WASHINGTON (AP) — Scholar and progressive activist Cornel West announced Monday he is running for president next year as a third-party candidate, saying he wants to empower people who have been “pushed to the margins.”
In a Twitter video, West said he will run as a member of The People’s Party. He criticized both major political parties and their standard bearers, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. Both Biden and Trump are running again in 2024.
“In these bleak times, I have decided to run for truth and justice, which takes the form of running for president of the United States as a candidate for the People’s Party,” West said. “I enter in the quest for truth. I enter in the quest for justice, and the presidency is just one vehicle to pursue that truth and justice, what I’ve been trying to do all of my life.”
West is a well known Black scholar and author and a former professor at Harvard and Princeton universities. He criticized former President Barack Obama as a “war criminal,” and supported Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a democratic socialist, in his presidential bids in 2016 and 2020.
On his campaign website, West says he wants to end wars, disband NATO, forgive all student debt, expand Social Security and invest in clean energy.
Third-party candidates face serious hurdles, including getting their names on ballots in each state.
In addition to Biden and Trump, several other candidates are making 2024 presidential bids. On Monday, former Vice President Mike Pence launched his campaign, joining a GOP primary field that already includes Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.