Getting on the ballot is a key milestone for any candidate, especially for a congressional seat in a hotly contested race. Chris Stockwell, the independent candidate in Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District, may soon clear this hurdle.Stockwell recently announced that he has submitted more than 3,500 signatures to town and city clerks across the district to qualify for the November ballot.
An independent candidate for a congressional race in Massachusetts must file nomination papers with a minimum of 2,000 signatures. This minimum must be met by eligible voters, subject to validation by local election officials.
“We are confident that our final count will far exceed the number required to appear on the November ballot," said Stockwell.
Stockwell has traveled his district extensively, personally meeting voters and speaking with them about why he is running for Congress.
"We are thrilled that so many voters -- Democrats, independents, and Republicans -- expressed their support for me," he remarked.
“What I hear over and over is that people are sick and tired of the partisanship, gridlock, and lack of progress on the important issues facing our nation.”Stockwell has never before run for political office. He deeply believes that the United States needs fresh perspectives in politics and political leaders who are not career politicians and who will put country before political party.
These are the ideals that form the basis of Stockwell’s candidacy.
“That’s why I’m running for Congress,” he avows.
The 6th Congressional District in Massachusetts was included in CNN's list of key races to watch for 2014. John Tierney, the Democratic incumbent, is facing a strong primary challenge from Seth Moulton, Marisa DeFranco, and John Devine. The Democratic primary will be held on September 9. The Republican candidate, Richard Tisei, is also a strong contender for the seat after a narrow loss to Tierney in 2012.
There are currently no independents in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Will Chris Stockwell change this trend? He believes he will, and securing a slot on the ballot would be an important first step in this direction.