Evan McMullin, a little-known former CIA operative, is launching a third-party bid for president as a conservative alternative to Donald Trump.
McMullin, who until recently was employed as the chief policy director of the House Republican Conference, told ABC News there was still time to mount a campaign that could prove to be a spoiler in certain GOP-leaning states whereTrump has lost ground in recent polls.
“In a year where Americans have lost faith in the candidates of both major parties, it’s time for a generation of new leadership to step up,” he said in a statement. “It’s never too late to do the right thing, and America deserves much better than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton can offer us.
“I humbly offer myself as a leader who can give millions of disaffected Americans a conservative choice for president.”
A “McMullin for President” campaign fundraising website has been set up atEvanMcMullin.com, which features a picture of McMullin with the text: “Standing up to run for president because it’s never too late to do the right thing.”
McMullin’s candidacy is being pushed by backers of the “Never Trump” movement, which formed before the former reality TV star wrapped up the Republican nomination but has struggled until now to field an alternative candidate.
Better for America, a group formed by Never Trump proponents, indicated that some influential Republicans would come out in support of McMullin following his announcement. He is expected to file paperwork on Monday afternoon, but would nonetheless face hurdles getting on the ballot in states where the deadline has already passed.
But McMullin holds little name recognition even among Republicans in Washington. He has been a vocal critic of Trump’s on Twitter, but hardly a recognizable member of the “Never Trump” movement.
McMullin is 40 years old, unmarried and has never previously run for office. He holds an MBA from Wharton business school, which Trump attended as an undergraduate.