Independent Falchuk Hits Threshold To Start New Party
By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
Evan Falchuk started his United Independent Party in 2013.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Charlie Baker will be the next governor. But, there was another winner Tuesday night — independent Evan Falchuk.
Falchuk received 3.3 percent of the vote, hitting the threshold to have his United Independent Party legally recognized as a political party.
"It's an amazing thing. There were so many people who said it couldn't be done," Falchuk said on Wednesday afternoon. "It says a lot about the voters and the need for this party."
The Newton businessman launched his campaign for both governor and for the start of the United Independent Party in 2013.
He said he grew tired of the bickering among the two major parties. He sought to run a more positive campaign focused on remodeling the political process, saying the majority of the residents aren't being listened to in the current system.
He says he hit a lot of "roadblocks" in the campaign to get legally recognized as a party. He says those systems are in place to keep him and others outside the main parties from competing for the vote.
Still, the United Independent Party earned the 3 percent to break some of those barriers down. Next, the party can field primaries, have registered voters and have a spot on the ballot.
"We've had at least 20 people reach out to us to run in 2016 under the United Independent banner," Falchuk said.
If the party fails to hit the 3 percent again, the party loses its recognition. The Green-Rainbow Party has gained and lost their recognition multiple times over the years — including gaining it again on Tuesday.
Falchuk says the party will now transition to building momentum for 2016, right after they file the needed legal paperwork and new voter registration forms are released.
"Now we are going to be very focused on signing people up," Falchuk said. "The things you need to do to win an election are the same things you need to build a party."
Already pundits have claimed Falchuk took votes that would have gone to other candidates. But, he refutes that claim.
"You do not take votes from anybody. It is the people's vote and your job is to earn it," he said.
He says his supporters are "inspired" and that he found a lot of support in younger voters and in Western Massachusetts.
"We did very well in the Berkshires and Pioneer Valley," he said. "We spent a lot of time in that part of the state."
In fact, Falchuk says consultants told him to stop traveling west of Worcester too much because there wasn't enough of the vote. But, that's the type of voter he is looking for. He says he was seeking out voters who felt "disenfranchised" and "unrepresented" within the system and that includes geographically.
"Those are the people who are supporting us. Those are the people who are starting this coalition," he said. "Everybody knows this is needed."
He says he found support in people who wouldn't have supported either Democrat or Republican candidate.
With additional credibility with the legal designation, Falchuk is optimistic that the party will be growing. He hopes to show those who grew up with a two-party system that there is another option.
In the next two year, he says he is going to continue to talk about issues — such as housing and the cost of living — that were neglected toward the end of the campaign by Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Baker.
"We need to have a sustained grassroots effort to make sure these issues are being talked about," he said.
In the next few weeks, Falchuk will be revamping the organization to make the transition from one gubernatorial campaign to building the party. And then in 2016, the United Independent Party will focus on multiple campaigns across the state.
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