Today we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates with three people who will be on the ballot in November -- who are neither Democrats nor Republicans.
The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group reports that for the first time in the last 25 years, 2/3 of Americans see the need for a third party. This support for alternatives to Democrats and Republicans grows out of dissatisfaction with what many see as a dysfunctional two party system, but as to which third party that should be, or if there should be more than one, there is much less consensus. Today, we’ll talk to an Independent, a Libertarian and a member of the Green Party about the reasons behind their candidacies, and their views on the future of third parties moving forward.
Joining Tom today in Studio A are:
David Lashar, a Libertarian running for Congress in Maryland’s Third District. His opponents are the Democratic incumbent, Congressman John Sarbanes and a Republican, Charles Anthony. Mr. Lashar, a former Republican, is 55. This is his first run for public office;
Ian Schlakman is the Green Party candidate for Maryland Governor. In 2016, he ran for Baltimore City Council, and in 2014, he ran for Congress. His opponents are the incumbent, Republican Larry Hogan, and the Democrat, former NAACP President Ben Jealous. Mr. Schlakman has started a couple of tech consulting companies, and he was a founding organizer of the Baltimore B Note, which allowed people to participate in the local economy without relying on the U.S. dollar. He is 33; and
Neal Simon is an Independent candidate running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Ben Cardin. The Republican in that race is Tony Campbell. Mr. Simon is the CEO of the Rockville-based investment firm Bronfman Rothschild and the chairman of the board of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. He is 50 years old. He is a former registered Democrat, who is now unaffiliated with any party.
We livestreamed this conversation on the WYPR Facebook page. To see that video, click here.
By the way, today is National Voter Registration Day. Click here for a list of events and to register to vote.