Former Republican and Democratic luminaries say they are linking arms to form a new party as Americans increasingly tell pollsters they are fed up with extremes in the two-party system.
The centrist party, called Forward, will be chaired by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who served as a Republican, its members told Reuters on Wednesday.
The party, which was formed from three political groups that had been working independently, will outline a platform ahead of a formal launch on Sept. 24.
“After years of working in parallel to unite Americans and strengthen our democracy, the Forward Party, the Renew America Movement, and the Serve America Movement are pleased to announce the formal merger of our three organizations,” the party website says. “We are coming together from across the political spectrum to build a new and transformational American political party operating under one name: FORWARD.”
The Forward Party insists it can break through with the American people even though the Green Party and other third parties have failed to gain traction in the past.
“Times have changed. People are demanding a new option. Unlike small parties that have been formed around narrow world views, we are focusing on what brings the majority of us together — a political system that fixes our problems instead of giving us headaches,” the Forward website says.
It also rejected the “spoiler” label, after third-party candidates like Ross Perot and Ralph Nader appeared to siphon off critical votes from major party candidates in past contests.
“The system is already spoiled. Over 70% of elected positions have only one candidate competing for them, and the two major parties have shut out competition,” the party says. “We’ll fix that by bringing choice back to the American people, including through electoral reforms like ranked-choice voting and open primaries.”