Former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, a moderate Republican who has repeatedly expressed her displeasure with the rightward swing of national Republicans, announced yesterday that she and former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang will co-chair the Forward Party, a new centrist political party.
“The United States badly needs a new political party – one that reflects the moderate, common-sense majority,” Yang, Whitman, and former U.S. Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “Today’s outdated parties have failed by catering to the fringes. As a result, most Americans feel they aren’t represented.”
The party is technically a merger of three existing political organizations: Whitman’s Renew America Movement, Yang’s pre-existing Forward Party, and Jolly’s Serve America Movement.
It’s not clear exactly what the organizational structure of the Forward Party will be, especially given that laws differ state-by-state on how third parties achieve ballot access and official party status. In New Jersey, the Forward Party would be able to run candidates for office with little difficulty, but state law does not have any mechanism to become a recognized third party.
According to Reuters, the Forward Party intends to run candidates at every level of the country, from school boards to the presidency. New Jersey is holding elections for every seat in the legislature next year, so if the party tries to make inroads here, that may be where they would start.
“America’s founders warned about the dangers of a two-party system,” the trio said in their op-ed. “Today, we’re living with the dire consequences. Giving Americans more choices is important not just for restoring civility. Our lives, our livelihoods and our way of life depend on it.”
Whitman, who served as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under former President George W. Bush, has had a deeply strained relationship with the Republican Party since Donald Trump took its reins. She endorsed the Democratic candidate in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, comparing Trump in 2016 to “some of the worst dictators in history.”