people, and said the middle class is “disappearing” a free trade agreements and corporate profiteering “drive down wages” for the working class.

“If ever there was a clarion call for our elected leadeers to wake up, now is the time, but they are bogged down in Washington with their special interests, obligations and lobbyists.

“Now is the time to move forward in Tennessee. The war in Iraq has been dragging on for over four years now. The Democrats are not going to bring us out of this myopia; only a truly progressive, independent candidate can help our country move forward. Vote for Peace in 2008!”

“These are the values I stand for,” Ludo said, adding that he intends to be the voice for the issues “we know will not be discussed” in Tennessee by the Democratic or Republican candidates: ending the war, bringing health care to every citizen, abolishing our nuclear weapons stockpile, addressing issues of racial justice in the South, media democracy, election reform, international peace, and publicly funded campaigns.

Lugo is a Nashville resident, a peace activist has had many experiences which have helped to prepare me to run for public office. ‘

“I have been active on the left for eighteen years organizing for peace and against war in Tennessee and in Minnesota. I am an editor for the Tennessee Independent Media Center and have been writing, interviewing and researching progressive politics statewide for a number of years. I am active in several coalitions in Tennessee associated with the progressive left including the Green Party of Tennessee, the Nashville Peace and Justice Center and the Nashville Peace Coalition.

“I have participated in active campaigns with the Living Wage Campaign, the Coalition to Save TennCare, the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, the Firebrand Community Center Project, the United Nations Association, Bring Urban Recycling to Nashville Today, the Mid-East Peace Coalition, Pan Africa, Citizens for Smart Choices, Nashville Peace Action, National Organization of Women and United for Peace and Justice. As a journalist, I have been active with the Tennessee Independent Media Center, Radio Free Nashville and Nashville Community Access Television.”

He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a major in art and political science.

The following are a partial list of the positions taken in Lugo’s prior Senate run (this positions have not changed):

Military Spending/Patriot Act:

  • Patriot Act harms civil liberties.
  • Less spending on armed forces.
  • Create a cabinet-level Department of Peace.

Energy and Oil:

  • Supports continued investment in domestic hybrid vehicles, bio-diesel, solar- powered vehicles, air cars and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
  • Support increased funding for public transportation.


  • School prayer breaches church-state separation.
  • Support national standards for and testing of public school students.
  • Supports both vouchers AND full public school funding. Allow parents to use vouchers, (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any public, private or religious school.
  • Allow teachers and professionals to receive authorization and funding to establish charter schools.
  • Reward teachers with merit pay for working in low-income schools.

Health Care:

  • Ensure Universal Health Care


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