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      Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins vows to build on third place finish

      Green Party Gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins.

      Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins is kicking off his campaign for New York governor, vowing to build on his third-place finish four years ago.

      Hawkins announced his campaign Wednesday. He says that if elected he would support raising the minimum wage, more investments in renewable energy and public transportation, a ban on hydraulic fracturing and higher taxes on wealthy earners.

      Hawkins says that while he's realistic about his chances as a third-party candidate, he believes many voters want an alternative to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Republican candidate Rob Astorino.

      A Syracuse resident, Hawkins is a longtime activist and is employed by UPS.

      Hawkins won nearly 60,000 votes to finish third in the 2010 race behind Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Republican candidate Carl Paladino.