As a citizen candidate myself, I am pleased to see others step up and do the same. I supported Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu campaign for NY governor & lieutenant governor respectively. They garnered 35% of the vote while spending 2.5% of the incumbent, which are about the same numbers from my bid for county school board. More importantly, they changed the nature of the discussion.
The strong showing by Teachout and Wu was a victory for progressive voters who warmed to their message about tackling rising inequality, political corruption, and corporate abuses. It was also a rejection of Cuomo’s economic philosophy, which led him to introduce a series of tax cuts for the rich, at the same time that he cut the state budgets for education and social services...
Teachout and Wu’s insurgent campaigns gave voice to this sentiment. Eschewing the etiquette of internal party discourse, Teachout accused Cuomo of governing as a Republican, acting as a shill for the big banks and other campaign contributors, and being part of a “corrupt old boys’ club” in Albany. Making full use of social media and appearances in more traditional media, she demonstrated that, even in this day and age, a candidate with a real message doesn’t necessarily need the support of the party apparatus, or the financial backing of big donors, to have an impact.
“It is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.” – Douglas Adams
We have a theory that we’re about to see a huge change in how elections and politics work. Across the country, we have seen regular citizens stepping up and challenging the status quo built by political parties and career politicians. They have been getting closer and closer to victory and, here in Kentucky, we believe we have a chance to win and break the political party stronghold for good.
We are not politicians. We are Citizen Candidates.
Citizen Candidates evaluate ideas on merit, not on outside influence, campaign contribution sources, or party ideology. They believe a good idea is a good idea, no matter which political party supports it. Citizen Candidates are regular people with common sense. They are capable leaders who would be fantastic elected officials - if they chose to run. Most don’t. And we can’t blame them.
Even if he doesn't win, his mere presence will undeniably change the conversation. Those he is challenging will have to respond to his thoughts and ideas. In the end, we all win for that. I wish him the best.