Reform Party

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Reform Party

H. Ross Perot, founder of Electronic Data Systems, Inc., ran for president in 1992 as an independent candidate and received 19 percent of the popular vote. In September 1995 Perot organized the Reform Party and was the party's 1996 presidential candidate. The Reform Party's ticket, which included Perot's running mate, Pat Choate, appeared on the ballot in every state and won eight percent of the vote.

Perot entered the 1992 presidential race in February 1992 and gradually gained substantial widespread support with his well-financed campaign and straight talk about government. Perot made campaign finance reform, national trade deficits, and the Balancing of the Federal Budget the main issues in his campaign. In July Perot withdrew from the race when he received critical media coverage and lost his campaign manager, Edward J. Rollins. However, public support for his candidacy persisted, and Perot reentered the race in October with former navy admiral James B. Stockdale as his running mate. In 1996 the Reform Party fielded several candidates in elections across the country. At the party's national convention, University of Denver professor and former Colorado governor Richard D. Lamm challenged Perot's nomination, but Perot won handily.

The Reform Party experienced some success in the late 1990s. In 1998, former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was elected as the governor of Minnesota on the Reform Party ticket. A year later, conservative commentator pat buchanan quit the Republican Party to join the Reform Party.

Despite these gains, the party engaged in a civil war in 2000 that continued to have negative implications. Ventura quit the party in February 2000, calling it "dysfunctional." A month later, Choate and Jack Gargan, who had become chairman of the party on January 1, 2000, but was later voted out of office, asked a federal court to determine which of them should be named as the proper chairman. A federal district court in Virginia named Choate as chairman, but the internal strife continued. Buchanan and his supporters clashed with Perot loyalists over the nomination for the party's candidate for the 2000 presidential election. Buchanan was eventually nominated, but the problems with the party were evident in the election. Despite spending more than $38 million for the election, Buchanan received only 448,895 total votes.

Further readings

Andryszewski, Tricia. 2000. The Reform Party: Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan. Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook Press.

Herrnson, Paul S., and John C. Green, eds. 1998. Multiparty Politics in America. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Little-field.Williams, Victor, and Alison M. Macdonald. 1994. "Rethinking Article II, Section 1 and Its Twelfth Amendment Restatement: Challenging Our Nation's Malapportioned, Undemocratic Presidential Election Systems." Marquette Law Review 77.


Election Campaign Financing; Independent Parties.

References in periodicals archive ?
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It seems ironic that Buchanan would leave a pro-life party for the Reform Party, which has no position on abortion at all but whose most recognizable leaders - - founder and 1992/1996 presidential nominee Ross Perot and Minnesota Gov.
The Reform Party is another example of an outsider group forming because its followers felt left out.
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Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Reform Party) said that the Reform Party supported these initiatives too; however, they should be commensurate with budget possibilities.
With all votes counted, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip's Reform party took the most seats in Sunday's poll, with 33 of the 101 available in the nationalparliament, known as the Riigikogu.
It has shed those distinctive policies that made the old Reform Party at least exciting, if not electable.
5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Reform Party of Syria has issued an invitation to all the non-violent opposition parties in Syria and abroad to unite under a "Democratic Coalition to Free Syria.
Bristow also tried to infiltrate Heritage Front members into Canada's populist Reform Party.
Not surprisingly, gay support for Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan, who made opposition to gay rights central to his platform, did not register in the exit polls.