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Centrist group No Labels sets up panel to select third-party presidential ticket

No Labels is taking another step toward forming a bipartisan presidential ticket in November’s general election.

The centrist group announced the formation of a committee to vet candidates for the potential bipartisan ticket.

‘Today, No Labels is taking the next step toward providing it by announcing our process to choose the candidates for a unity ticket,’ former Sen. Joe Lieberman, a No Labels founding co-chair, said in a statement Thursday.

Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee who ran for the party’s 2004 presidential nomination before becoming an independent a couple of years later, will be part of a panel called the Country Over Party Committee, which will vet potential contenders.

No Labels national co-chair Ben Chavis, a civil rights activist and former NAACP executive director and CEO, will also serve on the 12-member panel.

‘The committee will consider input from the No Labels community and serve as representatives in meeting with potential candidates,’ former Dallas Mayor and No Labels national convention chair Mike Rawlings said in a video released by the group.

Rawlings said that to be considered for the national ticket, candidates must adhere to the group’s six core beliefs, including ‘that we care about this country more than demands of any political party.’

And Rawlings added that contenders must also endorse ‘the No Labels commonsense policy booklet, which includes 30 ideas to address our nation’s most important challenges, ranging from immigration and border security to the budget, inflation, and growing threats from abroad.’

Lieberman explained that ‘If we find two candidates that meet our high threshold, we will recommend that ticket to No Labels’ delegates for a nomination vote at a national nominating convention that will be held later this spring.’

While the group didn’t set any timetable, Lieberman said Thursday in a CNN interview that a candidate could be announced as early as next Thursday.

The announcement comes nearly a week after roughly 800 No Labels delegates who took part in a virtual meeting voted to give a thumbs up to fielding a presidential ticket.

For over a year, No Labels has mulled a third-party ticket, as it pointed to poll after poll suggesting that many Americans were anything but enthused about a 2024 election rematch between President Biden and former President Donald Trump.

And No Labels had long said that it would decide whether to launch a presidential ticket following Super Tuesday, when 16 states from coast to coast held nominating primaries and caucuses.

The latest move by No Labels comes two days after Biden and Trump clinched the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations, becoming the two major parties’ 2024 presumptive nominees.

The moves by No Labels also come after former two-term Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a former leader of the group who was considered a potential contender for the ‘unity’ ticket, recently took his name out of contention as he announced a run this year for an open Senate seat in his home state.

And moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, another former No Labels leader who is not seeking re-election this year and who flirted with a White House run, has also said he won’t launch a presidential bid.

There was also plenty of speculation that former U.N. ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was the final 2024 GOP presidential nomination rival to Trump before she ended her White House run last week, would consider running on a No Labels ticket. No Labels had expressed interest in her earlier this year.

But Haley repeatedly nixed joining a No Labels ticket, most recently last week in an interview on ‘FOX and Friends.’

The No Labels spotlight now appears to be shining on former Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan of Georgia, a former health care executive and minor league baseball player who served three terms in the Georgia House of Representatives before winning election as lieutenant governor in 2018.

People familiar with the discussions confirmed to Fox News that No Labels ‘is talking to him,’ adding that conversations are ‘moving fast’ and ‘nothing’s set.’

A source in Duncan’s political orbit said he hasn’t ruled anything out when it comes to a potential third-party presidential run this year. The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Duncan grabbed national attention in the weeks after the 2020 election for speaking out against then-President Trump’s unfounded claims of ‘massive voter fraud’ in Georgia, which was one of a half-dozen states where Biden narrowly edged Trump to win the White House.

Duncan, along with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both Republicans, resisted Trump’s requests to overturn the election results in the Peach State.

Duncan decided months later against seeking re-election in 2022 and instead launched ‘GOP 2.0,’ an effort to try and move the Republican Party past Trump.

No Labels said last week that it is already on the ballot in 16 states and currently working in 17 other states to obtain access. 

There’s been a chorus of calls from Democrats warning that a No Labels ticket would pave a path to victory for Trump in November, but the group dismisses that criticism.

‘That’s not our goal here,’ Lieberman told Fox News Digital late last year. ‘We’re not about electing either President Trump or President Biden.’

Thursday’s announcement came a day after the resignation of No Labels co-chair Pat McCrory, a Republican and former North Carolina governor.

McCrory, who hasn’t detailed his departure from the group, said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal that ‘I wish them [No Labels] the best.’

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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