MA: Surge of Independent Candidates Enter Final Campaign Stretch

In the Patriot Ledger, Nancy Reardon profiles the surge of Independent candidates for elected office at all levels of government in Massachusetts. Last year, of course, it became well known nationwide that registered Independents outnumber both Democrats and Republicans in the Bay State. Now the question is whether they will put their votes where their mouths are when given the choice to support Independent candidates or to continue to cast their ballots in support of Democratic-Republican misrule. Reardon reports:

Statewide, 65 non-party candidates will be on the November ballot, positioning themselves as the voter’s alternative to the two-party system that most all of them depict as government’s number-one problem. They’re running for nearly every office from county commissioner and state representative to U.S. congressman and governor. . . .

“This could be the year we actually elect three or four or five candidates,” said John Valianti, a self-described independent activist who earlier this year won state approval to have “Independent” be a political designation, an official title shy of party. The Marshfield resident lost a 2008 state representative race, to Democrat James Cantwell.

Valianti and a group of 10 South Shore-based volunteers are helping unenrolled candidates campaign and get their names out. He’s predicting wins this year, and more to come.

“At the grassroots level, this independent thing could really be happening,” he said.

But those not affiliated with a major party face an uphill battle. Their opponents have an organized political apparatus behind them, which means a widely-established network of volunteers, a percentage of reliable votes and – perhaps most glaringly – fundraising power.

Read the whole thing.

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