Lexington-based physician Jill Stein launched an exploratory committee for the 2016 presidential campaign Friday, likely marking the Green Party’s second attempt at the nation's highest office.
"As an exploratory campaign now, the question is, do we have critical mass to do this in a big way?" Stein told WBUR.
In 2002 and 2010 Stein ran for Massachusetts governor, followed by a presidential run as the Green Party candidate in 2012. Though she won just 0.36 percent of the vote (469,000 total), Stein is recognized as the most successful female presidential candidate in U.S. history.
Still a licensed physician, Stein said she left the trade nearly a decade ago to practice “political medicine.” She cites the Black Lives Matter movement, the “school to prison pipeline,” minimum wage, college debt and immigration as issues central to her campaign.
In the 2012 election, Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala appeared on the ballot in 36 states. She said an earlier start and a better-organized campaign will improve her standing leading up to the 2016 race.
"We're really ready to get to work,” Stein said, “reaching out and connecting to the movements at the level of the community.”