Op Ed: We Need to Shake Up the Two-Party System

Nick Thomas, Independent candidate for the 2nd Congressional District.
Nick Thomas, Independent candidate for the 2nd Congressional District.

On November 13, Todd Mitchem, a Libertarian candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat currently occupied by Jared Polis, announced that he was dropping out of the race. In response, another candidate for that seat, Nick Thomas, wrote this response:

I spent Monday afternoon with a hot cup of coffee at the base of NCAR in Boulder, poring over Todd Mitchem’s statement on suspending his campaign to represent Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District. The last time I saw Mitchem, he and I had met at a coffee shop ourselves, as I have done with each and every CD-2 candidate, and discussed the issues that faced our district as well as what would be needed in a candidate who could truly represent its citizens.

I was disappointed, then, to read that a voice like mine — from outside the entrenched political teams — would be lost as another victim to the us-or-them environment in today’s political climate. This speaks to the challenges we face in our broken system, permeating through every institution of our political discourse.

The Colorado marijuana industry experience, so far, has proven that leaders willing to take risks can create meaningful impact in our communities and turn the tide with non-traditional public-policy strategy. By leading the state into a new economic frontier, leaders and voters like Mitchem helped to defy the mold of what could be done through politics, and now our state better serves our educational institutions with stronger resources.

Likewise, I firmly believe the country is indeed ready for a similar treatment to the U.S. Congress. Our nation’s political duopoly can no longer be trusted to administer even the most basic functions of government, much less bold vision for bringing together divided camps around a new vision of governance.

Mr. Mitchem, I still believe, as you once did, that we are ready for a third-party form of leadership to change the game of what happens in Washington. I’ve spoken with many of our neighbors who, like us, are looking for a break from the kind of political tribalism you experienced on the campaign trail. That’s what we – the moderate majority – are up against, but it’s worth the action to return constructive pragmatism to the process of governing. And as you say, “We’re all here to shake up life.” Will you join me in doing so?

I intend to run my campaign with six core principles and values: Fiscal Responsibility, Social Tolerance, Ensuring Economic Opportunity and a Functioning Government, promoting Environmental Stewardship and a Commitment to Service. I hope you and your cohort will take a look at some of my campaign resources. and I look forward to earning your collective support.

Nick Thomas is the Independent candidate running to represent Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District. As a traditional and startup businessman and lifelong Coloradan, Thomas says he's running to restore a pragmatic approach to the process of governing and to find creative ways to bring opposing camps together to positively impact Colorado communities. Find out more at

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