Unite America Announces First-Ever National Slate of Independent U.S. Senate and Governor Candidates

New Political Movement Renames from The Centrist Project and Releases a “Declaration of Independents” to Establish Shared Principles

DENVER, CO –– Unite America today announced the first-ever slate of five independent candidates for U.S. Senate and Governor across the country, as the group builds a credible, organized and national movement to challenge the historically unpopular two-party duopoly.

The organization and candidates released a statement of shared principles, the “Declaration of Independents,” that defines their common-sense approach to governing. As part of the announcement, Unite America formally renamed itself from The Centrist Project in an effort to reflect a brand that intends to mobilize an inclusive coalition of voters across the political spectrum who desire an independent alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties.

The endorsed slate includes independent gubernatorial candidates Governor Bill Walker of Alaska, State Treasurer Terry Hayes of Maine, and Greg Orman of Kansas, and independent U.S. Senate candidates Craig O’Dear of Missouri and Neal Simon of Maryland.

“These candidates are the vanguard of a new movement in our politics to bridge the growing partisan divide and to ensure government truly represents the people –– not the party bosses or special interests,” said Nick Troiano, Executive Director of Unite America and former independent Congressional candidate.

The announcement comes at a time when a rapidly increasing groundswell of independent activism is gaining national momentum. Nationally, 44% of Americans identify as independent –– up five points over 2016 –– and 61% desire an alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties, according to Gallup.

Unite America is a national organization that recruits and supports independent candidates for state and federal office. It is building the first-of-its-kind support structure for independents –– including a grassroots network, donor community, and electoral infrastructure. The organization has raised more than $3 million this election cycle.

Unite America’s new “Declaration of Independents” is a statement of shared principles supported by each of its endorsed candidates, including:

  • Putting the public interest ahead of any partisan or special interest;
  • Using common sense and finding common ground to solve problems;
  • Standing for the timeless values of opportunity, equality, and stewardship.

Founded in 2013, Unite America’s leadership includes founder & co-chair Charles Wheelan, a senior lecturer in public policy at Dartmouth College and author of the Centrist Manifesto, and board member Marc Merrill, co-founder and co-chairman of Riot Games. Joel Searby, who managed Evan McMullin’s independent presidential campaign in 2016, serves as Senior Strategist.

Through a network of state-based organizations, Unite America is also working to recruit and support independent state legislative candidates in Colorado, Maine, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, and Alaska.

The ultimate aim of the movement, referred to as the “Fulcrum Strategy”, is to elect a sufficient number of independents to narrowly divided legislatures, including the U.S. Senate, where as a coalition they could control the balance of power and use their leverage as a swing vote to forge greater collaboration between both parties.



Unite America is a citizens' movement to bridge the growing partisan divide by electing common-sense, independent candidates to office. For more information, please visit: www.UniteAmerica.org.