(Washington Examiner) A centrist third party qualified to appear on the ballot in Arizona in 2024, stoking concerns among left-leaning groups about a “spoiler” candidate who could cost Democrats the presidency and open the door for former President Donald Trump to return to the White House.
The No Labels Party surpassed the minimum number of signatures required to appear on the ballot for statewide and federal races on Tuesday, making Arizona the second state the centrist party can compete in during the 2024 cycle. The group already secured a spot on the Colorado ballot and has vowed to compete for access in at least 23 other states.
“After an extensive review by my office and by county elections officials across the state, the No Labels Party has exceeded the minimum signature requirement and, therefore, qualifies as a new party,” Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, who oversees election administration, said in a statement. “I am committed to supporting county election officials to ensure that they are prepared for this new addition to the state’s list of parties and any other changes to the 2024 ballot.”
No Labels has been quietly working to craft a bipartisan third-party ticket for over a year, looking to give voters an alternative option to candidates they view as extreme. As of September, the group has already raised more than $46 million and has more than 400 volunteers seeking ballot access in several battleground states, according to the New York Times.
No Labels has not yet indicated who they would nominate, but the group plans to hold a nominating convention in April. The third-party ticket is meant to act as an “insurance policy,” with the group vowing to drop its bid if either party nominates a candidate who is acceptable to centrist voters. It is unclear what qualifications a candidate would need to meet to be “acceptable.”
The strategy has prompted an outcry from some left-leaning groups that argue a third-party ticket would tank Democrats’ chances of defending the White House and allow Trump to return to the Oval Office.
“No Labels is arguing this is a unique historical moment that gives their ‘unity ticket’ a real shot at winning the White House,” said Third Way, a Democratic-backed policy group, in a memo on Tuesday. “But that is an illusion. The data and historical evidence are clear: no third-party candidate would come close to winning.”