No Labels party looking to make mark in Arizona, nationally in 2024

Nov 10, 2023, 4:35 AM

(Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The blossoming No Labels party has planted its flag in Arizona with hopes of making an impact in a 2024 presidential election, according to its national director.

Joe Cunningham told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday that although the party doesn’t have a presidential candidate yet, the desire for a shift away from the status quo is there.

“The majority of Americans are looking for something different and when we nominate a ticket, it’s going to be marquee level,” Cunningham said. “This isn’t going be a fringe candidate.”

Cunningham, a former Democrat who held office in South Carolina, said the party isn’t afraid of straying away from political norms.

No Labels has secured ballot access for a potential presidential candidate in a dozen states, including Arizona.

Supporters of President Joe Biden say they’re worried No Labels could prove a spoiler given that he won the state by fewer than 11,000 votes in 2020 with a coalition that included conservative independents and moderate Republicans.

No Labels officials deny they will be spoilers, saying discontent with the major political parties is at a fever pitch and creates a rare opportunity for a third-party effort to succeed. They say they will only nominate a candidate if they see a viable path to victory and will make a decision next spring.

“We’re getting a lot of people driven into our camp because of these two presumptive nominees and it’s no secret,” Cunningham said.

“This is not going to be somebody who takes disproportionately from one side or the other. This is going to be a solid ticket that Americans will take a very hard look at.”

Candidates have filed statements of interest to run for U.S. Senate and Arizona Corporation Commission, the state’s utility regulator. One of them, Corporation Commission candidate Richard Grayson, is a No Labels opponent who has been critical of the group’s efforts.

No Labels officials say they’ve raised $60 million as they seek ballot access in all 50 states to offer an alternative to Biden and Trump, who are headed toward a 2024 rematch even as polls indicate Americans are broadly opposed to both of them.

“Our movement is building,” Cunningham said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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No Labels party looking to make mark in Arizona, nationally in 2024