"We need to give something and people to be passionate about, who they know can lead and put our country ahead of political parties, use facts and common sense to solve problems, and ultimately not be influenced by the special interests who control both parties." - Greg Orman, 2014 US Senate candidate
Entrepreneur and political independent Greg Orman has joined forces with the Centrist Project in order to elect more independent candidates that better represent the interests of their constituents and break the two-party duopoly on our political process.
Orman and other declared or potential independent candidates for governor and US Senate gathered for a private retreat in Philadelphia over the weekend. They were joined by core Centrist Project supporters, donors, and advisers.
The purpose of the gathering was for attendees to explore "joining forces and paving a new way forward in our polarized politics," according to the Centrist Project.
Other independent candidates present included: Gov. Bill Walker (I-AK), Maine gubernatorial candidate Terry Hayes, former presidential candidate and potential US Senate candidate Evan McMullin, and of course Greg Orman, who ran in the 2014 election for US Senate in Kansas and may run for governor.
In his Senate run, Orman was able to garner 43 percent of the vote against incumbent Republican US Senator Pat Roberts. Though he lost, it was an impressive showing for an independent.
Still, as Orman notes, candidates outside the two major parties still face significant "institutional and structural barriers to independents succeeding."
"The whole political economy has been built around serving Democrats and Republicans, and that's really what the Centrist Project is trying to change," said Orman.
According to the most recent Gallup survey, 45 percent of US voters identify politically as independent, meaning that independents make up the largest voting demographic in the country. Yet, there is not a single independent in the US House, and only two in the Senate. There is also only one independent governor.
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Part of the Centrist Project's goal is to create a Centrist Caucus in the US Senate by electing 5 independent politicians who can force Republicans and Democrats to the table on the nation's biggest issues since neither party would control the chamber -- putting country ahead of partisan politics.
To learn more about this and more, watch the full CNN interview with Greg Orman above.