Image caption, (From left): Brock Pierce, note Charles and Jade Simmons room all to run for the united state presidency
The us has had presidents for more than 230 years, yet only the very first - George Washington - has ever been elected as an elevation candidate.

The twin peaks of us politics, the Republican and also Democratic parties, overcome media coverage and campaign donations so totally that the chances of an outsider winning room virtually nil.

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Quite a range as it turns out: together of 9 October, some 1,216 candidates (of differing levels the seriousness) have actually filed with the federal Election commission to run for president.

The asked 3 of castle - a concert pianist and also motivational speaker, a aboriginal American that technician, and also a crypto billionaire - what they stand for, and why they worthy the votes that Americans.

Image source, Michael Gillman Photography

Jade Simmons is a multi-hyphenated woman. A previous beauty queen, skilled concert pianist, motivational speaker, rapper, mother, and also ordained pastor.

"This seemed to me to it is in a time once we couldn't afford come do service as usual," she says. "I'm the daughter of a civil legal rights activist, and the way my father elevated me was the if you see voids, if you check out injustices, you need to ask you yourself if that can be you that needs to be leaning in."

She states her goal is to produce equal access to opportunity, v economic, educational and also criminal righteousness reform. And also in the spirit, she's aiming to run "the least expensive project in the background of our nation".

"We think it's abominable that it costs now practically a billion dollars to operation for president when the qualifications space that you space 35 years old, a US-born resident, and also have lived below 14 years," states Ms Simmons. "We'd quite spend the money on help people."

"It relies on who you ask!" she says. "Everything native disgruntled Bernie bros to conservative Christian pastors room liking our policy."

Her background as a minister and also a human of confidence does not immediately denote conservatism, she says.

"I think Jesus is one of the most radical numbers we have actually in history. And also I think if you look at just how he activate you might end increase calling him progressive."

The coronavirus pandemic has actually upended this year's White home race, curtailing massive gatherings, advertise party conventions online and dominating news headlines. But for Jade, the major challenge of her project has been simply letting world know she exists.

"Even in a time wherein black stays supposedly matter, and black voices matter, and also we observed statements of solidarity coming from the media and also corporations, those same media outlets - including black media outlets - have actually refused come tell the story the I'm here.

"You have actually maybe a celebrity choose a Kanye West that didn't even record his papers, and on the fourth of July as soon as he announced, in ~ 30 minutes he was spanned by every major network. So we were a small bit shocked the the narrative of democracy is not brought out as much as American voter think as soon as you look at behind the scenes."



While the Republican and Democratic nominees will certainly be on the ballot in every states, independents should meet range of state deadlines and access requirements.

Ms Simmons' surname will appear on the ballot in Oklahoma and Louisiana, but in 31 other states she's registered together a write-in candidate - an interpretation that if voters physically create her surname down, their vote will count. She acknowledges the odds room absolutely versus her, but still to trust she have the right to make it come the Oval Office - and if not this year, climate at some point.

"I understand it sounds wild, offered the history of independents! We believe that if we remain standing long enough, there's tho some much more disruption comes in - that most Americans room going to view that the current two options are not the choice.

"<…> We've to be saying from job one, that we need to restore the cloth of the nation. That's a spirituality fabric, that's a cultural fabric, a social and a racial fabric, and also we feeling that's been ripped to shreds - primarily and also intentionally by both political parties.

"So if ns were come close my eyes and also envision a nation… This can't be simply a flip-flop of power and also revenge - 'We obtain to get earlier at you.' I see a palate-cleansing season where we deserve to take a deep breath and say, 'Where perform we go from here?'"

Brock Pierce is a previous child gibbs who showed up in the Mighty ducks franchise and starred together the president's boy in the 1996 comedy an initial Kid. However thanks come his 2nd career as a tech entrepreneur, he's likewise probably a crypto currency billionaire.

"I think that we absence a real vision for the future - i mean, what kind of people do we desire to live in, in the year 2030? What is the plan? Where room we do the efforts to get to, girlfriend know? You need to aim for something. And also I watch mostly just a the majority of mud being thrown around, no a lot of world putting forth game-changing ideas. It's gaining scary. And also I have actually a check out of what to do."

For the last four years, grandfather Pierce has concentrated on philanthropic job-related in Puerto Rico, where his foundation recently raised a million dollars because that PPE to give to very first responders.

Asked what America's priorities need to be because that the next four years, he says the nation stops follow "growth because that growth's sake", and measures the success by just how well life, liberty, and also the search of joy are upheld.

It's tough to pen Mr Pierce under politically. The man described by Rolling stone as "the hippie king of crypto currency" favours legalising cannabis, organized a unicorn-themed wedding ceremony at burn Man, and also was for this reason unimpressed in ~ being inserted on a Forbes rich-list the he vowed to give away his very first billion dollars. He likewise believes strong in personal freedom, and also has donated thousands to Republican candidates.

"I have many liberal tendencies, similar to I have actually conservative tendencies," mr Pierce says. "And i think it's time we take a cumulative breath and a brave step into the future, because every one of these ideologies have actually something come teach us."

The 39-year-old's life has actually not been complimentary of controversy. As soon as he to be 19, 3 male actors accused him and two company partners of sex-related assault. Mr Pierce denied any type of wrongdoing, and also was never ever charged v a crime. The 3 plaintiffs withdrew their cases against him and never got any personal compensation. However inevitably, the headlines attached to that episode have actually made a presidential operation a tougher prospect.

"Having your name in a story choose that is… it causes immense harm," the says. "But the hopeful thing the end of that is, it taught me not to judge people."

Federal election Commission data mirrors Brock Pierce has actually pumped $3.7m into his campaign. He says his strategy is to finish up in the White house not by to win the choice outright, yet by acquisition a single state in a close race, climate forcing the house of to represent to pick a winner.

"Every time that this has actually happened before, 100% that the time, they've constantly chosen the third-place or last-place candidate to be president as a compromise. Currently it's only happened once - 1824. And so our score is to success a solitary state. And if us knock it out of the park, to success three.

"I turn 40 in November, which means I additionally have time on my side. And so us are likewise laying the groundwork because that the future - not just for me as a candidate, but for every independent candidates walking forward."

"I'm constantly invite to run for branch of new York, branch of Minnesota. I average basically everywhere I walk they're like, Brock, you can actually resolve this. Like if you don't become president next year, would you shot and run our state, would you run our city?

"I wouldn't even spend a minute thinking around this till November 4th, and also that's what i tell everyone. Contact me November 4th. Yet I make a decision, you know, to live my life in service, and also so but I can be the greatest business I'm prepared to execute that occupational well."

One variable that unites independent candidates is the they haven't had actually to you re welcome a party bulk to obtain a platform - for this reason they run as themselves, top top the concerns that yes, really speak come them personally.

Professionally he's functioned as a computer system programmer and in technology support, yet he's also an ardent social justice campaigner on problems affecting native Americans and also people of colour.

His goal is to be an alternative candidate for voters that don't feel a kinship through the trump or Biden tickets.

Mr Charles is that Navajo heritage, an identification which has actually deeply shame his candidacy and his watch of what America have to be.

"These were your lands, long prior to Columbus got lost in ~ sea - and they room still here. And I to be humbled to be life on this lands, on their lands, and also I desire to honour them as the host people."

In the beforehand 2000s, grandfather Charles made decision to move his household to a remote home on a Navajo reservation, "because I wanted to experience the an ext traditional life". Lock would stay for 11 years.

"We were six miles turn off the nearest paved road, stayed in the one-room Hogan - the timeless Navajo dwelling. There was no running water, no electrical power in our community, our neighbors were rug weavers and also shepherds."

The household prepared to cook on a camping stove, draw water, and also live by candle-light. What lock hadn't suspect was just how marginalised they would certainly feel.

"The only teams of non-Natives we ever saw on the reservation were those who came to take our picture or those who came to give united state charity. Virtually no one come to develop relationships with us," states Mr Charles. "On height of that, ns was understanding and also seeing several of the historic trauma that came from the an extremely unjust history against ours people.

He do a resolution to with outwards and foster understanding instead of cultivation bitter. Now he states he's fighting because that a truly inclusive, modern-day America i m sorry rejects inequality.

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"Our Constitution, i m sorry starts through the native 'We the people' <…> never ever mentions women, it especially excludes Natives, and it counts afri as three-fifths the a person," says Mr Charles.

"And for this reason this is what my project is all about: if we desire to it is in a country where 'we the people' truly means all the people, we have to do part foundational-level work. Us can't simply say it and wish it to be so: us actually need to go in and readjust some things that this nation was founded on, such together the racism, the sexism and also the clearly white supremacy."