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Six presidential candidates are on the New Mexico ballot


There are six candidates for president of the United States on the Nov. 3 ballot in New Mexico, including one who is a native New Mexican and another who was born in El Paso.

The candidates are

  • Republican incumbent Donald John Trump, 74, a native of New York, who had never held public office before being elected the 45th president of the United States in 2016. Former Indiana Gov. Michael Richard Pence, 61, is seeking his second term as vice president. Pence, a native of Columbus, Indiana, served in the U.S. House of Representatives, first representing Indiana’s second district and then its sixth district, 2001-13. He was governor 2013-17.
  • Democrat Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., 77, was the 47th vice president (2009-17) and was a U.S. senator from Delaware, 1973-2009. Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Biden’s running mate is California U.S. Sen. Kamala Devi Harris, who turns 56 in October. A native of Oakland, California, Harris was San Francisco district attorney, 2004-11, and California attorney general, 2011-17. She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016.
  • Green Party candidate Howard Gresham “Howie” Hawkins, 67, was born in San Francisco. He is co-founder of the Green Party and has run for governor and U.S. senator in New York and for mayor of Syracuse. His running mate is Angela Nicole Walker, 46, of Wisconsin. She was the Socialist Party candidate for vice president in 2016 and ran for sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, as an independent in 2014.
  • Libertarian Party candidate Joanne Marie “Jo” Jorgensen, 63, was born in Libertyville, Illinois. She ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket in 1996 and was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in South Carolina in 1992. Her 2020 running mate is Jeremy “Spike” Cohen, 38, an entrepreneur and podcaster, who is a native of Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Constitution Party Sheila “Samm” Tittle, 57, is a native of El Paso who now lives in Virginia. The national Constitution Party nominated Don Blankenship of West Virginia for president, but the New Mexico party chose Tittle.
  • Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) candidate Gloria La Riva, 66, was born in Albuquerque. 2020 marks La Riva’s 10th consecutive campaign for president or vice president. She has also run for governor of California and mayor of San Francisco. PSL candidate for vice president Sunil Freeman is a poet and essayist who grew up in Maryland.

There have been a wide range of third-party candidates in American history, including those of the anti-Masonic, Nullifier, Liberty, Free Soil, American (also known as the No Nothing Party), Southern Democratic, Constitutional Union, Greenback, Prohibition, Union Labor, Populist, Socialist, Progressive (three different parties), Union, States’ Rights, American Independent, Independent, Libertarian, Reform and Green parties.  

America’s first president, George Washington, was elected twice without a political party. 1796-1848, the U.S. elected one Federalist candidate, four Democratic-Republican candidates and two Whig candidates as president.

Since the election of 1852, only a Democrat or a Republican has been elected president. John Quincy Adams was elected in 1824 (the only U.S. presidential election decided in the U.S. House of Representatives) as a Democratic-Republican but ran unsuccessfully for re-election in 1828 as a National Republican.

Henry Clay ran unsuccessfully as a National Republican candidate for president in 1832.

Since 1832, the third-party candidate receiving the highest percentage of the popular vote was Theodore Roosevelt, who earned 27.4 percent in 1912. Roosevelt had served as president 1901-09, but chose not to run for re-election in 1908, instead backing U.S. Sec. of War William Howard Taft, who easily won that year’s general election.

Roosevelt was unhappy with Taft’s presidency and ran against him in the 1912 Republican Primary. Taft won the Primary but finished third in the General behind Democrat Woodrow Wilson and Roosevelt, running as a Progressive. It’s the only time in American history that an incumbent president has finished third in a general election, and the only time a third-party candidate has finished ahead of a Republican or a Democratic candidate in the popular vote.

Former President Millard Fillmore, running as the American Party candidate, got 21.4 percent of the popular vote in 1856. Businessman Ross Perot (Reform Party) got 18.9 percent in 1992; Vice President John C. Breckenridge got 18.2 percent in 1860, running as a Southern Democrat; U.S. Sen. Robert LaFollette (Progressive) got 16.6 percent in 1924; Alabama Gov. George Wallace (American Independent) got 13.5 percent in 1968; former U.S. Sen. John Bell (Constitutional Union) got 12.6 percent in 1860; former President Martin Van Buren (Free Soil) got 10.1 percent in 1848.

Breckenridge earned the highest percentage of electoral votes of any third-party candidate: 72 in 1860. The Democrat, Stephan A. Douglas, got more popular votes than Breckenridge, but only 12 electoral votes. The winner, Abraham Lincoln, who was the nation’s first Republican president, got 180 electoral votes and almost 40 percent of the popular vote. Bell won 39 electoral votes.

Theodore Roosevelt earned the most electoral votes, 88, of any third-party candidate, in 1912. Incumbent Taft received only eight electoral votes. The winner, Wilson, received 435.

The last third-party candidate to earn electoral votes was Wallace, who garnered 46 in 1968. Then South Carolina Gov. J. Strom Thurmond (States’ Rights/Dixiecrats), earned 39 electoral votes in 1948, and LaFollette received 13 (winning his home state of Wisconsin) in 1924.

In the 2016 presidential election, Libertarian candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson earned almost 4.5 million votes, equal to 3.28 percent of the total. Green Party candidate Jill Stein received almost 1.46 million votes, or 1.07 percent. Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle received 203,000 votes, or 0.15 percent.