MILWAUKEE — We’re less than a year out from the 2024 presidential election and with Wisconsin as a key battleground state, finding a candidate that appeals to the masses is important.
Wisconsin voter Steve Martin is a man on a mission.
“Would you two have a minute to talk to me by chance?” said Martin.
The Waukesha native says he never really felt like he had a place in politics throughout his life.
“I’ve always considered myself to be an independent. I voted once for Carter, once for Clinton and one for Obama, one for Biden, once for Bush once for Bush, but I didn't really vote for any of them. I voted against their opponent,” said Martin.
Now in his 70s, Steve says he was searching for something to do during his retirement and discovered No Labels about five months ago.
Started in 2010, the grassroots group focuses on bipartisanship and finding a candidate who can act as a bridge between differing opinions.
“A unity ticket, featuring a moderate Republican and a moderate Democrat, and that's something that I could actually vote for, for the first time in a long time,” said Martin.
That hope is what drives Steve to talk to anyone he can ahead of next year, including Jonathan Cortes and Hakeem Safi.
The Milwaukeeans say they still haven’t made up their minds about who to vote for.
“I don't want Trump coming back, I know that. So, to get all different competitors would be good, different people,” said Cortes.
Jonathan and Hakeem say they didn’t know about No Labels but are curious about what they have to say.
“All we know about is just name-brand presidents. So, in March, if there was something new we can look into, it just gives people more opportunities,” said Safi.
Those with No Labels say their biggest goal with trying to get a third-party candidate is to give voters a choice.
“We need somebody who is moderate on both sides to be able to reach out to their side of the aisle as president and vice president and actually get something done,” said Martin.
With Ross Perot and Ralph Nader being the biggest independent presidential candidates in recent history, Steve says he understands voters’ concerns over splitting votes.
He says No Labels is focused on making sure whoever they get on their ticket has a fair shot, but won’t stand in the way of what’s right for the nation.
“If it ever gets to the point where we do not see a clear path for victory, and that we would simply be a spoiler for either side, we’ll simply pull the ticket,” said Martin.
Steve says No Labels volunteers are expected to ramp up their efforts in Wisconsin and across the country in the new year.