SALT LAKE CITY — Utah officially has another political party on the books after the Forward Party gained ballot access in the Beehive State.
The party, led at the national level by 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, held a press conference last month at the state Capitol to announce it had filed signatures with the state elections office in order to qualify.
The Forward Party was officially certified earlier this week and is now the eighth registered party in the state.
Adam Teuscher, co-lead of the Utah Forward Party, told KSL.com on Tuesday he knows it will be an uphill climb for the party to gain relevance in the state, but said he feels there are many voters who are deeply dissatisfied with the current two-party system in the United States.
"It's a process. It will take some time to get our name out there, but we do feel like we've got a message that really resonates with a certain group of Utahns, a lot of people that are frustrated with the way the system works right now," he said.
In contrast to the United Utah Party, a third party which is based solely in the state, Teuscher said the Forward Party can benefit from national infrastructure and name recognition of leaders like Yang.
The Forward Party policy, at least for now, is primarily focused on several government reforms, allowing candidates to take their own positions on the most hot-button issues of the day.
Teuscher said the party plans to be "laser-focused" on three primary reforms: advocating for alternative voting methods — like ranked-choice or approval voting — open or nonpartisan primaries, and independent redistricting to end partisan gerrymandering.