Declared 2016 



Entrepreneur


Jeremiah Pent was born in Arlington, Texas, and raised in Fort Worth. After graduating from high school and marriage, he and his family moved several times around the country, and currently reside in Pennsylvania. He briefly studied at Texas Christian University, but would eventually earn his Masters Degree (in Divinity) from the Westminster Theological Seminary. Professionally, he is an entrepreneur, having founded and run several businesses in a number of industries including agriculture and toy manufacturing.

Pent speaks in broad terms of the need to address the social and economic issues facing the US. He believes the biggest problem currently plaguing the nation is its own lack of unity, and that all other challenges can more easily be overcome if the divisions between religious and ethnic groups can be ameliorated. Other than admitting that this will be a difficult (but achievable) task, however, he offers few specifics on how it might be accomplished. Economically, he favors a balanced budget, advocating the maintenance of a federal government that operates within its means just as, he says, average American families must do. He believes this goal can be reached through middle class tax cuts and a careful restructuring and streamlining of the government's operations.

Pent is particularly preoccupied with the American educational system and its importance to the nation's children, and speaks at length of ensuring that schools are staffed by competent teachers able to properly guide and instruct their students. Once again, however, he is sparse on describing any specific changes which he feels should be made to or by the schools.

An independent candidate, Pent worries over the stark dichotomy between Republicans and Democrats, and claims that these two parties collectively represent only about a third of the American population. He points out the fact that George Washington, the nation's first President, was himself an independent, and that many Presidents immediately following him also did not formally belong to any political party. Concerned about the influence wielded over politicians by wealthy donors, Pent has pledged to accept campaign contributions only from individuals, not rich supporters who act through Political Action Committees and super PACs.

Due to Pent's reluctance to discuss his specific policy ideas, it is difficult to evaluate which voting demographics would be most likely to support and oppose him.
 
 
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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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