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Cracking the two-party monopoly an uphill battle for Utahns
Elections » Non-traditional candidates struggle to get a fighting chance in the races.

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Burbank also said the system automatically favors Republicans and Democrats because the parties craft the rules.

He also said voters tend to attach more credibility to candidates that have had to run a primary gantlet to secure the nomination rather than a third-party candidate who files paperwork with the FEC.

At a glance

Third party and independent candidates

President » Jill Stein, Green Party; Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson, Utah Justice Party; Virgil Goode, Constitution Party; Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party

U.S. Senate » Shaun Lynn McCausland, Constitution; Daniel Geery, Utah Justice Party, Bill Barron, Unaffiliated

U.S. House 1 » Sherry Phipps, Constitution

U.S. House 2 » Jonathan D. Garrard, Constitution; Joseph Andrade, Unaffiliated

U.S. House 4 » Jim L. Vein, Libertarian

Governor » Brandon W. Nay, Constitution; Ken Larsen, Libertarian

Attorney General » W. Andrew McCullough, Libertarian

State Auditor » Richard Proctor, Constitution

State Treasurer » Vincent C. Marcus III, Libertarian

* Does not include write-in candidates

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Sometimes the independent candidates run one-note campaigns or appear to be on the fringe. Barron, for example, is running on protecting the environment and has offered little in policy on a wide range of other topics.

Garrard said at a debate last week his views were shaped and inspired by anti-communist and John Birch Society supporter Cleon Skousen.

Burbank said the most likely pathway for a third party to break through would be for one of the major parties to splinter off, taking with it some high-profile names with built-in fundraising ability. But he said he didn’t see that happening.

"The tea party could have gone that way and had instant credibility," he said. "In essence, they would’ve said ‘If you really want to be conservative, we’re your party.’ They could have easily staked out that territory."

Instead, he said they opted to keep it within the Republican Party and said "There wasn’t really any effort" to turn it into a bona fide third-party movement.

Trail blazer » Kimball, who is running in the 2nd Congressional District, said his inspiration to drive more than 8,000 miles around the large district and meet voters came from Ralph Waldo Emerson. The essayist and poet wrote: "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Kimball, who is originally from Maine but has lived in Salt Lake City for two decades, said he wants to inspire people to vote for him and break out of the two-party mold.

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"If I give you pause for moment and [you] said, ‘I want to think about that or know more about that particular point’ or if I express something beyond what makes you comfortable or if I get you to recognize you have a stake in how this country moves forward, then I want you to consider voting for me," Kimball said.

"This process has been incredibly cathartic for me. I feel like I’m vested in democracy now."


Twitter: @davemontero

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