In 2016, third party candidate Gary Johnson set the record for the Libertarian Party’s best-ever electoral result with 3.27 percent of total votes. The other third party candidate, Jill Stein of the Green Party, received about 1.1 percent of votes. While those votes didn’t put a dent in the electoral college, Johnson and Stein’s presence on the ballot did have an effect on the Democratic and Republican candidates’ overall votes.
In 2020, more third party candidates have the potential to stir things up.
Particularly in Maine, where the 2020 General Election will implement ranked-choice voting in the presidential race for the first time in U.S. history, third party candidates will likely have a greater impact than in other states.
Alliance Party candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente says he hopes the use of ranked-choice voting in Maine will send a message to the two controlling parties.
“Rank choice voting provides Maine voters the opportunity to vote for me, and other third party and independent candidates like me, to take office and begin to bring about the necessary changes this state and nation so desperately need,” De La Fuente said.
De La Fuente will appear on General Election ballots 16 states, including Maine. Howie Hawkins of the Green Party and Jo Jorgensen of the Libertarian Party are other notable candidates, though a handful of others—such as Kanye West—are set to appear on at least five states’ ballots.
Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente is the Alliance Party candidate nominee for president. His running mate is Darcy Richardson.
Here’s what we know about De La Fuente:
- He won the Alliance Party nomination in April. About the Alliance Party: Founded in 2018, the Alliance Party seeks to elect public servants “who will end corruption, stagnation, and partisan politics.”
- He is also the Reform Party and American Independence Party nominee.
- He ran as a Republican in the 2018 U.S. Senate races in California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming. He was defeated in the primaries. He also ran for U.S. Senate in Florida in 2016.
- De La Fuente was the Reform Party presidential candidate in the 2016 election, though he previously sought the Democratic nomination in the 2016 election as well.
- He is the son of Mexican immigrants.
- In 1992, he was the first Hispanic American to serve as Superdelegate for California at a Democratic National Convention.
- His running mate, Darcy Richardson, is an author, historian, and activist.
- The De La Fuente/Richardson ticket will appear on the ballot in 15 states and will run a write-in campaign in three states. He is on the ballot in California with Kanye West as his running mate