KID REPORTERS’ NOTEBOOK
One-on-One With Evan McMullin
There’s a new candidate hoping to become President of the United States. His name is Evan McMullin. McMullin, who is a former Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) officer, believes that many U.S. citizens are unsatisfied with the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees and are looking for an alternative. This led the 40-year-old political newcomer to throw his hat into the ring as an independent candidate.
“I think that [Republican] Donald Trump and [Democrat] Hillary Clinton are two very bad options for this country,” McMulllin said during a recent visit to Plymouth, Minnesota. “I had been hoping, so much, that somebody else would step in. Somebody who would unite the country. Somebody that would be respectful to all Americans. But that didn’t happen.”
Last month, McMullin decided to personally fill the void that he saw in the political arena. “I realized that if I didn’t do it, that no one was going to do it,” he said. “I decided then to go forward and run for President.”
McMullin declared his candidacy on August 8, saying, “I humbly offer myself as a leader who can give millions of disaffected Americans a better choice for President.” Nonetheless, McMullin is not the only third-party option in the presidential race. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is running on the Libertarian ticket, and physician Jill Stein of Massachusetts is representing the Green Party.
LISTENING TO AMERICANS
McMullin recently worked as the chief policy director of the House Republican Conference in Washington, D.C. He also has two years of experience as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs. Beyond that, most of his professional career has been spent as an operations officer with the C.I.A.
McMullin says that his 11 years of experience in the C.I.A. gave him the experience he needs to serve as Commander in Chief of the U.S. “I’m the only candidate who knows anything about national security,” he said.
The self-described conservative candidate also hopes to reform the government so that elected officials listen more intently to the voice of the people. “The government right now ignores the voices of too many Americans,” McMullin said.
As for making a difference in kids' lives, the independent candidate says that he wants kids to be able to grow up with greater financial stability. “One thing that I’m going to do to help the kids of today is to help the economy be thriving by the time they are looking for jobs,” he said. McMullin also pledges to increase recess time at schools and lengthen summer vacations.
DOING THE MATH
Since most Americans are just learning about McMullin’s candidacy, his national poll numbers are in the single digits. But McMullin does not think that his late entrance into the race will lessen his chance of winning. “We’ve got incredible momentum,” he said. “The other candidates have been running for a longer period of time, but they are so disliked that I actually don’t think their momentum is that great.”
McMullin’s campaign team is working on gathering enough support for him to be included in the upcoming presidential debates. “If we can get to 15 percent in the national polls and meet some other requirements, then we can get on that debate stage,” said McMullin, who is representing the Independence Party.
By the time McMullin entered the presidential race, deadlines to get his name on the ballot had already passed in many states. McMullin’s campaign volunteers are petitioning for his name to be added to as many states’ ballots as possible. So far, 11 states have granted him ballot access: Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. The campaign has been certified as a write-in candidate in an additional 15 states and continues to add more states to that list.
You can learn more about McMullin and his stand on the issues here. To learn more about the issues at stake in this election, tune into the upcoming presidential debates. They will take place on September 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York; October 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri; and October 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A vice-presidential debate is slated for October 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.