Declared 2016 



Former CIA operative, businessman, House Chief Policy Director
Born: April 2nd, 1976  (age 41)


When acting convention chairman Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas pounded his gavel on the first day of the Republican National Convention last July to deny the motion of the anti-Trump coalition to include another name on the presidential roll call, people could be forgiven for thinking that the #NeverTrump movement has finally met its demise.

However, in the weeks following the convention, the movement seemed to have inexplicably gained a second lease of life. Little that anyone knows, Better for America, a privately-funded non-profit, has been working diligently behind the scenes to secure ballot access in various states for an alternative candidate to represent the classical conservatives of the Republican Party. And on August 8, 2016, the candidate finally arrived: David Evan McMullin, or better known as Evan McMullin.

The 40-year-old Utah native is a rather extraordinary choice. For one thing, he is not a politician (though a very well-connected staffer). For another, before wading into the world of politics, Mr. McMullin was a CIA spook, serving in undercover missions in the Middle East for ten years. Prior to that, right after obtaining an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, he was in Brazil serving as a Mormon missionary, and thereafter, in Jordan as a refugee resettlement officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mr. McMullin, who also holds a B.A. in International Studies from Brigham Young University, spent two years as an executive in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs before commencing on a political career on Capitol Hill as an adviser to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on national security issues. He was eventually promoted to Chief Policy Director of the House Republican Conference in 2015 – a position he resigned from immediately after announcing his candidacy.

In an open letter to the American public, Mr. McMullin stated that he could “no longer stand on the sidelines” and watch two “fundamentally unfit” candidates contesting for the presidency. As far as Libertarian Party’s candidate Gary Johnson is concerned, Mr. McMullin told the National Review that the former governor of New Mexico “doesn’t understand religious liberty” and “if he were president we’d have to drug-test him every four months.”

Despite the jubilant mood of the anti-Trump conservatives, Mr. McMullin faces a challenging task to make a mark in this election cycle. Getting his name on the ballots of enough states’ will be his biggest hurdle. The groundwork laid by Better for America will probably see him on the ballot of about a dozen states, but the filing deadlines for ballot access have already closed in over half of the states. There are speculations of him taking the litigation route to get his name on the closed ballots, but that option poses just too many hoops to jump through in such a short period of time.

Regardless, in states where his name will be on the ballot, Mr. McMullin will undoubtedly siphon a significant number of conservative and Republican votes away from Mr. Trump – and that will automatically make him the second biggest target for the Republican nominee. On the flip side, he might just end up to be Hillary Clinton’s most favorite person in the world.
 
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