Richard Winger of Ballot Access News reported the following today:
The Reform Party national convention of July 30 has voted to postpone the choice of a presidential nominee until August 8. The party is likely to nominate the presidential candidate who has qualified for the most state ballots by then.
Even though the new national chair of the Reform Party (effective January 1, 2017) is from New York, it appears the ballot-qualified Reform Party of New York will not place the nominee chosen by the national convention on the New York ballot. The New York Reform Party feels obliged to nominate Donald Trump for President. This is partly because the origin of the New York Reform Party in 2014 was with Republican Party activists, who put the party on the 2014 ballot with the name “Stop Common Core Party.” After it got over 50,000 votes for Governor in 2014, it changed its name to the Reform Party. The Republican activists who created the party in New York in 2014 still have some sway over the party.
According to IPR contributor Thomas L. Knapp, a candidate for the Reform Party’s vice-presidential nomination running jointly with Darcy G. Richardson, one of the two finalists for the presidential nomination, Richardson or former Democratic candidate, businessman Roque De La Fuente, will be decided through email balloting.
IPR contributor Jeremy Siple reacted to the news:
How hard is it to hold a convention and choose a candidate? What an insult to the candidates who showed up expecting to receive a vote. Beyond idiotic.
Also, if the New York party doesn’t place the party’s nominee on the ballot, they should be disaffiliated.
To which Knapp responded:
The Reform Party does certainly seem to suffer from internal governance issues.
My understanding is that Florida and New York are their only secure (by some definition I’m not sure of for New York) ballot lines. There’s a Mississippi Reform Party, but apparently they are some kind of splinter. As late as 2008 they were at least trying to run candidates in other states, but a cabal of evildoers apparently helped the Constitution Party kick their ticket off the Kansas ballot.
My prescription for the party would be for this year’s presidential campaign to make identifying prospective new members and activists a priority with a view toward getting new state affiliates up and running in time for the 2018 midterm elections.
Until today, I was relaxed vis a vis the nominations — happy to be Darcy’s running mate if he was nominated and they also accepted his selection, toes still tapping if things didn’t go that way.
But I expected it to be decided one way or another today, and now I’m … annoyed. I’ve decided to go from relaxed to proactive. I’ve arranged for Darcy 2016’s first 100,000 banner ad impressions and am preparing a support campaign which I expect to result in the party’s delegates hearing from more people THIS week about THIS year’s presidential ticket than voted for the 2012 ticket.
Messing around like this isn’t fair to the candidates and it isn’t fair to the voters.
The Reform Party did not make any comments on this new development on its Facebook page, only writing that Bill Merell was elected chair for the 2017-2021 term and Leigh Pollet was reelected treasurer. IPR will reach out to a member of the party’s leadership for comment regarding the reasons for this change in the nomination procedure.
In 2012, the Reform Party presidential nominee, Andre Barnett, was on the ballot in Florida and had write-in status in several states: Barnett garnered 961 votes.