Voter’s Guide: Third-Party Presidential Candidates

Tuesday, Nov. 3, marks an important day in the modern history of the United States, but early mail-in ballots could influence when people vote more than any other election. With major political figures, such as President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying that this upcoming election is the most important in decades, it is vital to know who is running. 

But maybe there are candidates outside of the two major parties that better represent where you stand as a voter, or perhaps you just don’t like either of the major candidates.

Traditionally, third-party candidates have had little success; the last time a third-party candidate won a state was in 1968. That is not to say that third-party candidates never get any attention, whether from the media or from voters themselves, they just rarely gather more than a small percentage of the overall vote because of less coverage and fewer resources than the two major parties. 

This year, the third-party candidates running for president have not been as widely reported on as those who ran in 2016. You may or may not remember Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico who ran on the Libertarian ticket, Jill Stein, the Green Party’s candidate, or Evan McMullin, a conservative who ran as an independent. There were other third-party candidates in the 2016 election, to be sure, but none that made dents as sizable as these.

Nevertheless, if you are considering voting third-party in this upcoming election, you’d probably like to know the main options. (This list does not contain all of the third-party candidates, but rather the ones from parties that have gathered followings over the last several elections.)

Jo Jorgensen – Libertarian Party

Libertarians believe in small government: lower taxes, less foreign intervention, decreasing government debt, etc., and Jo Jorgensen isn’t much different. 

Jorgensen states in a campaign video titled “The Benefits of Liberty,” “I think government is too big, too nosy, too intrusive and often hurts those it intends to help.” 

Jorgensen normally teaches psychology at Clemson University and first dipped her toes in politics in the early ‘90s when she ran for South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District. This bid was unsuccessful, only gaining 2.2% of the total vote. 

In 1996, Jorgensen was the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential candidate with Harry Browne as the presidential candidate. This campaign was the party’s best showing since 1980.”

Regarding her current presidential bid, she lists her main issues on her website:

    • Government debt, deficits and liabilities 
    • U.S. involvement in foreign war
    • Rising health care costs
    • U.S. high imprisonment rate, especially among racial minorities and the poor 
    • Broken retirement system 
    • Tariffs destroying American farms 
    • Special interests intervening in energy policies 

Jo’s running mate is Jeremy “Spike” Cohen, who started a web design company in 1999 but later retired to become a full-time Libertarian supporter. Before joining Jorgensen’s campaign, Cohen ran a mostly-comedic primary campaign for the 2020 Libertarian ticket where he advocated for free ponies for all.


Howie Hawkins – Green Party

The Green Party focuses primarily on environmental issues, but that is not its only focus. In fact, the party is far more left leaning on issues than the Democratic Party. Howie Hawkins is a retired Teamster, which is the largest, most diverse labor union in the country, and one of the original founders of the Green Party itself. He has run for governor in the state of New York three times in the past 10 years but has never been successful. 

From his website, here are Hawkin’s stances:

    • Delivering 100% clean energy 
    • Right to healthcare
    • COVID-19 relief is essential
    • Community control of their police
    • Sustainable agriculture and food systems 
    • Right to a living-wage job
    • End endless wars 
    • Legalize marijuana and decriminalize drugs 

Hawkin’s running mate is Angela Walker, a working-class activist who focuses on advocating for racial and economic justice. According to her profile on the campaign website, “She is a fierce advocate for the rights of Black, brown and Indigenous people, the LGBTQIA community, labor and the Earth itself.”


Don Blankenship – Constitution Party

Don Blankenship, a businessman and a convict, is running for president on the Constitution Party ticket. Blankenship was convicted in 2015 for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards after 29 workers from a branch of Massey Energy, his company in West Virginia, died in a mine explosion. Not directly responsible for the accident, he was sentenced to one year in prison. 

When running in the West Virginia Republican primary for the Senate in 2018, he did not see his imprisonment as a bad thing. “There are situations in history where being in prison was an advantage,” Blankenship said in an interview with USA Today. 

The Constitution Party’s rhetoric surrounds anti-communist, anti-socialist and anti-humanist issues. According to Blankenship’s website, here are his three core principles:

    • Equality – Remove laws that imply that not all Americans are equal
    • Ethics – America must return to the days when it was a nation of laws 
    • Exactness – The media cannot be trusted 

William Mohr is the Constitution Party’s vice presidential candidate. A former Republican, Mohr has recently chaired the State Central Committee of the U.S. Taxpayer’s Party of Michigan. 


Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente – Alliance and Reform parties

Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente became somewhat famous in 2018 for simultaneously being on the primary ballot for the U.S. Senate in nine different states. He did not win any of them. 

His stances are listed on his campaign’s website:

    • Provide every American with publicly funded health care 
    • Pro-growth economy
    • Clean environment and create new, green jobs 
    • Gun control that doesn’t violate the right to bear arms 
    • Immigration reform
    • Elevate teaching as a profession, remove barriers to public education, a choice-driven school system, incentivize public service 
    • Anti-interventionist military
    • Pro-social security

De La Fuente’s running mate is Darcy Richardson, an author, historian, political activist and member of the Reform Party, which supports reform for the ethics of the U.S. government, so that the country serves the people.

The final day to register to vote in Kentucky is Oct. 5. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is Oct. 9. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 6. Additionally, Kentuckians can vote at their county clerk’s office between Oct. 13 and Nov. 2. Those registered in Warren County can vote at 429 E. 10th St. in downtown Bowling Green.