NEW YORK (AP) — Progressive activist Cornel West said Thursday that he will no longer run for president under the Green Party banner. Instead, the prominent African-American intellectual leader will run as an independent.
“I am running as an independent candidate for president of the United States to end the iron control of the ruling class and guarantee true democracy!” West wrote on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
“People are hungry for change,” he added. “They want good policies above partisan politics. We need to break the dominance of the duopoly and give power to the people.”
West faces many difficulties in his bid to become the first candidate not affiliated with a major political party to win the presidency. But Democrats are quietly worried that he could have a significant impact on the 2024 race by winning even a small portion of the vote in key states that would otherwise go to President Joe Biden.
Some Democrats are still angry about Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s 2016 presidential bid, when she won nearly 1.5 million votes in an election that Republican Donald Trump won by the narrowest of margins over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, West may not be the only independent or third-party candidate positioned to influence the 2024 presidential race. Current Democratic presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is expected to launch an independent or third-party bid. a third next week. Additionally, the centrist group No Labels is actively securing ballot access for a yet-to-be-named candidate.
It remains to be seen whether West will be able to gather the tens of thousands of signatures needed to qualify for election in crucial states. Without the infrastructure of a formal party, that signature gathering will largely fall to grassroots volunteers.
“As Dr. West’s presidential campaign grows, he believes the best way to challenge the entrenched system is by focusing 100% on the people, not the complexities of internal party dynamics,” West’s campaign said in a written statement. “Our Constitution provides for independent candidates to gain ballot access in every state, and Dr. West has begun seeking ballot access as an independent, unaffiliated with any political party.”
In the statement, West’s campaign also acknowledged continuing to share the Green Party’s “values and commitment to justice.”
“It’s time to stop ping-ponging between Republicans and Democrats while millions of our friends and neighbors lack housing, health care, decent jobs, clean air, clean water, nutritious food and a healthy environment,” the campaign said. .