Third party candidate hopes to take seat vacated by Meehan

History has not been kind to third party candidates.

The last third party candidate to successfully turn a party into a political force: Abraham Lincoln, who was elected president as a Republican in 1860.

Since then third party candidates have made small strides.

Vermont resident Bernie Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democratic Socialist in 2006. Paul McMurtry was elected last week to the state House of Representatives as an Independent.

Those are the exceptions, according to Tufts University political science professor Jeff Berry.

“In our political system, the deck is strongly stacked against third party candidates,” Berry said. “It’s typically the case that they are gadflies and they not important in our system because they’re rarely noticed.”

Enter Kevin Thompson, who is running on the Constitution party against six Democrats and one Republican to replace U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan. The Brockton resident scoffed at the gadfly remark, saying he believes the district deserves an alternative.
He’s also already started collecting the 2,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot.

“You look at modern candidates and more people are growing dissatisfied with major parties. I think you’ll see a big movement against the major parties in 2008,” Thompson said, adding he hopes voters in the 5th District see the light before then.

Thompson, who describes himself as conservative with a religious background, said he joined the Constitution party in 2006. He believes he can get the votes even though only three voters are enrolled in the Constitution party in the 5th District.

“I honestly believe as long as I have truth on my side I have a shot,” Thompson said. “If it’s God’s will for me to win I will, and if that takes a miracle I have no doubt he’ll make that happen.”

Thompson, 29, faces an uphill battle in the special election. Voters often worry that they are throwing their vote away if they cast their ballot for a third party candidate, and those candidates may not be very successful if they do get elected, Berry said.

“One of the problems of being independent in congress is that neither party cares very much about you, so in terms of committee assignments and other benefits you may be really shut out,” Berry said.

The state has a total of 20 minor parties, boasting various titles such as the “Timesizing not Downsizing” party and the better-known “Libertarian” party. Only two of these organizations are officially classified as parties under state law, said Brian McNiff, spokesman for Secretary of State William Galvin. . .

This Sentinel & Enterprise article here.

3 Responses to “Third party candidate hopes to take seat vacated by Meehan”

  1. globalist_elitist Says:

    Bernie Sanders is not a “Democratic Socialist.” He’s a democratic socialist. A nominal Independent, who is anything but independent.

  2. Anthony Distler Says:

    Bernie Sanders is the most liberal member of Congress. He says he’s Socialist, but is not a member of the Democratic Socialist or Socialist Party. He’s just an Independent.

  3. globalist_elitist Says:

    Bernie Sander is far from being “liberal.” Let’s stop misusing that word, please. He wouldn’t claim the word “liberal” himself. He is a leftist, a socialist, etc. NOT a liberal.

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