DENVER – If you’re a Coloradan feeling disillusioned by the Republican and Democratic parties but want a party affiliation, there’s a new official minor party you can sign up for: The Unity Party.
The party, which has had a presence in Colorado since 2005, on Monday reached the 1,000-voter mark necessary to give it minor party status on state election ballots in both 2018 and 2020.
The Unity Party joins the American Constitution, Green, and Libertarian parties as the fourth minor party in Colorado. Aside from the Republican and Democratic parties, more than one-third of the state’s registered voters aren’t affiliated with any party.
Before reaching the 1,000-voter threshold, the Unity Party was a qualified political organization, which meant that any prospective candidates had to petition to get on a ballot.
The party will now have to assemble at least 73 days before the 2018 primaries to nominate a candidate or organize a primary for the party’s choice.
The only candidate currently registered with the party is Bill Hammons, who has run for various seats in Congress in every congressional election since 2010.
Hammons is running for the governorship of Colorado in 2018.
He lost to Jared Polis in both 2010 and 2012 when he ran for Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District seat.
In 2014, he received 6,427 votes in a bid for the U.S. Senate seat won by Cory Gardner, and in 2016, he received 9,336 votes in the election for Colorado’s other U.S. Senate seat, which Michael Bennet won.
Hammons outperformed two independent candidates in that election.
He is also both the state and national chairman of the Unity Party, whose slogan is: “Not right, not left, but forward.”
Hammons called the news of his party’s certification “pretty exciting" and that it "was a long time coming."
He told Denver7 Wednesday the party would likely get together in the next couple of months to readopt their bylaws, and would likely schedule the nomination convention for some time next March.
He said he remains committed to his governorship run despite also running the state and national chapters for the Unity Party.
"I welcome challenges in the party," Hammons said, "but I'd be the best Unity Party candidate for the job."
“This latest development reflects that as Coloradans we treasure our ability to make our own decisions,” Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said about the addition of a new minor party.