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Capitol Briefs: Missouri People’s Party seeks to appear on next year’s ballot

A new political party is hoping to offer Missouri voters an alternative to the two-party system in upcoming elections as part of a nationwide push.

The Missouri People’s Party satisfied a state requirement to get its candidates on the ballot in 2022 and 2024 through the formation of a provisional state committee this month. The group said it will offer voters a “populist alternative to the present two-party system” in those elections and is conducting a ballot access petition campaign while attempting to recruit candidates. 

Alex Churn, acting secretary of the Missouri People’s Party, said the movement was partially inspired by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaigns

“As we are building a major new party nationwide, we believe in getting corporate money out of politics, Medicare for all, strong unions, democratized workplaces, and an economic bill of rights,” Churn told The Missouri Times. “Missourians have decided to join with the People’s Party because they were inspired by Bernie, tired of political talking points but never real results, or just trying to leave a better world for future generations and see no path toward it under the electoral system the way it currently is.”

  • Churn said the party’s initial discussions in Missouri concerned housing, internet access, and government accountability. Around 2,000 people have signed up to back the ballot access petition so far.  
  • People’s Parties in California, Colorado, Maine, Ohio, and Oregan are also in the works, according to the party’s website. The party hopes to have candidates running in all 50 states by 2024.
  • Initially formed in 2018, the party is set to establish its official platform at a founding convention to be scheduled later this year. 
  • Sanders lost to eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in Missouri’s 2016 presidential primary by less than 2,000 votes. In 2020, however, President Joe Biden handily won Missouri’s presidential primary, beating Sanders by about 170,000 votes.