Andrew Yang, Christine Todd Whitman to lead third political party comprising former Democrats, ex-Republicans
The two will co-chair Forward, a new centrist party being blasted as an effort to siphon votes away from Democrats seeking office.
A new political party aiming to appeal to voters who are dismayed by the current two-party system has been launched, co-chaired by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and Christine Todd Whitman, the former Republican governor of New Jersey.
Called Forward, the new party will hold a series of events in two dozen cities this fall to roll out its platform and attract supporters, according to Reuters. The reported launch date is Saturday, Sept. 24 in Houston, Texas, with its first national convention next summer in a city soon to be announced.
According to Reuters, Forward is an amalgamation of three entities: the Renew America movement, formed last year, which includes dozens of staffers from previous GOP administrations; the Serve America Movement, overseen by ex-Republican and former Florida Rep. David Jolly, formed by meshing Democrats, Republicans and independents, and the party Yang created after becoming an independent in 2021 once he left the Democratic Party.
As governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001, party co-chair Whitman reduced the number of state departments and focused on the environmental protection and preservation of open spaces. Last year, she declared that she and other high-profile Republicans would leave the party if it didn’t repudiate former President Donald Trump and his “Big Lie” about the 2020 election.
Forward is not likely to play a role in the 2022 midterm elections, but its centrist efforts include aiming to have party registration and ballot access in 30 states by the end of 2023, and in all 50 states by late 2024 — in time for presidential and congressional elections.
The response to the announcement on social media has been swift and fiery, with many Democrats accusing Yang, who unsuccessfully ran for New York City mayor just last year, of joining with Republicans to siphon votes away from Dems seeking office. He was one of a crowded field of Democrats vying for the 2020 presidential nomination that eventually went to Joe Biden.
“If I’m getting this right, Andrew Yang plans to do what he can to take away votes because Democrats rightfully rejected him since we saw through his fascist enabling propaganda-filled temper tantrums,” one Twitter user wrote. “What a sad end for him.”
Another viral tweet reads: “Andrew Yang is a fascist enabler. He makes regular appearances on Tucker Carlson’s misinformation show to attack Democrats. And when Andrew isn’t smearing Biden, he tries to siphon voters from the left & sell copies of his propaganda book. Andrew Yang is the male Tulsi Gabbard.”
Yang told Reuters that Forward has a starting budget of $25 million and grassroots membership attracted by this question and answer: “How will we solve the big issues facing America? Not Left. Not Right. Forward.”
The party wants to field candidates for local races such as school boards and city councils, as well as in state houses, the U.S. Congress and up to the presidency.
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