SALEM, Ore. (AP) — No Labels, a group that could shake up the 2024 presidential race with a bipartisan “unity ticket,” secured access to the ballot Friday in Oregon, at least the third state to approve its application to become a political party.
No Labels says it is seeking ballot access in many states and will use it to run a Republican and Democrat for president and vice president “if the two parties select unreasonably divisive presidential nominees.” The group’s leaders have not publicly named specific candidates.
Arizona recognized No Labels as a party on Tuesday and Colorado did so in January.
The push has spooked Democrats and anti-Donald Trump Republicans, who worry a No Labels candidate would tip the scales in favor of Trump or a Republican like him.
The center-left group Third Way said in a memo this week that Biden won voters who didn’t like either major-party candidate by 15 points over Trump; Democrat Hillary Clinton lost those voters by 17 points in the 2016 race that Trump won. No Labels says it would draw equally from both major parties.
In Oregon, Secretary of State Shemia Fagan announced Friday that the No Labels Party submitted the 29,294 signatures required to form a minor political party under Oregon law.
Oregon has voted for Democrats in every presidential election since 1988, but its progressive reputation in national politics belies an independent streak.
In 2000, Republican George W. Bush came within half a percentage point of winning Oregon thanks in part to Green Party candidate Ralph Nader winning 5% of the vote. A Republican won a statewide race as recently the 2016 contest for secretary of state.