No Labels weighs moving forward with bipartisan presidential ticket

Written by on March 8, 2024

Amanda Voisard/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — The third-party presidential movement No Labels voted Friday to move forward with a presidential ticket, though the hunt for candidates to lead the ticket continues.

After flirting with a third-party presidential bid over the past year, No Labels’ 800 delegates from 50 states met virtually to discuss the future of the movement and whether it would enter the 2024 presidential election. The group deliberated if a “unity ticket” — consisting of one Republican and one Democrat — would be a viable option.

“They voted near unanimously to continue our 2024 project and to move immediately to identify candidates to serve on the Unity presidential ticket,” No Labels National Convention Chair Mike Rawlings said in a statement.

“I wasn’t sure exactly where No Labels delegates would land today but they sent an unequivocal message: Keep going,” Rawlings said.

The meeting was just the first phase of a longer process as No Labels does not have its presidential and vice presidential picks.

“Now that No Labels has received the go ahead from our delegates, we’ll be accelerating our candidate outreach and announcing the process for how candidates will be selected for the Unity Ticket on Thursday, March 14,” Rawlings said.

Super Tuesday set up the inevitable rematch No Labels foreshadowed for months. Previously, the bipartisan group indicated that they would enter the 2024 election following Super Tuesday if the presumptive nominees are President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. According to several supporters including No Labels state co-chairs who plan to join the call, they believe Americans want a different option.

It’s not likely that Biden’s fiery State of the Union address on Thursday night changed their minds.

“Two thirds of voters don’t want a rematch of the 2020 election. I mean, they have different reasons for not wanting Biden or Trump to run, but most Americans badly want better choices,” No Labels Chief Strategist Ryan Clancy said in October.

There is a strong appetite to move forward with selecting a ticket as well, No Labels co-chairs and supporters said.

Rawlings said Friday that ‘it was apparent that these citizens believe this is a just cause and that No Labels should provide Americans with the additional choice that they so clearly want.”

Nancy Jacobson, chief executive and founder of No Labels, published an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News last week suggesting an independent ticket could win in 2024.

“A once-in-a-generation opportunity exists for an extraordinary leader to rise up and guide our nation toward unity and healing,” Jacobson wrote.

She said she believes that finding that candidate is the last piece needed.

With Friday’s go-ahead, No Labels will enter a second phase of their process and spend the next few weeks finalizing the group’s candidate selection process. As a final step, No Labels will reconvene and present its candidate to the group for approval.

However, there is a chance No Labels could decide to scrap all plans. Some supporters indicated they are worried their decision on Friday could lead the group to spoil the 2024 election.

In conversations with ABC News, supporters repeated that they are “as anti-Trump as they come” and don’t view their efforts as helping the former president be reelected. No Labels supporters classify themselves as disenfranchised Republican voters or moderate independent voters.

No Labels leadership has reiterated claims that they will not spoil the 2024 election.

“We will never fuel a spoiler candidate,” No Labels Chief Strategist Ryan Clancy said. “We don’t want to fuel any sort of candidacy that’s pulling more votes from one side.”

“We at No Labels have been clear from the beginning that we will not introduce a spoiler into the race.

Jacobson said No Labels will “either give our ballot line to a ticket with a clear path to victory, or we’ll step aside.”

No Labels suggests that they have been talking to “exceptional leaders,” although that list of potential contenders has dwindled as Election Day nears.

In recent weeks, several donors threw their support behind former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley — who exited the race earlier this week — and said they believed she was the unicorn candidate for the third-party run. However, No Labels put that to rest, releasing a statement after Haley’s campaign suspension saying they will take “at her word” that she “isn’t interested in pursuing another route to the presidency.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, once speculated to be a candidate on the ticket, said last month that he would not run for president.

“I wish them the best with whatever,” Manchin said during an “Americans Together” listening tour stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, in January.

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was also once speculated to be on the ticket, but announced last month that he would run for U.S. Senate instead.

Other names that have been floated by the bipartisan group include: former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.

The group is on the ballot in 16 states — including three swing states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

No Labels previously claimed that it would be on the ballot in 34 states by the end of 2023. Now, the group says it will attempt to get on the ballot in 33 states by the time a candidate is announced. The ticket would be responsible for the remainder of the states, its leaders said.

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