The Upstate Jobs Party is launching a new focus that will back moderate candidates across New York who are interested in working with both sides of the aisle and secure a spot on the statewide ballot in 2022. 

The Unite NY initiative will support political candidates who focus on “non-partisan problems solving” regardless of party affiliation. 

“UJP has been building momentum since our founding in 2016, helping great independent leaders achieve electoral success, while shining a light on the opportunities presented by the innovation economy,” UJP founder Martin Babinec said. “Today, we announce this new effort focused upon Unity to show New Yorkers there is no divided blue or red path to a better tomorrow, but rather a united, independent path we can follow to make New York better and fairer for all.”

The Unite NY plan outlines three main goals which includes launching an informational campaign to help explain ranked choice voting in this year’s New York City mayoral election, encouraging candidates to run on a new “Unite” ballot line and supporting policies and leaders from across the state who focus on bipartisan solutions to improve New York’s economy. 

“The time is long past for some honest to goodness common sense to be injected into New York State politics,” UJP State Chair John Bullis said. “UJP’s new Unite NY effort will seek a unified, non-partisan path for candidates, public officials, and all New Yorkers to ensure a brighter future.”

Last year, state lawmakers voted to establish a statewide system of publicly financed campaigns, but there was a catch: Third parties have to meet much higher standards to keep their ballot line. They must secure either 130,000 votes or 2% of the votes cast every two years in the races for governor and president.

This means that as of now only the Working Families Party and Conservative Party have been able to gain enough support for their ballot lines, knocking off five other third parties including the Green Party, Libertarian Party and more. 

The Upstate Jobs Party says that is why it is critical to establish a third party that is focused on “independent problem solvers” and moderate candidates who will look past party affiliation.