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Leading Republicans, Democrats, and Independents Unite to Form First 'Open' Party

Disenchanted and disenfranchised Republicans, Democrats, and independents are joining forces to take on the two-party duopoly with a new political party build on inclusion, accountability, and better elections.

The Forward Party, Serve America Movement, and Renew America Movement recently worked in parallel to strengthen the US democratic process. However, things are about to change. The three organizations announced Thursday that they are merging under one banner: Forward.

“Political extremism is ripping our nation apart, and the two parties have failed to remedy the crisis,” wrote former Republican New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, and former Republican US Rep. David Jolly in an op-ed for The Washington Post.

All three serve in leadership positions in the merged groups. Jolly is the executive director of the Serve America Movement, Whitman is a co-founder of the Renew America Movement, and Yang is co-chair of the Forward Party.

“Americans have lost faith in government. Nearly 8 in 10 say the country is headed in the wrong direction,” they added, “and two-thirds of voters think neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have the right priorities.”

Forward will consist of leading national Republicans, Democrats, and independents who, according to a press release, “will build a new kind of political party that represents the interests of the majority of Americans who reject extremism and division." According to its founders, the new party will be the first “open” party, meaning that just as its leaders span the political spectrum, voters of all political affiliations will be invited to be a part of the process of building a home for the political homeless without sacrificing their preferred affiliations.

Voters will have an opportunity to speak to party leaders during a national building tour this fall. Forward will also lay the groundwork for expanding its state-by-state party registration and ballot access efforts. The party plans on achieving legal recognition in 15 states by the end of 2022.

“Some call third parties ‘spoilers,’ but the system is already spoiled,” Jolly, Whitman, and Yang wrote. “The two parties have shut out competition, and America is suffering as a result.”

Forward will be founded on three principles to unite its coalition: Free people, thriving communities, and a vibrant democracy. The party has pledged to recruit solutions-oriented candidates that will work to achieve these goals for the most people possible.

The new Forward Party will not have candidates for the 2022 midterm. However, it announced that it will support select candidates running in November “who stand up for democracy, even if they come from outside the new party.”

Be sure to check out previous coverage on the Forward Party and the Serve America Movement, including a podcast interview with Andrew Yang.

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About the Author

Shawn Griffiths

Shawn is an election reform expert and National Editor of IVN.us. He studied history and philosophy at the University of North Texas. He joined the IVN team in 2012.

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