Almost all of print and television coverage this election cycle has focused on the two major party candidates: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But, according to Federal Election Commission filings, there are actually 1,780 candidates running for president of the United States.
One of those candidates is Chris Keniston, a third-generation military veteran who served in the Air Force. For nearly his entire adult life, Keniston refused to align himself with a political party because he believed they all made legal and ethical compromises about the type of constitutional government in which he believed.
That changed in February 2015, when he discovered the Veterans Party of America -- a party that considers itself neither liberal nor conservative but one that values individual freedom and constitutional liberty. After serving a handful of roles within the party, including Texas member-at-large, Keniston became its first presidential nominee. His running mate is U.S. Army veteran Deacon Taylor.
"We are appealing to people in the middle, who identify as Americans, who simply want their rights protected from federal government infringement or from infringement from any level of government," Keniston told Channel Six in an interview.
The Veterans Party of America lists eight other federal and local candidates on its website, including William Ewest, who is running for Texas' District 19 U.S. Representative seat.
Keniston is only on the ballot in two states: Colorado and Louisiana. He tried to get on the ballot in all the other states, including Texas, but was unsuccessful -- citing the strict requirements for ballot access.
Keniston admits he knows he probably won't win on Nov. 8. But, he hopes his candidacy might help the party gain the momentum it will need to become a viable third party option in the coming years.
To read more about the Veterans Party of America and its platform, click here.
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