Evan McMullin, who launched a presidential bid on Monday, insists he will compete in a number of key states, including Florida, despite his late start.
Making the rounds on the national talkshows, McMullin, a former CIA operative and Republican congressional aide, appeared on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC on Tuesday morning and dismissed reports that it was too late for him to appear on many state ballots.
“A lot of people misunderstand the process,” McMullin said. “There are a multitude of ways to get on ballots in the United States. We’re pursuing all of them.”
Florida is one of the states that several media outlets are claiming McMullin can’t appear on the ballot since the date for independent candidate to file passed back in July.
But at Ballot Access News, Richard Winger, one of the nation’s chief experts on how minor parties and independent candidates can make the ballot, insists McMullin has a path to face Florida voters in November. Winger shot down reports that the window has closed for McMullin to make the ballot in the Sunshine State.
“Florida permits a new party to qualify as late as the end of August,” Winger noted as he responded to several media reports. “The authors of these stories are not fully informed because they only pay attention to the petition deadline for independent presidential candidates. The Florida independent presidential deadline is July 15, but that is irrelevant, because no independent presidential candidate has used that procedure since 1992. Instead they either create their own party, or persuade one of the many ballot-qualified parties to nominate them.”
McMullin, who was virtually unknown before entering the race on Monday, is hoping to appeal to Republicans and conservatives who don’t want to back Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Florida based political consultant Rick Wilson, one of the leading Republican critics of Trump, is helping guide McMullin’s campaign.