LANSING, Mich. (MIRS News) – In order to have any hope of influencing the 2024 presidential election cycle, the newly formed third political party known as “No Labels,” has a first-things-first assignment: Get on the ballot in all 50 states.

The bi-partisan movement of political centrists has five in the stable now and is shooting for 10 states in the near term. One of the movement’s charter members told the Off the Record broadcast Friday that the Michigan launch will come in July.

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Former U.S. Rep. Fred Upton is on a public relations swing to advance the third party and he notes that in Michigan his troops need more than 45,000 signatures to gain the ballot spot, which he is confident can be done.

He noted that volunteers are being lined up, but he was tight-lipped about who they are and how they will bankroll the signature-gathering assignment.

“We have them,” he reassured the OTR panel.

When asked about criticism that a third-party effort could help former President Donald Trump remove the “former” from his title, Upton points to the group’s polling data suggesting that another party “would take votes away equally from both parties.”

And he is upbeat about grinding out enough nationwide Electoral College votes to win the White House. “There is a path to get there,” he observed.

As for picking candidates, he says a national convention is slated for April 2024 and he expects the No Label ticket will include someone who formerly identified as a Democrat and another who described themselves as a Republican.