18 Feb 21 Presidential Candidates Will Tee Off March 4 In Nationally Streamed Open Presidential Debate
With Cross-Partisan Debate
CHICAGO, IL, February 18, 2020 — 21 presidential candidates will take part in a unique cross-partisan debate March 4 in Chicago, organized by the Free & Equal Elections Foundation.
Spanning both major parties and most national minor parties, these 21 candidates will demonstrate that Americans across the political spectrum can come together for vigorous yet respectful debate that can change the tenor of the nation’s disastrous political discourse.
At a time when a staggering two out of three Americans think we need to make it easier for third-party and independent candidates to run for office, this Open Presidential Debate will help voters and would-be voters learn about more of their options during this pivotal election. At the same time, 9 in 10 voters think it’s important that the candidate they vote for this year will actively work toward unifying the country and making it less divisive.
Republican contenders Robert Ardini and Zoltan Istvan will join Democrats Mosie Boyd and Mark Stewart, Libertarian Party candidates Ken Armstrong, Souraya Faas, Erik Gerhardt, Jo Jorgensen, Adam Kokesh, Sam Robb, Vermin Supreme, and Arvin Vohra, Constitution Party candidates Don Blankenship and Charles Kraut, Green Party candidates Howie Hawkins and Sedinam Moyowasifza-Curry, American Solidarity Party candidate Brian Carroll, Life and Liberty Party candidate J.R. Myers, Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate Gloria La Riva, Transhumanist Party candidate Ben Zion, and independent candidate Mark Charles for a first-of-its-kind cross-partisan presidential debate.
“When record numbers of Americans support opening up the US political system to more voices and choices, it’s disappointing that the Republican and Democratic Parties work so hard to shut them out. We feel the time is right to create an inspiring cross-partisan dialogue that can address the important issues facing US voters,” said Free & Equal founder Christina Tobin.
Co-hosted by Open the Debates, the debate is aiming to shift the political conversation toward constructive, respectful, and solution-oriented debate. The cumulative debate format will provide a balanced and informative dialogue among the candidates.
“We’re building this event as a prototype for the kind of meaningful discourse and debate people are thirsting for, as well as a platform for the growing political reform movement and all U.S. citizens to weigh in at the presidential level. Instead of begging for better rules, better formats, and better topics, we’re creating the alternative to make the Commission on Presidential Debates and media gatekeeper debates obsolete,” said Open the Debates founder Eli Beckerman.
“By moving beyond false binary choices of liberal vs. conservative, Democrat vs. Republican, we can start to dig deeper into a more meaningful political debate,” said Christina Tobin. “We’re creating a new national dialogue.”
As former Democratic Congressman and past presidential contender Dennis Kucinich said, “Our country’s politics needs a lot of changes but in order to get the openness that will lead to political reform we have to start looking at the very process of qualifying for debates.”
In addition to the March 4 debate, Free & Equal will release a Blockchain Election Assistant App this year to promote transparency and empower voters with information about all their ballot choices. Powered by Nexus, the app will provide access to very detailed candidate information, as well as educational videos and debate archives. Free & Equal and Open the Debates are also co-hosting an Open Presidential Debate during the general election.
Robert Ardini, Republican Party
Ken Armstrong, Libertarian Party
Don Blankenship, Constitution Party
Mosie Boyd, Democratic Party
Brian Carroll, American Solidarity Party
Mark Charles, Independent
Souraya Faas, Libertarian Party
Erik Gerhardt, Libertarian Party
Howie Hawkins, Green Party
Zoltan Istvan, Republican Party
Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian Party
Adam Kokesh, Libertarian Party
Charles Kraut, Constitution Party
Gloria La Riva, Party for Socialism & Liberation
Sedinam Moyowasifza-Curry, Green Party
J.R. Myers, Life and Liberty Party
Sam Robb, Libertarian Party
Mark Stewart, Democratic Party
Vermin Supreme, Libertarian Party
Arvin Vohra, Libertarian Party
Ben Zion, Transhumanist Party
About Free & Equal Elections Foundation
The Free & Equal Elections Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to open the electoral process through education and collaborative action.
About Open the Debates
Open the Debates is a 501(c)3 project of Mediators Foundation working to open up the political debates of our nation to all ballot-qualified candidates, at every level of government.