Americans Elect, a group that set out to secure ballot access for a yet-to-be-named centrist presidential candidate, has thrown in the towel.
After spending $35 million to create an online nomination process and petition for a line on the ballot in more than half the states — the group’s leaders acknowledged Thursday that they couldn’t find a candidate.
The nonprofit, which was started with much fanfare among the tech-savvy political crowd, had a grand vision for citizens to take part in a long and complicated Internet nominating process. The organization would secure ballot access, and the people would pick the candidate.
But none of the declared candidates reached the 10,000-vote threshold required to be named to the ticket.
Americans Elect’s leading candidate was Republican Buddy Roemer, a former Louisiana governor, who had accumulated nearly 6,000 supporters on the group’s Web site. He said this week that he hoped the nominating process would go on. The group’s board decided it was time to bring it to a close.
Read their statement after the jump.
Statement from Americans Elect:
“There is a desire among Delegates and millions of Americans who have supported Americans Elect to see a credible candidate emerge from this process.
However, the rules, as developed in consultation with the Americans Elect Delegates, are clear. As of this week, no candidate achieved the national support threshold required to enter the Americans Elect Online Convention in June. The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end.
Americans Elect, from the outset, has been a rules-based process, with the rules publicly available and open to debate by the Delegates. Our key priorities have been to: 1) honor the trust Americans Elect has built with the Delegates and American public; 2) require candidates to earn the nomination by building support among the Americans Elect Delegate community and American voters; and 3) create a basis for a solid future for the Americans Elect movement.
This decision honors these priorities.”