Don’t like Trump or Clinton? Utah has 12 other options
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah voters who dislike Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton: Don’t despair.
There are a dozen other candidates on the Utah ballot so far who want to serve as America’s next commander-in-chief, including a former CIA officer, a marijuana-friendly former governor and a doctor who once ran against Mitt Romney for governor of Massachusetts and calls for all student loan debt to be forgiven.
Utah voters have shown in the past they’re willing to back third party candidates, In 1992, Ross Perot finished second in the deeply Republican state to George H.W. Bush, leaving Bill Clinton in third place.
“Utahns are willing to vote their conscience more than just with their party,” said Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.
Polls show that in a year when voters are dissatisfied with the major party nominees, some alternative candidates are gaining traction.
Candidates for president face different ballot hurdles across the country. The signature requirement to get on the ballot varies. It’s as low as 275 in Tennessee and as high as 25,000 in Illinois. Six states do not allow write-in candidates.
In Utah, it’s relatively easy to make the ballot. Unaffiliated candidates or members of unregistered political parties can qualify for the ballot with 1,000 voter signatures and a $500 filing fee.
As of Wednesday, Utah voters had 12 candidates to choose from other than the Democratic or Republican nominees. The number could grow if more people file over the next two weeks.
A look at the alternatives:
A businessman who served two terms as the Republican governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president and may be best known for his years-long advocacy to legalize marijuana. He was the Libertarian Party’s nominee in 2012. His campaign is based in Salt Lake City.
Evan McMullin of Provo is a former congressional staffer and CIA officer who recently jumped into the race as an unaffiliated candidate. He’s only on the ballot in Utah and a few other states but says he’s a conservative who offers an alternative to disaffected voters who don’t want to back Clinton or Trump.
Darrell Castle is a Tennessee attorney who represents the conservative Constitution Party. His anti-abortion stance calls on Congress to remove the Supreme Court’s ability to rule on abortion cases and for the U.S. to withdraw from the United Nations.
A Wal-Mart employee from Chicago, Alyson Kennedy is a candidate for the Socialist Workers Party and advocates for a $15 an hour minimum wage. Kennedy is a former coal miner who lived in Utah for four years and joined a protest this year in the state against the fatal shooting by Oregon state police of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, an Arizona rancher involved in the armed standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge.
Jill Stein is the Green Party nominee, a role she also held in 2012. Stein is a medical doctor who ran against Mitt Romney in the 2002 race for governor of Massachusetts. Stein is calling for efforts to stop climate change, hydraulic fracturing, offshore drilling and uranium mining. She also wants forgiveness of student debt.
ROQUE DE LA FUENTE
Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, a real estate developer, is an unaffiliated candidate on Utah’s ballot. In other states, he’s running for president with the American Delta Party and the Reform Party.
He wants all U.S. students to have access to free, online college education.
In Florida, he’s one of five candidates vying to become the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate.
Monica Moorehead of New York is the Workers World Party candidate for president. She is the managing editor of the left-leaning newspaper Workers World and was also the party’s candidate in 2000 and 1996. Moorhead’s campaign platform calls for the end of capitalism, a stop to deportations of those in the country illegally and affordable housing.
So far, five people have filed as write-in candidates in Utah: Stephen Paul Parks, Emidio Soltysik, Jamin Burton, Cherunda Fox and Laurence Kotlikoff. Write-in candidates have until Sept. 9 to file their declaration.