Dozens of former Republican and Democrat officials have teamed up with Andrew Yang to join a third party, the Forward Party, which will launch on Thursday, according to a Reuters report.
The Forward Party announcement comes nearly one year after Yang announced his departure from the Democrat Party to develop a third party. Yang rose to prominence with his failed 2020 presidential run as a Democrat, where he promoted Universal Basic Income.
The Forward Party will be co-chaired by Yang and former Republican New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman.
The new party is an amalgamation of three political groups that find themselves disgruntled with America’s increasingly polarized political system.
As Reuters reported:
The merger involves the Renew America Movement, formed in 2021 by dozens of former officials in the Republican administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump; the Forward Party, founded by Yang, who left the Democratic Party in 2021 and became an independent; and the Serve America Movement, a group of Democrats, Republicans and independents founded by former Republican congressman David Jolly.
Although the party has not outlined any specific policies yet, its founding members said they plan to host a series of events in 24 U.S. cities this fall. In addition, the party’s first convention will take place in summer 2023 in a major U.S. city, Reuters reported.
The Forward Party hopes to “reinvigorate a fair, flourishing economy” and to “give Americans more choices in elections, more confidence in a government that works, and more say in our future,” according to two party pillars.
“How will we solve the big issues facing America? Not Left. Not Right. Forward,” the centrist party plans to say at its launch.
Miles Taylor, a Forward Party founding member and former Trump-era Department of Homeland Security official, told Reuters the party’s intent is to give voters “a viable, credible national third party.”
Taylor said the Forward Party is different from other third parties of the past because “We are seeing an historic number of Americans saying they want one.” Taylor told Reuters:
The fundamentals have changed. When other third party movements have emerged in the past it’s largely been inside a system where the American people aren’t asking for an alternative. The difference here is we are seeing an historic number of Americans saying they want one.
Yang told Reuters the party’s initial budget will be $5 million, with donors lined up and “hundreds of thousands” of grassroots members due to the merger between the three groups.
“We are starting in a very strong financial position. Financial support will not be a problem,” Yang said.
However, The Federal Elections Committee (FEC) recently pressed Yang’s 2020 presidential committee for more answers about its finances.
“Your report discloses a negative ending cash balance of $190,861.62,” a June letter to the Yang campaign said. “This suggests that you have overdrawn your account, made a mathematical error, or incurred a debt.”
The Forward party hopes to gain party registration and ballot access in 60 percent of the country by the end of 2023, and in all 50 states by late 2024, coinciding with the presidential elections.
The party plans to run political candidates at all levels, ranging from local school board elections all the way up to president.