by Andrew West at lidblog.com
All of the big talk about 2024’s presidential race has thus far revolved around incumbent Democratic President Joe Biden and former Republican President Donald Trump, with almost no reason at this time to think that they won’t simply be having a rematch next November.
Sure, plenty of other candidates are beginning to filter in, but none so far that appears to be anything other than long shots who know that they’re long shots, looking to do a little fundraising before sailing off into the sunset.
But there is a new wrench in the gears for the establishment candidates: A third party that has locked down ballot access in a number of key swing states.
A centrist third party qualified to appear on the ballot in Arizona in 2024, stoking concerns among left-leaning groups about a “spoiler” candidate who could cost Democrats the presidency and open the door for former President Donald Trump to return to the White House.
The No Labels Party surpassed the minimum number of signatures required to appear on the ballot for statewide and federal races on Tuesday, making Arizona the second state the centrist party can compete in during the 2024 cycle. The group already secured a spot on the Colorado ballot and has vowed to compete for access in at least 23 other states.
“After an extensive review by my office and by county elections officials across the state, the No Labels Party has exceeded the minimum signature requirement and, therefore, qualifies as a new party,” Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, who oversees election administration, said in a statement. “I am committed to supporting county election officials to ensure that they are prepared for this new addition to the state’s list of parties and any other changes to the 2024 ballot.”
And this was no fly-by-night operation, either.
No Labels has been quietly working to craft a bipartisan third-party ticket for over a year, looking to give voters an alternative option to candidates they view as extreme. As of September, the group has already raised more than $46 million and has more than 400 volunteers seeking ballot access in several battleground states, according to the New York Times.
At this time, there is positively no indication of who the No Labels Party might send to the big dance, but the group plans to hold a nominating convention sometime in April to answer that question well ahead of the Democrats or Republicans.
If they don’t generate enough votes to win the election (which is most likely), the question becomes which party will No Labels hurt the most. It depends on their policies and candidate.