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...and a new contestant enters the race


Jan 26, 2003
Besides the letter by the 50 Republican leaders who oppose Trump and find him dangerous, today brings us this: a new presidential candidate for whom some of us will be able to vote if we oppose Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump. I cannot afford to waste my vote, because I fear that failing to elect Secretary Clinton might let Trump in, but having Mr. McMullin on the ballot will at least give others who want to make a choice other than these two a chance to do so.

Evan McMullin, Anti-Trump Republican, Mounts Independent Presidential Bid

"Evan McMullin, a former C.I.A. official and a Republican who passionately opposes Donald J. Trump, announced Monday that he would run for president as an independent candidate.

Mr. McMullin, who until recently worked on policy development with the House Republican Conference, has missed the ballot-access deadlines in more than two dozen states. But Mr. McMullin, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, studied in Utah and could take votes from Mr. Trump in the heavily Mormon state.

In an interview, Mr. McMullin said he was strongly opposed to both Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. But his harshest words, and his clearest motivation, appeared to come from Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

'Really what’s impacted me is the way Trump’s treated our veterans, our heroes,' he said. 'The things he said about John McCain, the things he said about the Khan family, and Mrs. Khan.'

Mr. Trump last year disparaged Mr. McCain’s status as a war hero because the Republican senator from Arizona was captured, and more recently he insinuated that Ghazala Khan — the mother of a fallen Muslim soldier who appeared with her husband, Khizr, at the Democratic convention — did not speak because she was not permitted to by her religion.

Mr. McMullin is said to be backed by the group Better for America, which earlier this year began an effort to get on the ballot in as many states as possible, with the hopes of drafting a candidate. The group is backed by John Kingston, a donor who had supported Mitt Romney. Mr. Kingston has worked with the pollster Joel Searby. Rick Wilson, a Republican consultant and Trump foe, is the main strategist on the effort.

Polling shows that Mr. Trump’s support in Utah is very low for a Republican presidential candidate, and it has particularly suffered amid his battles against Mr. Romney, a Mormon who was the Republican nominee in 2012.

If Mr. McMullin is competitive nowhere else but Utah, he still could nonetheless have an effect on the race: Mr. Trump cannot win the presidency without holding the states that Mr. Romney won, his aides have concluded.

That Mr. McMullin has a national security background makes him a more appealing option, potentially, to conservatives who cannot bring themselves to support Mr. Trump, but who strongly dislike Mrs. Clinton."

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