Given the public's deep disapproval of the Democratic and Republican parties, there are likely a great many Americans who have already come to the conclusion that this year's race for president will, once again, boil down to a choice between Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dumber. Yet there are alternatives. Earlier this month, we took a look at the Green Party's Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson. Independents who are thinking outside the two-party box may also consider the candidacy of former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson.
Anderson's third party bid for president has been quietly gaining momentum since he launched his campaign late last year. In the last week, he has received the express support of former Independent and third party presidential candidate Ralph Nader as well as the endorsement of the Progressive Party of Oregon. Nader introduced Anderson at a press conference in Portland, Oregon, ahead of his official nomination by the party. “I am glad to see Rocky in this race, and he has my total support,” said Nader.
Anderson, a former Democrat and two term mayor of Salt Lake City from 2000 to 2008, rose to national prominence as a vocal critic of the Bush administration, and an advocate for equal rights, a rational drug policy and climate protection.
He divorced himself from the Democratic party last summer, in a harshly worded email to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The Constitution has been eviscerated while Democrats have stood by with nary a whimper," he wrote to the DCCC, continuing: "It is a gutless, unprincipled party, bought and paid for by the same interests that buy and pay for the Republican Party."
Anderson is not mincing words in his campaign either. He is a vocal advocate for ending the corrosive influence of the Democratic and Republican party machines on the nation's character and government. In a recent interview with Digital Journal, he stated:
“I think it is absolutely vital that third parties try to come together, in any way we can, under one new banner. Being part of the dialogue isn't enough. We need to change the world, and we need to change it now. To me this should not be about ego; it should not be about personalities. This should be about identifying our common ground and doing everything we can to fundamentally change things, to get the corrupting influence of money out of politics.”
Anderson is running for the nation's highest office under the banner of the Justice Party, which he founded in conjunction with the launch of his presidential campaign. The party has thus far secured ballot access in only two states, Utah and Mississippi. Given the high barriers to entry for third party organizations in states across the country, which often run on a shoe-strong budget, Anderson is also seeking the nomination of Americans Elect, an upstart political organization that is on track to achieve ballot access in all 50 states this year.
Americans Elect plans to hold an online presidential nominating convention later this year that is open to all eligible voters. Anderson is currently the second most popular declared candidate for the AE nomination, trailing being former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer.
To learn more about Anderson's candidacy, visit his campaign website.