Earlier this week, IPR correspondent Trent Hill unveiled the first batch, #6-10, of IPR’s Top 10 third-party and independent candidates for the 2008 election season. Today, we bring you #s 1-5.
5.) State Rep. Michael Jackson scored 43% of the vote in a head-to-head primary runoff against Democrat Don Cazayoux in Louisiana’s 6th district. Now Jackson, who is African-American, will be on the ballot as an independent against the white Democratic incumbent. The district is 1/3 black. It would be a real Thriller if he won, but as Peter Orvetti says, he’ll need more than 43% to Beat It. Read more ‘Jacko’ puns in the comments here.
4.) David Krikorian is an independent candidate for Congress in Ohio’s 2nd district. He entered the race polling 13.4%, has polled as high as 26.5% in one county and 16.7% in another, and has raised $150,000. Krikorian will face Republican incumbent Jean Schmidt and Democratic challenger Victoria Wulsin on Election Day.
3.) Cindy Sheehan is endorsed by the San Francisco Peace and Freedom and Green parties, as well as the 50,000-member California Reform Party, but she’s running as an independent. Sheehan is a nationally known antiwar activist and has raised more than $300,000 for her insurgency against Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
2.) Anthony Pollina was originally running as the Progressive Party’s nominee for Governor of Vermont, but he’s since decided to take the independent route — perhaps at his own peril. Mr. Pollina served as a Senior Policy Advisor for then-Congressman Bernie Sanders from 1991 to 1996. He received 10% of the vote as the Progressive Party’s nominee for governor in 2000, and 25% as the party’s candidate for lieutenant governor in 2004. Earlier this year, he was wooed by the Democrats to run for lieutenant governor again, but he stood up to them and pushed ahead with his gubernatorial campaign.
1.) Bob Bird (Alaska Independence Party): Bob is truly an odd Bird for a politician — he’s principled and intelligent. He’s a lifelong pro-life leader who is vehemently opposed to a national abortion ban, citing the potential dystopian disaster that could ensue. He’s a pro-gun activist who’s smart enough to realize the D.C.-Heller decision was anything but a win for freedom. And he’s courageous enough to challenge the voting public, rather than talking down to them, or assuming “they won’t understand” the principled view.
Believe it or not, this approach is paying off for Mr. Bird. Even as he opposes a national ban, he’s been endorsed by Alaskan Right to Life, an organization of which he was president of from 1995 to 1997. Bird has polled incredibly strongly in libertarian/independent-minded Alaska, and has a legitimate shot of unseating scandal-ridden Republican incumbent Senator Ted Stevens. For these reasons, and many more, Trent Hill and I have decided to name him the #1 third-party/independent candidate in the U.S. for 2008.
Recap: The Top 10 Statewide/Congressional Candidates
(Third Party or Independents only)
- Bob Bird for U.S. Senate, AK (Alaska Independence Party)
- Anthony Pollina for Governor, VT (Independent / Progressive)
- Cindy Sheehan for U.S. House, CA-8 (Independent)
- David Krikorian for U.S. House, OH-2 (Independent)
- Michael Jackson for U.S. House, LA-6 (Independent)
- Jack Kevorkian for U.S. House, MI-9 (Independent)
- Robert Owens for Attorney General, OH (Independent)
- Michael Hsing for U.S. House, NJ-7 (Independent)
- Don Elijah Eckhart for U.S. House, OH-15 (Independent)
- Dave Brownlow for U.S. Senate, OR (Constitution Party)
Note: This list was compiled by Trent Hill, with the input and assistance of IPR’s other writers. G.E. determined the rankings of the top 5.