The Campaign Trail: Third Party Candidates

Third Party candidates are still in the running for the 2016 presidential election. Among these are Jill Stein, Gary Johnson and Vermin Supreme.

Stein, who is seeking the Green Party nomination, entered the world of politics in 2002 as a candidate for the governor of Massachusetts. After losing this election, she ran again in 2010 and lost, receiving 1.4 percent of votes. In the years in between her 2002 and 2010 gubernatorial candidacies, Stein ran for three other office positions: the House of Representatives in 2004, the Town Meeting Representative in 2005 and the Secretary of Commonwealth in 2006. Her only success was as the Town Meeting Representative, a title she was reelected to in 2008. In 2012, Stein became the most successful female presidential candidate when she won the Green Party nomination and received .36 percent of votes in the election. She announced her intent to run in the 2016 election Feb. 6, 2015.


Stein graduated from Harvard in 1973 with a degree in sociology, anthropology and psychology. After she received her undergraduate degree, she graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1979. Since then, Stein has worked as a physician, environmental-health advocate and teacher of internal medicine.

Stein became interested in the health education in 1998 when she learned about the toxic threats that children were exposed to and saw that politicians were not doing anything to change this. She has co-authored two books and served on many boards and committees that are working towards greater health and sustainability. One of the boards was for Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organization working to protect the public from the spread of nuclear weapons, climate change and environmental toxins. She also developed her own education plan called “Healthy People, Healthy Planet,” a program that has been used at conferences across the nation to show the connection between human health, climate security and green economic revitalization.

If elected, Stein plans to focus on basic rights and freedoms. For example, she wishes to create living-wage jobs, establish tuition-free education through the college level and end destructive energy extraction.

Johnson is seeking the Libertarian Party nomination, the same position he ran for in 2012. He became active in politics in 1994 when he ran for governor of New Mexico. He was elected to this position as a member of the Republican Party in 1995 and served until 2003. During his 2012 campaign, Johnson received the most votes for a Libertarian candidate in history, placing third in the general election.

Prior to his involvement in politics, Johnson was a businessman and handyman. He founded Big J Enterprises, one of New Mexico’s largest construction companies. He started this company in 1976 as the only employee, and by the time he sold it in 1999, it was a multimillion dollar establishment with over 1,000 employees. Most recently, Johnson served as Chief Executive Officer of Cannabis Sativa, Inc. from July 2014 to the end of 2015, leaving to devote time to his presidential campaign.


Johnson wants to implement a strong government-balanced budget, a problem he has experience with from his time as governor. When he left his position in New Mexico, the state had around a one billion dollar budget surplus, and the size of the government had decreased. The budget surplus can largely be accredited to Johnson’s use of his veto power, which he used more than all 49 previous governors combined. Johnson implemented the cost-benefit approach, which allowed him to determine whether or not a project would be beneficial by comparing its cost to its expected benefits. During his time in office, taxes did not increase for six years, new road programs were established and two new private prisons were built.

Johnson plans to limit the government’s involvement in the personal lives of citizens. He believes that the government should allow individuals the freedom to make personal choices as long as no harm is done to other people. In his attempt to remove the government from personal lives, Johnson will implement a criminal justice reform that redefines which crimes should be punishable by incarceration.

Perhaps the most obscure third party candidate is Vermin Supreme, a performance artist and activist. Easily catching public attention, Supreme is known to wear a boot as a hat and carry around a large toothbrush. He recently came in fourth in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary.

Vermin SupremeThis is not Supreme’s first time in the election. He has run for president seven times. His 2012 campaign platform consisted of zombie apocalypse awareness and time travel research. If elected, Supreme plans to implement a law requiring people to brush their teeth and has promised to provide every American with a pony.

Supreme describes his campaign as “joke humor,” making fun of the promises other candidates and the government make to the people. Supreme has indicated that he leads towards anarchism.

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