Notes, 1:00 p.m., Spring 2001, Major Parties and Minor/Third Parties, April 16, 2001


Two Major Parties in the U.S.

The Democratic Party (D) originated with the Anti-Federalists or Democratic-Republicans of Thomas Jefferson.Since Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, the majority of African-Americans support the Democratic Party.It is currently the majority party of registered voters.

Republican Party (R) was founded shortly before the Civil War.It is also known as the G.O.P. or Grand Old Party.The first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln.It has been the majority party in the number of seats in Congress since 1994.


Six Minor Parties in California

Reform Party (Rfm) was founded by billionaire Ross Perot, the independent candidate for president in 1992. His call for deficit reduction and other reforms led to the founding of the Reform Party which nominated him for president in 1996. It nominated Pat Buchanan for president in 2000.

Green Party (G) was founded as a social justice movement in 1973.The party nominated consumer advocate Ralph Nader for president in the 1996 and 2000 elections.

American Independent Party (AIP) was founded for the 1968 election by its first presidential nominee, George Wallace.Wallace and the party advocated the end of the Vietnam War and opposed abortion.

Libertarian Party (L) was founded for the 1972 election to advocate individual freedom and liberties through the elimination of most laws, government powers, taxes, and tariffs.

Natural Law Party (NL) was founded for the 1992 election to apply the principles of meditation techniques to solve social problems.

Peace and Freedom Party (PF) was founded for the 1968 election by people active in the farmworker, civil rights and anti-Vietnam war movements.


*Note:A candidate who runs as an ‘independent’ is not affiliated with any particular party, but is independent in his

platform views from other political parties.

Example1: In the Los Angeles mayoral race, Joel Wachs is running as an independent candidate.He is not affiliated with any other political party.He is the only ‘independent’ candidate running for the mayor of Los Angeles.

Example 2: In the 1992 presidential election, Texas businessman Ross Perot ran unsuccessfully as an independent candidate. He was  representing neither the Republican Party  nor Democratic Party, nor any other party as a candidate. 


The Los Angeles Mayoral Race

The four Democratic candidates for mayor are James K. Hahn, Antonio Villaraigosa, Kathleen Connell, and Xavier Beccerra.

The only Republican candidate is Steve Soboroff, and the independent candidate is Joel Wachs.In this primary election, eachcandidate is hoping to receive a majority of votes.If no candidate receives a majority, then there will be a runoffor general election to determine who will be the mayor of  Los Angeles.