Over ⅓ of Colorado’s voters are independents, yet there is not a single independent legislator in either the House or State Senate.
Independents are the largest and fastest growing group of voters but they remain voiceless in the state legislature. This is, in part, due to the anti-competitive hurdles created by the two-party system.
Independent candidates must confront a political duopoly that has given itself every advantage — from ballot access rules to campaign finance regulations. Consider that an independent candidate for State Senate can only raise up to $400 per donor, but a major party candidate can raise $25,000 from the Democratic or Republican parties.
In addition, behind the scenes, a “political industrial complex” has been built and funded by both parties to provide their candidates with the necessary infrastructure to run organized and effective campaigns — such as access to data, talent, and technology. Virtually all of these campaign operatives and vendors refuse to work for an independent candidate.
Finally, when independent candidates do run, they face a significant challenge in getting any media attention because they are not seen as being “viable” — because of all the aforementioned factors. It’s a chicken-and-egg problem for independent candidates that few can get over starting from scratch and without any outside help.
The Centrist Project is working to overcome barriers faced by independent candidates by creating the necessary infrastructure and supporter base to level the playing field — without forming a traditional third party.
They believe the construction of a durable “Centrist” independent brand will attract strong, principled candidates who would not otherwise run. Unaffiliated from a strict party platform and unbeholden from special interests and the political extremes, these candidates could then focus on finding common ground to solve important problems.
The ultimate objective of the Centrist Project is to elect a sufficient number of independent candidates to deny both parties an outright majority and use this leverage to form a swing coalition to force both sides back to the center where they can get things done.
Sign up to join the Centrist Project today at www.CentristProject.org/Colorado. You can find your closest Centrist chapter or start a new chapter to get connected with centrists in your area. Finally, you can reach out to leaders in your community who you think would be strong independent candidates, or sign up to explore running yourself.
Bridging the growing partisan divide in the legislature by electing centrist, independent candidates to office.
Rooting out political corruption by enacting stronger ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance reforms.
Allowing all voters to participate in all elections by defending open primaries.
Leveling the playing field that currently advantages incumbents by ending the practice of partisan gerrymandering.
Providing voters greater choice in elections by establishing alternate voting systems both locally and statewide.