April 18, 2012 in 2012 Spring
Kent Mesplay, PhD
San Diego, California
Born July 19, 1962
Mesplay spent the first 10 years of his life in New Guinea, where his parents were Lutheran missionaries. He was home-schooled for the first three years of school, later attending a British-style boarding school at Wau. At boarding school he was influenced by the international student body and by tales of World War II, as Wau had been one of the busiest airstrips in the world during the war. His closest friends at school were German and Australian, with teachers from around the planet.
After coming to the United States, the family moved to Mira Mesa, California, in 1977, following his father’s acceptance into graduate school for clinical psychology. Mesplay graduated in 1980 as valedictorian from Mira Mesa High School, where he had captained and lettered on the track team and received a Bank of America Achievement Award in Liberal Arts for his debating skills. Mesplay studied engineering at Harvey Mudd College and went on to earn a PhD in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University, with emphasis on prosthetic design and function. Mesplay now works for San Diego County as an air quality inspector with the Air Pollution Control District.
Regarding Green Party involvement, Mesplay is active locally and on the state and national levels. He registered with the Green Party of California in 1995. In 1996, he was a Nader delegate to the Green Party’s national convention. He was elected Treasurer of the Green Party County Council, San Diego, where he served from 1996 to 1997. During the same period, he was the co-chair of the Communications Committee, Green Party County Council, San Diego. Mesplay has served numerous times as a delegate to the Green Party of California General Assembly.
In 2004 Mesplay became a Green Party of California delegate to the Green National Committee and has served continuously since. In 2006, he was again elected to the Green Party County Council, San Diego.
Mesplay sought the Green Party presidential nomination in 2004, announcing at a State Green Party meeting in Chula Vista, CA, in September of 2003. Entering the 2004 Green Convention in Milwaukee, WI with a count of 10 (1.3 percent) committed delegates, Mesplay more than doubled his delegate count in Round 1 of the presidential nomination voting, earning 24 (3.1 percent) delegates.
After a number of candidates withdrew or were eliminated Mesplay entered the second and final round, where he again nearly doubled his count, finishing third with 43 (5.6 percent) of the delegate votes. David Cobb received the nomination with 408 (53 percent) delegate votes.
In 2006, Mesplay ran for U.S. Senate in California. This was the first time the Green Party had a contested senatorial primary in California. With very little organizing and minimal voter outreach, Mesplay received one sixth of the Green votes in the primary.
In 2007, Mesplay began his run for the 2008 Green Party presidential nomination and partnered with another Green Party candidate, Kat Swift of Texas. This unique partnering allowed both candidates to share resources and make common arrangements for debates and events. Mesplay placed third at the Chicago convention in 2008 behind Kat Swift and party nominee Cynthia McKinney.
In 2011, Mesplay was the first Green Party presidential candidate to announce.