Former GOP Policy Director Launches Presidential Bid

| by Robert Fowler
Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullinIndependent presidential candidate Evan McMullin

The group of Republican operatives still resisting the candidacy of GOP nominee Donald Trump have found their third-party option: former chief policy director Evan McMullin of the House Republican Conference.

On Aug. 8, 40-year-old McMullin announced he had resigned from the conference and that he was entering the presidential arena as a third-party candidate.

His campaign will be headed by staffers for Better for America, a nonprofit that had been focused on acquiring ballot access for a third-party candidate since Trump’s ascendancy in the GOP primaries, ABC News reports.

“In a year where Americans have lost faith in the candidates of both major parties, it’s time for a generation of new leadership to step up,” McMullin said in an official statement.

“It’s never too late to do the right thing, and America deserves much better than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton can offer us,” McMullin continued. “I humbly offer myself as a leader who can give millions of disaffected Americans a conservative choice for president."

Staffers for Better for America have resigned to officially endorse and promote McMullin’s campaign.

The new third-party candidate was born in Utah and graduated from the Mormon church-owned Brigham Young University. After serving in the CIA for 11 years, he worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs before becoming a staffer on Capitol Hill.

It is not clear how many states will have McMullin featured on the ballot. The third-party candidate only has one week to gain inclusion in the ballot of his home state of Utah, CNN reports.

The McMullin campaign has released an official statement to supporters stressing the obscure policy director’s credentials for the White House.

“Evan has spent his entire career in service to our nation and today he’s continuing on that path as a candidate for president -- he is running first and foremost out of a deep love for this country, and because he understands the true brand of American leadership that is required to be Commander-in-Chief,” the McMullin campaign stated.

McMullin’s independent bid has opened up just as a groundswell of Republican operatives have been voicing dissatisfaction with Trump, whose standing at the polls has been slipping after the Republican National Convention.

Among The Politico Caucus, a panel of anonymous GOP strategists and operatives working in 11 swing states, 70 percent want Trump to drop out and allow the Republican ticket to be headed by a new party standard bearer. Only 58 percent of the panel believe the business mogul will remain in the race until November, Politico reports.

“I’d rather take our chances with nearly anyone else than continue with this certain loser who will likely cost the Senate and much more,” said an anonymous New Hampshire Republican.

Sources: ABC News, CNN, Politico / Photo credit: Evan McMullin via ABC News

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