With the election season nearing and most of the presidential talk centered on Democratic and Republican nominees, third-party presidential candidates are often left out of the conversation. However, two such nominees have landed spots on Connecticut’s ballot and are in the running to enact their bids nationwide.
The Independent Party’s presidential nominee Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson, a former two-term Democratic mayor of Salt Lake City, and Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, will both appear on Connecticut’s ballot Nov. 6.
If elected, Anderson, the 59-year-old, anti-war Utah native, will only go to war for moral, security, and economic reasons rather than “engage in illegal wars of aggression.” He will raise the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, confront the wealth and income disparity, and propose a new equal rights amendment that doesn’t discriminate against ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or religion, according to his campaign website.
Besides Connecticut, Anderson and his running mate, Luis J. Hernandez, are on the ballot in 15 states including Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Washington, according to Anderson’s campaign website.
Rodriguez, the vice-presidential hopeful, is an author, activist, former Los Angeles gang member, and community organizer, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
As another two-term former governor in the race for the presidency, Johnson was aggressive in sending people out to gather the 7,500 signatures he needed to get on Connecticut’s ballot. They showed up at all sorts of political rallies and events, including the Tea Party protest of President Barack Obama’s fundraising visit to Stamford in August.
Nicknamed the “most fiscally conservative Governor” in the country, according to his campaign webpage, Johnson’s platform focuses on efficient government, balanced budgets, rational drug policy reform, protection of civil liberties, comprehensive tax reform, and personal freedom, according to his presidential campaign website.
In New Mexico, Johnson eliminated a budget deficit, cut in half the rate of growth in state government, and privatized half of the state prisons, according to his website.
Running alongside Johnson is former California Superior Court Judge Jim Gray.
Besides Connecticut’s ballot, some unsuspecting nominees are closer to their presidential dreams in other states. Virginia-born Peta Lindsay, who at age 28 is not even old enough to be president, and comedian Roseanne Barr are among them.
Despite her age, Lindsay, the nominee from the Party for Socialism and Liberation, achieved ballot access in 13 states including Colorado, Utah, Washington, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, according to a press release by the party.
A person running for president must be at least 35 years of age and a native resident of United States.
Peta and her foreign-born running mate Yari Osorio are both ineligible to take office, but that hasn’t stopped them from criss-crossing the country.
Barr, a comedian well-known for her self-titled sitcom Roseanne, is backed by the Peace and Freedom Party. She appears on the ballot in California and two other states with the most crowded ballots: Colorado, 17, and Florida, 12.
Barr initially tried for the nomination of the Green Party, but lost that race to Jill Stein. Stein’s 193.5 points trumped Barr’s 72, according to the Associated Press.
Stein, a physician who ran against Mitt Romney for governor in 2002, will appear on at least 85 percent of the ballots this November, but will only appear as a write-in in Connecticut.
Av Harris, Connecticut’s Secretary of the State, said Stein isn’t officially on the ballot because she didn’t gather enough signatures.
Tim McKee, a Connecticut Green Party member, said the Greens got a late start in collecting the signatures this year and didn’t spend as much money as the Libertarian Party on their efforts.
Stein needed 7,500 valid signatures in order to qualify for Connecticut’s ballot. McKee said they’re disappointed that they fell short in Connecticut, but that Stein’s campaign is doing great.
In fact, Stein will be debating Anderson on Wednesday night during the televised debate between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. The debate will be aired at the same time on the website Democracy NOW!