By Michael McCardel
October 3, 2019
Forward Party leaders are recruiting new members, and raising money, in Texas.
If the Forward Party is to have a future in America, its leaders say it must first establish itself in places like Texas.
And Forward Party leaders were in the Lone Star State recently registering folks and raising money.
Founder Andrew Yang says they’ve already seen an influx of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Most people here know that it’s not working the way it is and they want an alternative. And we’re just going to grow and grow,” Yang said on Inside Texas Politics.
Former Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang was joined by former Republican New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman during the Texas tour.
Forward is already considered a minor party in Texas.
To achieve major party status, they need to gain more than 83,000 signatures.
“We’ve already had hundreds, thousands, of people sign up for Forward Party Texas. And the growth is happening every single day,” said Yang. “So, the pie-in-the-sky is really imagining that you can have a dysfunctional political system and not have people rise up for an alternative.”
In order to make the biggest difference in many political systems across the country, including Texas, the Forward Party is pushing to change how we vote.
So, party leaders are advocating for ranked choice voting, where voters rank their candidates in order of preference from first to last. Some people call this “instant runoff voting.” If a voter’s first choice doesn’t win, their vote for their next choice would still count.
The Forward Party also supports open primaries, where voters don’t have to declare party affiliation.
Both of these changes, party leaders say, will go a long way towards lowering the political temperature across the country because voters will once again feel as though they are being heard.
And Yang says they would support Republicans or Democrats so long as they aren’t extremists. And these candidates would be known as a Forward Republican or a Forward Democrat. But they’ve agreed to follow the party’s core principles.
As for the immediate future, Yang said the Forward Party will not field a Presidential candidate in 2024, but will instead focus on the local level.
Their goal is to have dozens of people running for school boards, city councils, county governments and even the Texas House of Representatives.
“If you had, let’s say, 10% of the state House that was Forward, then you could reduce the extremism and make it so that people had to work together,” Yang told us.