No Labels Confronts Increasing Worries About Potential Presidential Ticket

( – For months, rumors of a No Labels third-party presidential ticket have sparked worry and anxiety within the Democrat Party. Many believed that Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin would be the group’s choice for president, but he recently announced that he would not be running for re-election or for president. Another option was Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who ultimately chose to run for retiring Democratic Maryland Senator Ben Cardin’s seat.

According to Politico, around a dozen No Labels donors have begun questioning whether they should continue contributions, citing disappointment in Manchin’s decision not to run. However, the group recently said that it would make a final determination “sometime after Super Tuesday” and would also announce its chosen candidates. One donor named Bill Kunkler said that the group has “a very secret process” for selecting candidates. Kunkler has supported No Labels since 2018. He also said that leaders of the group, along with a small number of advisers, were currently vetting potential candidates.

Kunkler brushed off complaints about the hushed nature of the group’s plans, arguing that people could simply choose to support the ticket or not. He also said that there was still plenty of time to launch a successful run. Manchin recently indicated that he was worried that the third-party ticket could wind up spoiling the general election, especially if the group was only able to get ballot access in a limited number of battleground states. Another donor named Murry Bowden expressed doubts that No Labels would be able to find a viable candidate, arguing that a Manchin/Hogan ticket would have appealed to voters.

No Labels claims to have active operations in 33 states but has only secured ballot access in 16 so far. The group’s spokesperson, Maryanne Martini, blamed the states for their lengthy certification processes. The group’s national director, Joe Cunningham, told Fox News on February 25 that No Labels was certainly considering asking Nikki Haley to run on its third-party ticket. However, Haley claims that she has not even considered running for anything other than a Republican, and some state laws would prevent her from doing so.

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