IPR contributor and commentator Darcy G. Richardson will be seeking the Reform Party’s presidential nomination at the party’s national convention in Bohemia, New York, which will be held next week from July 29th-31st, this ATPR/IPR editor has learned.
In an an email sent today to this editor, Richardson said:
I’ll be seeking the Reform Party’s presidential nomination next weekend in Long Island. The party… seems like a good match and is certainly worth preserving.
Each of us, I suppose, must bear witness for the times in which we live. In the irrational age of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — with the country’s leading nationally-organized third party playing the role of apologist for the presumptive Democratic nominee while trying to gain the Establishment’s blessing — a Reform Party candidacy begins to make some sense.
Richardson, a 60-year old historian and writer specializing in third party political history, has authored at least sixteen books, including a series chronicling the history of third parties, Others, which emphasizes progressive and socialist parties. The first volume in the series, Others: Third-Party Politics From the Nation’s Founding to the Rise and Fall of the Greenback-Labor Party, received an award from Choice Magazine a year after it was published in 2005. Richardson’s most recent book, 229 pages long and titled Battling the Duopoly: A Short History of the Reform Party’s Struggle to Save America’s Middle Class, was aptly published on July 4th, 2016. Richardson, who also penned a book about Bernie Sanders in late 2015, is planning on releasing his latest book on September 5th; his new work will critically cover Pennsylvania’s fiscal watchdogs.
Richardson has not only observed and written about politics from the sidelines; he’s also been a seasoned activist. In 1980, Richardson, a Philadelphia native, was recruited to run for Pennsylvania State Auditor on the Consumer Party line. He received 48,783 votes, or 1.18%, in the election. In 1988, Richardson again ran as the Consumer Party candidate, this time for U.S. Senate, ultimately earning 25,273 votes, or 0.58%, in the general election. In addition to his own race, that same year Richardson served as the campaign manager for former Senator Eugene McCarthy’s presidential campaign, who ran as the Consumer Party nominee after unsuccessfully starting out in the Democratic primaries.
More than two decades later, in the 2010 gubernatorial election in Florida, Richardson ran for lieutenant governor jointly with gubernatorial candidate Farid Khavari, an Iranian born economist and entrepreneur. The ticket accumulated 7,487 votes, or 0.14%.
On October 21st, 2011, Richardson’s political ambitions reached a new height. On that day, the longtime progressive declared his intention to challenge President Barack Obama in the 2012 Democratic presidential primaries. Richardson appeared on the ballot in New Hampshire, Missouri, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, earning 41,730 votes in an election in which Obama faced no major intra-party opposition.
However, in April 2012, Richardson suspended his quest within the duopoly and endorsed Buddy Roemer, a former Louisiana governor who had recently switched from running in the GOP primaries to seeking the Reform Party’s presidential nomination. At the end of May, Roemer ended his presidential bid entirely, prompting Richardson to himself enter the Reform Party’s presidential nomination race. Richardson ultimately dropped his bid within the Reform Party, and chose not to attend the party’s convention in Philadelphia, likening the gathering to attendance at a funeral. IPR reported that Richardson decided to channel his efforts to ensuring the creation of a Florida chapter of the Peace and Freedom Party to place Roseanne Barr and Cindy Sheehan on the state’s ballot in November.
Fast forward to 2016: next week, on Long Island, Richardson will face perhaps the most interesting test of his political career. Seasoned and a familiar with the Reform Party internal processes, Richardson will be facing off against fellow contenders Dr. Lynn Kahn, a clinical psychologist from New York, activist Ken Cross of Arkansas, longtime Reform Party member Ed Chlapowski, a chemical processing facilitator living in Texas and Rocky De La Fuente, a former 2016 Democratic presidential candidate. In just a few short days, the world will find out if Richardson can convince just enough of the Reform Party’s delegates that he’s the best choice to reverse the course of a party that has dwindled in size since the heyday of the Ross Perot era and lead the populist, protectionist and hard-line anti-corruption political force into a renewed time of growth and relevance on the national stage as its 2016 standard bearer.
Richardson’s campaign website is Darcy2016.com.