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Forward Party eyeing official recognition in Pennsylvania

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(The Center Square) – A polarized America, increasingly dissatisfied with the current political duopoly and lack of choices, might open doors wide enough for third parties and independents to wield greater influence in elections.

Stepping into that space and gaining momentum is the Forward Party.

At events held in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia on Tuesday, the Forward Party announced two candidates for statewide office – Attorney General and Treasurer – placing them closer to achieving their goal of obtaining official party recognition in the state.

To accomplish this, candidates must secure 2% of the vote in the General Election. If successful, Pennsylvania would be the first state to recognize Forward officially.

Eric Settle, a former Republican from Montgomery County, is running for Attorney General. According to Forward’s press release, he is a distinguished attorney who served as Deputy General Counsel to Gov. Tom Ridge and as chief counsel in the health care industry.

Former Democrat Chris Foster from Allegheny County is running for Treasurer and “is a youthful entrant into politics,” with experience as both an entrepreneur and a tennis professional, said the release.

Forward’s National Co-Chair, former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman, introducing Settle in Philadelphia, stated his legal expertise and a long career of public and community service would make him a formidable candidate in either of the legacy parties.

“Instead,” she said, “he has chosen to run under the banner of the Forward Party because he knows Pennsylvanians want their Attorney General to be independent of partisan ideology in their decision-making.”

Settle emphasized the office’s responsibilities in upholding the rule of law, ensuring community safety, and combatting corruption.

“In fact,” he said, “the next Attorney General will be crucial in safeguarding free elections in Pennsylvania.”

“Pennsylvania needs a truly independent Attorney General not beholden to either legacy party to enforce the law without fear or favor and move the Commonwealth not right, not left, but forward,” Settle added.

Foster’s campaign was announced in Pittsburgh by National Co-Chair and Forward founder Andrew Yang, who said he is “exactly what this commonwealth, and this country, needs in politics and government—a young member of our community dedicated to public service, choosing to step into the arena of politics.”

“We need more people to put themselves forward and fight for real solutions to our problems, and push us beyond the hyper partisanship and gridlock that Democrats and Republicans too often provide,” Yang added.

Foster said the role of the Treasurer is to watch over the integrity of the money Pennsylvanians send to Harrisburg, adding it should be entrusted to someone “not beholden to the political machines of either major party,” ensuring financial accuracy and reliability.

The candidates have pledged to prioritize the will of the voters and uphold the highest levels of ethics and integrity, said Christian Fyke, Pennsylvania’s Forward Party chair.

Additionally, their campaigns will serve to provide Forward official party recognition, allowing them to nominate dedicated and principled public servants in future elections, providing better options to voters.

Concluding the day’s events, Forward CEO Lindsay Drath, speaking from Harrisburg, said the party’s rising movement represents America’s largest voting bloc – Independents dissatisfied with both Republicans and Democrats.

“Just like in 1776, Pennsylvania is leading the way towards a brighter and better democracy,” with candidates like Settle and Foster, “who will focus on ensuring the voices of Pennsylvanian voters are once again respected in this government.”

Forward’s CEO Lindsey Drath told The Center Square they are building a coalition of individuals committed to solving problems, prioritizing shared values and principles over party ideology.

“Our goal, above all is functionality and representation, not label,” she said.

She explained they are not engaging in the presidential race this year, preferring to build the infrastructure for the long haul, and running similar strategies in other states – which means navigating through the varied requirements for entry set by each.

“Our work in Pennsylvania is unique to the people and the needs of Pennsylvania,” she said. “And that’s a much more authentic and unique way of building a political party – from the ground up, as opposed to dictating something from the top down.”

Excited about how state parties are building, Drath said it is “the people that are driving them and the candidates that are running with them that are going to weave this wonderful fabric that is the new movement, and we’re really excited to see Pennsylvania coming into the same.”

Others running for state or local offices in the ommonwealth are doing so as Forward affiliates who maintain their original party registration while pledging to govern according to Forward’s principles.

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