WASHINGTON, D.C. - Joe Cunningham, a former United States congressman and the national director of No Labels, has plenty of experience bringing both sides of the aisle together. In 2018, he became the first Democrat to flip the red First Congressional District of South Carolina in over 40 years - now, he’s leading a movement of over 1 million Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike to find bipartisan solutions to America’s problems.
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“No Labels” is a nonprofit organization which has been around for over 12 years, Cunningham said. He added that other than high-ranking members like the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader, most congresspeople didn’t meet with colleagues outside of their party until No Labels created a group for that exact purpose.
“When I got to D.C., I realized there weren’t any groups that put Democrats and Republicans at a table regularly together to try to work on our problems - save for the Problem Solvers’ Caucus, which is a group of half-Democrats, half-Republicans that was started by No Labels,” Cunningham said.
Due to “alarming statistics that the majority of Americans aren’t happy with our options, and the presumptive nominees” for President in 2024, Cunningham said No Labels is now shifting its focus toward the 2024 Presidential Election. Their goal is to get bipartisan candidates running on the same ticket listed on the ballot in all 50 states to give voters an alternative option.
“So right now, No Labels is securing ballot access across all 50 states plus D.C., so that if next spring comes and the country still feels the same about our presumptive Presidential nominees and they want another option, No Labels will offer that ballot line to a bipartisan ticket - Democrat/Republican or Republican/Democrat - to give folks another choice.”
He said the group will officially decide whether or not to run a ticket for this election at their next convention in the spring of 2024.
“The truth is, Americans are around the middle,” Cunningham said. “Some are a little bit to the left, some are a little bit to the right, but … most Americans can find some consensus, even on the most divisive issues - whether it be abortion or whether it be immigration or healthcare - but we’re not seeing a lot of that in D.C. It’s gotten worse and worse.
“You sit down and talk to folks all across this country, they’re scratching their heads looking at these presumptive nominees and thinking, ‘Have we really come full circle in four years? Like, this is the best that we have to choose from?’ and a lot of people are frustrated. The party system isn’t set up in a way that gives people more options.”
He added that while third-party tickets have historically been unsuccessful against major party nominees, “nobody can deny that we are in unprecedented times right now.”
“We’re just fairing uncharted waters right now, and if there’s ever been an opportunity for something like this to emerge, I think the time has been now,” he said.
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