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Reform Party holds national convention but postpones selection of presidential nominee to August 8th


Richard Winger of Ballot Access News reported the following today:

The Reform Party national convention of July 30 has voted to postpone the choice of a presidential nominee until August 8. The party is likely to nominate the presidential candidate who has qualified for the most state ballots by then.

Even though the new national chair of the Reform Party (effective January 1, 2017) is from New York, it appears the ballot-qualified Reform Party of New York will not place the nominee chosen by the national convention on the New York ballot. The New York Reform Party feels obliged to nominate Donald Trump for President. This is partly because the origin of the New York Reform Party in 2014 was with Republican Party activists, who put the party on the 2014 ballot with the name “Stop Common Core Party.” After it got over 50,000 votes for Governor in 2014, it changed its name to the Reform Party. The Republican activists who created the party in New York in 2014 still have some sway over the party.

According to IPR contributor Thomas L. Knapp, a candidate for the Reform Party’s vice-presidential nomination running jointly with Darcy G. Richardson, one of the two finalists for the presidential nomination, Richardson or former Democratic candidate, businessman Roque De La Fuente, will be decided through email balloting.

IPR contributor Jeremy Siple reacted to the news:

How hard is it to hold a convention and choose a candidate? What an insult to the candidates who showed up expecting to receive a vote. Beyond idiotic.

Also, if the New York party doesn’t place the party’s nominee on the ballot, they should be disaffiliated.

To which Knapp responded:


The Reform Party does certainly seem to suffer from internal governance issues.

My understanding is that Florida and New York are their only secure (by some definition I’m not sure of for New York) ballot lines. There’s a Mississippi Reform Party, but apparently they are some kind of splinter. As late as 2008 they were at least trying to run candidates in other states, but a cabal of evildoers apparently helped the Constitution Party kick their ticket off the Kansas ballot.

My prescription for the party would be for this year’s presidential campaign to make identifying prospective new members and activists a priority with a view toward getting new state affiliates up and running in time for the 2018 midterm elections.

Until today, I was relaxed vis a vis the nominations — happy to be Darcy’s running mate if he was nominated and they also accepted his selection, toes still tapping if things didn’t go that way.

But I expected it to be decided one way or another today, and now I’m … annoyed. I’ve decided to go from relaxed to proactive. I’ve arranged for Darcy 2016’s first 100,000 banner ad impressions and am preparing a support campaign which I expect to result in the party’s delegates hearing from more people THIS week about THIS year’s presidential ticket than voted for the 2012 ticket.

Messing around like this isn’t fair to the candidates and it isn’t fair to the voters.

The Reform Party did not make any comments on this new development on its Facebook page, only writing that Bill Merell was elected chair for the 2017-2021 term and Leigh Pollet was reelected treasurer. IPR will reach out to a member of the party’s leadership for comment regarding the reasons for this change in the nomination procedure.

In 2012, the Reform Party presidential nominee, Andre Barnett, was on the ballot in Florida and had write-in status in several states: Barnett garnered 961 votes.


About Post Author

Krzysztof Lesiak

I've been a contributor for IPR since January 2013. I consider myself to be a paleoconservative. I'm also the founder of American Third Party Report. Email me at


  1. Thomas Knapp Thomas Knapp July 31, 2016

    My expectation had been that as of today I’d be able to either get cracking on a general election campaign disposing of minimal resources but plenty of heart, or else go back to being a non-participating observer of this election cycle. And I would have been happy either way.

    But this delay has my blood up. The Colorado ballot access filing fee / electors list is due TWO DAYS after the Reform Party says it will be naming its candidate. If a candidate had been named yesterday, that candidate (at least if it was Darcy) would likely have secured Colorado and Louisiana ballot access this week and be CAMPAIGNING TO THE PUBLIC.

    Instead, we get to spend yet another week, with only three months to go until Election Day, campaigning to NINE PEOPLE.

    Well, OK, I can do that. But I’m going to campaign to the public as well.

    I’ve already purchased the first 100,000 banner ad impressions for Richardson 2016. A few thousand of them have been viewed, and the rest certainly will be over the next few days.

    I’ve set up a Twitter ad campaign to start tonight.

    I’m awaiting approval of a Headtalker campaign. I expect that approval today, and when it comes I will use my own social media reach, that of willing friends, and purchased reach to hit at least 100,000 people with the Darcy 2016 (and to get at least 100 of them to ask the Reform Party’s delegates to get off the dime and nominate him).

    Google advertising will roll out today or tomorrow.

    It is my belief, based on past experience and observed results, that I can put more attention on a candidate — and more importantly a party — for a cost in the low three figures than Mr. Fuente has been able to put on himself spending mid seven figures. I’ll try to prove that to the Reform Party’s delegates this week.

  2. Joe Wendt Joe Wendt July 31, 2016

    Why don’t they just nominate a Richardson-Fuente or Fuente-Richardson ticket?

  3. Thomas Knapp Thomas Knapp July 31, 2016


    That seems like a possibility.

    But of course Fuente and Richardson would have to agree.

    I would certainly urge Darcy to accept a nomination with Fuente on the ticket in either spot, but it may be that Fuente already has a vice-presidential pick and doesn’t want to give up that pick. And I doubt he’d take the VP position himself.

    For those who like the idea of Richardson for president, please join my “Headtalker” campaign:

    It launched about an hour ago. It needs 100 supporters to succeed and last time I looked was already at 13.

    If we reach 100 supporters, on Wednesday all of those supporters will tell their friends on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn that the Reform Party should nominate Darcy.

    The “reach” of the 13 supporters so far — the number of people they will tell about Darcy’s campaign if the Headtalker reaches 100 supporters — is nearly 1 million. Presumably acquiring 100 supporters will get that closer to 5 million.

  4. Michigan Voter Michigan Voter July 31, 2016

    I just think it is ridiculous that the affiliate of the state chairman, the Reform Party of New York, would not put the party’s nominee on the ballot. If nothing else, the message of the Reform Party used to be “Tired of the two major parties? Vote for the Reform Party.” But if the Reform Party is good with the Republican candidate, why not just become Republicans? This move just lost whatever credibility they had left.

  5. natural born citizen natural born citizen July 31, 2016

    Trump competed in some Reform Party primaries in 2000. It’s not that unsurprising that members of the Reform Party might support him today.

  6. Krzysztof Lesiak Krzysztof Lesiak Post author | July 31, 2016


    Are you saying that only 9 people are qualified to vote in the email ballot? Do you have any information on how many people attended the convention?

  7. Thomas Knapp Thomas Knapp July 31, 2016


    My information is that there were 11 credentialed delegates at the convention; that two of them left early (and gave up their credentialing), leaving nine; and that the nine remaining credentialed delegates chose to decide by email ballot among themselves.

    But my information COULD be wrong.

  8. William Saturn William Saturn July 31, 2016

    “But if the Reform Party is good with the Republican candidate, why not just become Republicans?”

    The Republican candidate is not a typical Republican. He’s an independent running a campaign within the Republican Party.

  9. Thomas Knapp Thomas Knapp July 31, 2016

    “The Republican candidate is not a typical Republican. He’s an independent running a campaign within the Republican Party.”

    And also an independent whose daughter just won the Reform Party primary for US House of Representatives form New York’s 12th district. If she intends to run a serious (and obviously well-funded) campaign, the state party might be intent on not pissing her off.

  10. Darryl W. Perry Darryl W. Perry July 31, 2016

    interestingly, Ivanka Trump won as a write-in with 2 votes. Richard Winger reports “Write-ins in New York primaries are not permitted unless someone files a petition asking that primary write-ins be counted. Once that petition is accepted, all write-ins are valid, whether the write-in candidate wanted write-ins counted or not.

    In the 12th district, in the Reform Party, Ivanka Trump, daughter of Donald Trump, won the Reform nomination with 2 write-ins. There were also three individuals who received one write-in each.”

  11. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman July 31, 2016

    The Reform Party in New York is not really part of the Reform Party. The New York group was originally the Stop Common Core Party – under New York law, a “nominating body” set up to give the Republican candidates for Governor and other statewide offices an additional ballot line, along with the Republican and Conservative lines. The Republican candidate for Governor received more than 50,000 votes on the Stop Common Core line, so it became a party. After that it changed its name to Reform Party.

    The New York Independence Party backed Ross Perot in 1992, and affiliated with The Reform Party in 1996, when Perot set it up to get the taxpayer funded subsidies for his second campaign for President. The Independence Party disaffiliated from The Reform Party in 2000, rather than support Pat Buchanan. So in reality, The Reform Party has no affiliate party in New York State.

  12. Thomas Knapp Thomas Knapp July 31, 2016

    The former Stop Common Core Party, now called the Reform Party, is the New York affiliate of the Reform Party National Committee.

  13. RedPhillips RedPhillips August 1, 2016

    Tom, any idea what the ideological leanings of the delegates are?

  14. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp August 1, 2016


    Nope — I don’t know the delegates. But I hope to GET to know them.

    My interest in the Reform Party is more technical than ideological. I am of the opinion that Darryl W. Perry was correct in his Orlando “concession speech” — that is, there’s a very good chance that this election is going to be to the Libertarian Party what 1996 was to the Reform Party.

    What 1996 was to the Reform Party was the beginning of a glide path that took it from more than 8 million votes for its presidential candidate that year to fewer than 1,000 in 2012.

    The LP may be old and well-organized enough to avoid falling to those vote levels (and to the level of having 11 delegates at its national conventions), but if Johnson/Weld break 5%, the “free government money” jackals WILL show up in force in 2020 and past LP national conventions outcome do not bode well for the likelihood of the party resisting them. So I’m expecting the 2020s to look a lot more like 1972, 1976, or 1984 than like 2012 or 2016 for the LP.

    I am interested in how a busted party gets rebuilt, and the Reform Party is hopefully going to be a successful apprenticeship for me on that particular task.

  15. Tony From Long Island Tony From Long Island August 1, 2016

    NATURAL BORN CITIZEN WROTE: “Trump competed in some Reform Party primaries in 2000. It’s not that unsurprising that members of the Reform Party might support him today.”

    The Reform Party of 2000 is not the same party as the 2016 version – at least not in New York. New York has a super ridiculous system where the smaller parties generally cross-endorse one of the two main party candidates. As far as I know, the LP in New York has never done that.

  16. Tony From Long Island Tony From Long Island August 1, 2016

    I again ask: with a name like “Reform Party,” when is the “reforming” over? What if you elect a president and an full congress of Reform Party Members. Do you have to change your name then? You can’t reform what you’ve already reformed.

    Just seems like a silly party name to me

  17. Tony From Long Island Tony From Long Island August 1, 2016

    ” . . . . . If Johnson/Weld break 5%, the “free government money” jackals WILL show up in force in 2020 and past LP national conventions outcome do not bode well for the likelihood of the party resisting them. . . . ”

    Good! Finally a chance at credibility and actually getting the word out. Welcome Jackals!

  18. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp August 1, 2016


    Your argument seems to be that in order to succeed the Reform Party must stand for something, and that in order to succeed the Libertarian Party must not stand for anything. Why the opposite recommendations?

  19. Illin_Spree Illin_Spree August 1, 2016

    Don’t quite understand the point of nominating Darcy Richardson for president when Jill Stein is on the ballot, is gaining ground, and promotes a progressive agenda. Just as the Reform Party endorsed Ralph Nader in 2008, they should support Jill Stein in 2016.

  20. Tony From Long Island Tony From Long Island August 1, 2016

    Thomas, That is not my argument at all.

    The LP, if it magically controlled the presidency and the congress, would have a goal of continuing to move in a libertarian direction. The reform party would just keep “reforming.” What if the reforms were working great!??

  21. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp August 1, 2016

    So far as I know, Stein neither sought nor indicated a willingness to accept the Reform Party’s presidential nomination.

    If the Reform Party wanted to support the Green Party’s nominee, it would be smarter to dissolve as a party and become a Green Party caucus. Political parties nominate candidates for office. It’s part of what they do.

  22. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp August 1, 2016


    If the reforms were working great, the Reform Party could keep on doing them. Just like if moving in a libertarian direction was working great, the Libertarian Party could keep on doing that.

    I happen to agree that the Reform Party needs to find an ideological rationale — right now it looks like its platform was put together by means of Scrabble. The name is the least of their problems.

  23. Steven Wilson Steven Wilson August 1, 2016

    The Reform Party was built by one man and his run for president. Perot was a simple and straight forward person who was the manifestation of the discontent the American voters held about Bush and Clinton. But the party itself was built top down. Pat Buchanan destroyed the party as it had no leadership left worth following. Buchanan muddied the party by attempting to merge it with the conservatives. His ego didn’t help either.

    The Green Party was built bottom up with grass roots and local campaigns in specific states like Florida, California, and Michigan. David Cobb was the plague while Ralph Nader was the Hemlock. But Dr. Jill Stein is inspiring grass roots support again from the top candidacy. The Green Party is coming back to life for many reasons, but running great candidates inspires your ground troops.

    While serial candidates are frowned upon by the major parties (you get one or two chances), it appears running multiple times in a third party capacity may aid in building a brand for the party by riding the tail of a specific candidate considered to be a steward of the core beliefs for that party. Stein is doing and saying the right things at the right time.

    Sander supporters here in mid Missouri are considering other options which include not voting. The betrayal they feel towards Bernie is greater than the fear of a Trump presidency.

    Note: The Green Party does not have party access in Missouri. I am not aware of Stein’s campaign trying a write in campaign here either.

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