I ran as an independent candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 election cycle and I came in number 15! More than 1,000 people filed with the Federal Elections Commission to run for President and only 24 received more than 1,000 votes. I am delighted that so many of the independent candidates I met in debates and Presidential forums throughout the year appear on that list of 24 – especially Chris Keniston, Gloria La Riva, Richard Duncan, Monica Moorehead, Emidio “Mimi” Soltysik, Peter Skewes and Rocky De La Fuente.
I am of course grateful to Kathy Monahan and Jay Stolba for serving as my running mates in states where we were on the ballot or write-in candidates. I am profoundly thankful for the many people around the country that supported and encouraged our independent campaign.
I see a growing independent movement in America with more court wins for ballot access and more candidates running as independents. As voters learn they have more choices than a broken two-party system, our visibility grows and now more and more journalists and social media websites are interviewing and highlighting independent candidates. The most hopeful sign for independent politics is the growing number of debate and discussion forums that were hosted outside traditional media; I see that trend growing.
The saddest part of the 2016 election cycle is that the independent debates and forums brought forth many well-considered solutions to America’s challenges – from veterans’ issues to poverty to growing the economy – yet the American people did not get to hear our solutions. They would have been surprised – our debates were focused on real answers to critical questions without any trash talking and with surprising agreements and support for each other’s ideas. The independent debates moved the dialogue forward in terms of solutions and a vision for a strong and united America. So that is the starting point for the next election!
Many of you have asked what’s next? I am thinking about running for office again.
I am halfway done with a book about what I learned in 19 months and 52,000 miles on the road – 19 months so 19 chapters! I am also working with candidates and small groups in about 10 states that want to start or support an independent 3rd party. In February, I will be taking with activists in Virginia, third party leaders in South Carolina, and then potential independent candidates in Alabama and Florida. So if you are thinking about running for office as an independent candidate in your state at any level – send me a message (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let’s talk!