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American Independent Party

the "states' rights party"

official flag of the American Independent Party (copyright, AIP)

The American Independent Party was organized at a convention held in Bakersfield, California, on July 8, 1967. Its formation was spurred primarily by Alabama Governor George C. Wallace, who had intentions of running for President in 1968. The party published its strong states' rights platform on October 13, in which it stated its desire "to restore to the states the powers and authority which rightfully belong to the state and local governments." It complained that "the federal government has in the past three decades seized and usurped" powers concerning such questions as the public school system, voter eligibility, and the sale and rental of property. To cope with "crime and disorder in the United States," the party urged "full support for law enforcement agencies and officers."

Wallace -- and his running mate, General Curtis E. LeMay -- succeeded in getting his name on the presidential ballot in all 50 states. Most of Wallace's followers were Southerners, but he gained widespread support from people of other regions. Republican Richard M. Nixon won the election and Wallace ran a distant third behind Democratic candidate Hubert H. Humphrey, but he did receive 9,906,473 popular votes and 46 electoral votes.

In 1969, representatives from 38 states established the American Party as the successor to the American Independent Party.

In 1972, the party nominated former Congressman John G. Schmitz for President, and magazine publisher Thomas J. Anderson for Vice-President.

In 1976, the American Party split into two groups. The more moderate American Party nominated Thomas J. Anderson for President and Rufus Shackelford, a tomato grower from Florida, for Vice-President. The more extreme American Independent Party nominated former Georgia Governor Lester G. Maddox for President and William D. Dyke, a former Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, for Vice-President. Both parties have nominated candidates for the presidency since, but neither has had much national success.

The American Independent Party has had ballot status in California since 1968 and is still active there. Since 1991, the party has been the California affiliate of the national Constitution Party (U.S. Taxpayers Party).

American Independent Party of California

George C. Wallace
Richard M. Nixon

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This page was last updated on 07/07/2018.