On Wednesday, May 14, The Centrist Project launched The Centrist Project Voice, a political action committee supporting centrist candidates, regardless of party affiliation, who are willing to put partisanship aside to focus on the issues most critical to Americans. According to the organization, it is the first PAC of its kind.
"Most Americans are moderates, yet we are represented by officials who pander to the extremes of the electorate and put partisan politics ahead of what's best for our country as a whole," said Centrist Project Founder Charles Wheelan, a senior lecturer and policy fellow at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College and the bestselling author of Naked Economics, in a press release. "For the first time, Americans now have an opportunity to band together for a single purpose: elect candidates who share our centrist values."For its inaugural endorsement, The Centrist Project Voice has chosen Larry Pressler. Pressler is a former three-term Republican senator from South Dakota and now seeks to reclaim his seat as an independent candidate. Current incumbent Tim Johnson (D), who defeated Pressler in 1996, is retiring after his own three terms in office, leaving the seat up for grabs.
"Larry Pressler is a longtime champion of individual rights and fiscal sanity, and doesn't believe either party has all the answers," Wheelan said. "And like us, he believes that Americans deserve better from their elected officials."
The Centrist Project will host several events, including a May 19 event in Chicago and a May 22 event in San Francisco. During these events, Pressler will meet with members of the organization. He will also participate in a series of members-only conference calls.
"I am running as an Independent to help end the poisonous fighting between Republicans and Democrats that has paralyzed Congress. It is incredibly difficult to run as an independent. For example, the two parties have become exclusively conduits for special interest money,” Pressler was quoted in the press release. "The Centrist Project Voice is leveling the electoral playing field by helping voters across the country support true leaders who can win with their help."
A majority of Americans believe neither major party represents America and the number of voters who now self-identify as independent has risen above 42 percent. These are people who are frustrated and tired of politics as usual at all levels of government. The Centrist Party was launched in 2013 "to give this growing number of disenfranchised Americans a voice and a vehicle to support leaders willing to work on their behalf." The organization operates in over 25 states, training volunteers and members to promote centrist values in their communities.
"For the past year, our supporters and members have been asking us, 'What can we do to elect better leaders?' Now, we have an answer — donate through The Centrist Project PAC. You'll be doing more than just supporting candidates who can win; you'll be demonstrating that the political middle is a growing force in national politics and represents the best interests of the American people."
The Centrist Project Voice plans to endorse other U.S. Senate candidates in the coming months in an effort to build a core of centrist senators who will work to change D.C. politics.