The current approval rate for Congress hovers at an all-time low and the political makeup of the Senate chamber is a critically important aspect to this year's election cycle. Dissatisfaction over the performance of incumbents currently serving will place significant attention on the independents vying for their seats. Here is a brief introduction to a handful of independent candidates running for Senate seats across the country in 2012.
Jon Ross Barrie-“I am NOT a politician and I have never been one. In fact, I am entering the political arena as an 'unknown' seeking solutions to our country.”
Running for U.S. Senate in New Mexico, Barrie considers himself to be a constitutional conservative. If elected, he will donate half of his congressional salary to children with disabilities in New Mexico, and will not participate in the congressional healthcare and retirement systems.
Ian Gilyeat- “The desire to steal illegally into the country will disappear if we simplify, shorten and lower the cost of entry.”
Running for U.S. Senate in Arizona against Senator John McCain, Gilyeat is an independent for limited government and protection of the free market. In a state that has been under scrutiny for strict immigration practices, Gilyeat proposes to streamline the immigration process. He also is in favor of repealing the 17th amendment, which established direct election of U.S. senators by popular vote.
Bill Cimbrelo-“Corporate America, with the willful cooperation of both political parties, has been allowed to systematically destroy the country’s moral fiber and redefine democracy on its terms.”
Cimbrelo is a candidate for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. He describes himself as a fiscally conservative social liberal. He stands for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as achieving energy independence in the U.S.
Scott Rupert- “Those of us who know how hard it is to earn the money our politicians are spending must get involved. If we are to once again enjoy control over our government, we must do more than vote: we must take an active part in the political process.”
Rupert is an independent candidate running for U.S. Senate in Ohio. As a constitutional conservative Rupert stands for state sovereignty and limited federal government.
Lawrence Donahue-“Serving as a member of the United States Congress is a full time job as is running for President. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives cannot effectively represent their constituents while they are traveling throughout the country campaigning for President.”
Running for U.S. Senate in New Jersey, Donahue believes that members of the U.S. Congress should resign from their positions if they decide to run for President. He also supports four year terms for Congress.
Jack Edward Rooney- “Many Americans I talk to from both parties feel the nation has lost its way. Since the major political parties have been the chief architects in charge during this great American train wreck, it is reasonable to conclude they can never place us back on the right track.”
Running for U.S. Senate in Indiana, Rooney is advocate against the two-party system in America. He recently spoke about the two-party system in a new documentary entitled Two-Party America.
Angus King- "I think it’s time to try something new–sending someone to Washington who’s not beholden to a party or set of interest groups, but is committed to common sense, civility, and making things work."
Angus King is a former two-term governor of Maine, where he focused on economic development and job creation. Independent Voter Network has followed his bid for Republican Senator Olympia Snowe's seat after she retires this year: read more here and here.
Each of these candidates stress one common theme: the two parties are no longer working for Americans. They all say that they want to work independently of the parties and vote based upon their personal beliefs not because of party pressure. Will these candidates, and others like them, be able to capitalize on the widespread discontent in America and get their electorates to cast their votes for nonpartisan alternatives?