Independents for Governor

Races for the 2010 gubernatorial elections are already beginning to take shape across the country (in Maine and Idaho, for instance), driven in no small part by the number of independents who have put themselves in the running early, likely in order to overcome the various hurdles to independent bids erected by the duopoly state apparatus. This past week two independent candidates made headlines in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Massachusetts State Treasurer Timothy Cahill has withdrawn from the Democratic Party and registered as an independent. At Massachusetts Conservative Feminist, Tina Hemond provides us with some context:
Timothy Cahill the current Massachusetts State Treasurer plans to leave the Democrat Party this week, according to the Boston Globe. Cahill, who is apparently fed up with the tax and spend party policy, will most likely run as an independent against Governor Duvall Patrick. Patrick, who also faces a challenge from Republican Christie Mihos, has been losing popularity as the State's financial woes continue unabated.
Shortly after Cahill made his move, Republican Charlie Baker announced that he would seek the Republican nomination and oppose Mihos in the party's primary. The Sun Chronicle reports:
Republican Charlie Baker's decision to run for governor days after state Treasurer Tim Cahill made a move toward an independent bid sets up a potentially titanic three-way race with incumbent Deval Patrick, local political activists said Tuesday . . . Baker, a former state government official, is stepping down as head of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care to seek the Republican nomination for governor in next year's state election. Businessman Christy Mihos is also running as a Republican.
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, independent candidate Chris Daggett has just reached the fundraising threshold to qualify for state matching funds in the 2009 gubernatorial election. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Independent candidate for governor Chris Daggett announced yesterday that he has raised enough money to qualify for matching state funds, earning a spot in the two official general-election debates. At a news conference on the steps of the Statehouse, Daggett made the argument that neither Democrats nor Republicans are willing to fix the problems that face the state. "If we are going to make New Jersey an affordable place to live and work, we have to elect a governor who is free of the special interests that have created our current fiscal crisis," Daggett said. Daggett, of Bernards Township, said he expected to raise $3.6 million, which would earn him twice that in matching funds . . . He will face off in the official debates with Democratic Gov. Corzine and Republican candidate Christopher J. Christie. Daggett becomes the first independent candidate to qualify for taxpayer-funded campaign funds in time to get into the state-sanctioned debates.
The rise in the number of registered and self-described independents across the country has likely changed the political calculus for potential candidates who, like many Americans, are fed up with the two-party system of favors and trade-offs, and have thus seized the opportunity to challenge entrenched duopoly powers ahead of the political curve leading up to 2010.

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