Progressive Democrats in the House have retracted a letter to President Biden calling for talks with Russia after facing backlash for suggesting the idea of pursuing diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine.
The letter was signed by 30 lawmakers and was led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In a statement, Jayapal said the letter was drafted several months ago and blamed its release on her staff.
“The Congressional Progressive Caucus hereby withdraws its recent letter to the White House regarding Ukraine,” Jayapal said. “The letter was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting. As Chair of the Caucus, I accept responsibility for this.”
A source familiar with the matter contradicted the statement in comments to Politico, saying the letter’s release was personally signed off by Jayapal. The letter was initially drafted in June, and some signatories publicly said they wouldn’t have endorsed it today.
“I signed this letter on June 30, but a lot has changed since then. I wouldn’t sign it today,” Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “We have to continue supporting Ukraine economically and militarily to give them the leverage they need to end this war.”
In the letter, the lawmakers made clear that they support the Biden administration’s policy of shipping tens of billions of dollars in weapons to Ukraine but said diplomacy should be pursued due to the risk of nuclear war and “catastrophic escalation.”
Jayapal said it was retracted because it was being conflated with comments made by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who said a Republican-controlled House wouldn’t be willing to write a “blank check” for Ukraine.
“Because of the timing, our message is being conflated by some as being equivalent to the recent statement by Republican Leader McCarthy threatening an end to aid to Ukraine if Republicans take over,” Jayapal said.
Jayapal pointed out that there has been no opposition to the Biden administration’s Ukraine policy from Democrats in Congress. She said Democrats “have strongly and unanimously supported and voted for every package of military, strategic, and economic assistance to the Ukrainian people.”
Jayapal said that the war in Ukraine will only end with diplomacy after “a Ukrainian victory.” According to the Ukrainian government, victory means driving Russia out of the territories it has captured since February 24, all of the Donbas and Crimea.
The Biden administration has shown no sign of seeking diplomacy with Russia to end the conflict despite the president’s recent warning that the world is facing the highest risk of nuclear “armageddon” than at any time since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
The Washington Post reported earlier this month that US officials have ruled out pushing Ukraine to the negotiating table even though they don’t think Kyiv can win the war “outright.” In an earlier statement, Jayapal said the Congressional Progressive Caucus supports the administration’s policy of not negotiating with Russia “about Ukraine without Ukraine.”
114 thoughts on “House Progressives Retract Letter to Biden Calling for Talks With Russia”
Clearly those that style themselves “Progressives” are not antiwar …
Either that, or extreme political pressure is being applied to silence any talk of diplomacy.
There is no mere political pressure that could force this cowardly retraction if . . . the thirty ostensible progressives weren’t cowardly careerists.
Just my view, but sweeping generalizations don’t really serve any rational discussion. For one thing they’re thirty individuals, not some kind of glob.
To clarify: The only way that political pressure could force this retraction is if concerns about the personal impact of political punishment weighs more heavily in the minds of the thirty than an effort to promote negotiation in a war that constitutes the greatest danger to civilization since . . . perhaps there is no real earlier comparison.
I care not at all about the details that may individually motivate or explain their craven behavior. No details could possible change the fact that their personal hopes and fears, their crummy little careers are as nothing in comparison with the issue before all of us, especially those who have official responsibility for our national behavior. I believe they are self-interested cowards, every single one of them, and I condemn them en masse.
I agree. The 30 could have taken the brave option. So, they lose their political career. History would remember as being of sound mind and soul.
Remember that video at the start of AOC’s career where she said she was willing to risk being a one term pol in the fight for her principles? I guess that was tossed in the dustbin, (sometime around the designer dress movement towards celebrity) protest.
Although I generally agree with your sentiment – I believe that many or even all of them were heavily pressured and even blackmailed. But it is a moot point. They – we – are dead as a political force for now, and for the next one or two election cycles at least.
I think that the change will not come from the inside out.
I tend to agree…
I’m particularly disappointed in Cory and Rashida, who consistently speak out for the marginalized. Black Lives Matter. Palestinian lives matter. But the lives of all who are being destroyed in this conflict matter as well.
Which means they are cowards by orders of magnitude.
What? You mean in the heart of the democratic, free West????
The Blinken Bots are in charge of the White House. I assume threats of one sort or another are being levied at anyone who dares to question Blinken-Biden.
If you haven’t taken a look, have a visit to Political Wire, and re any Ukraine-related post, watch those fine Democratic party political progressives (actually well right of center these days) gnash their teeth and expel hatred toward anyone who dares question Biden’s lunacy.
Omg Bear I just checked it out. The comments made me wanna projectile vomit. What a bunch of sh*tlibs!!!
I endured that place for a year, trying to strike a balance based on the past 30 years of Russia-Ukraine-NATO history. They clumped together and got me banned – twice – as a Putin supporter and Russian spy before I finally gave up.
Well, you’re among the like-minded now 🙂
I didn’t see any indication of superior brainpower among those comments, that’s for certain, while I’ve always been impressed with the eloquence and insight provided by many hear on AW.
My dyed-in-the-wool Libertarian brother turned me on to AW, and if intellect is any indication, well, he’s an internal medicine physician.
I have never been there but I have seen frothing at the mouth rabid bloodthirsty Democratic party warmongers across the web. And pretty much a blackout of any news that counters the propaganda. You have to venture to obscure websites to let the light in. It is tremendously sad.
Bear, I have to say, all those Ukrainian flags cracked me up 😂
Exorcist tactics Gypsy, just in time for Halloween……
Donna, YEAH BABY!
Which only reinforces Sambor’s point. They’re more interested in their career’s than they are about ending any wars.
Sara Jacobs said “We have to continue supporting Ukraine economically and militarily to give them the leverage they need to end this war.”
Sorry, Sara, that isn’t the goal of this administration, and it isn’t how it works.
Total capitulation to the War Machine. Ridiculous political suicide of the pretend-left.
I wonder if there is any way to reclaim the true left…
But beautifully illustrative of what the Dem party is all about, no? Crony capitalism, insane militarism, identity politics, and abortion … anything else?
You’ve gotta be f*ckin’ kiddin’ me.
Sounds like the same crew who overthrew the elected president of Ukraine with the five billion dollars of National “walk around money”
Exactly. Slowly but surely they are imposing war time demands on populatikn. We are not atvwar, but one party in power is already abridging the rights and freedoms. First in media, unless one states the mandatory mantra of “unprovoked, illegal war”, will be marginalized, In law, the murky category of sanctions, just as terrorism, is bending legal code, comingling executive and legislative functions, as well as muddy the executive and legal divide.
This crew is now not satisfied with rearranging foreign states, but is aiming to seamlessly bridge a foreign country management and domestic management of public behavior, It is a war time privilege of a president, but should never be demanded in peacetime.
Where did the “backlash” come from, pray tell?
Everywhere in the Democrats’ galaxy. To the leadership, the letter was outrageously off-message. And the brainwashed base reacted in horror to a suggestion that challenged the Russophobia that has been so carefully inculcated since the summer of 2016.
A genuine shame as this could have been a watershed moment for younger, actual progressives in the Democratic party. Instead, they obligingly fell into line, bamboozled like the seven dwarfs by Nancy Pelosi.
“A genuine shame.”
Yes, it is a genuine shame. And that is important to say.
It’s easy to be scornful.
But scorn is safe, scorn is emotionally detached.
As pathetic and inadequate as the letter was, it was important, and its failure is a loss and a defeat.
It was important because that one excruciatingly hedged word – “negotiation” – would have been a wedge that the antiwar movement could have built on – pointing to the letter, and demanding negotiation go farther.
It was important because it would have laid the ground for democracy to actually work – for a relationship between elected representatives and, until now, a wholly extra-governmental anti-war movement.
Instead, an ultra-cautious, hedged anti-war political move was beaten – silenced and humiliatingly beaten. The neocons won, the militarists won, the arms makers won, and anti-war forces were badly beaten.
I’ll be talking to people and handing out anti-war information this weekend, and, coming on the heels of this defeat, that work will be harder. ‘At a dangerous moment, Congress is finally waking up – only last Monday, a letter enjoined the President to negotiate – help strengthen this message,’ I would have said. And that would have gotten more signatures, would have put the possibility of effective resistance in the minds of a few more people.
Now I can’t say that. It’s a shame.
You are being pro-active and that is something that counts. Sometimes by doing the things that you are, making the effort, it will boost you right up and others as well. Thank you for contributing and well done.
But but how did we lost all of our voters to Jill Stein? Well, there’s your answer Democrats. We hate your warmongering politics.
I hope she runs again.
I voted for her twice. And that’s in different elections just to clarify. 😉
Haha, thanks for that laugh.
Wouldn’t blame you if you voted for her twice in the SAME election, Wars 😉
Everyone knew it was a cheap PR. Big boys explained to them that they can’t do it because it jeopardizes the big boys’ investments.
This is how DC plays the “antiwar” game. The reason this letter was postponed is because Dems are expecting to lose the House. When GOP becomes majority, Dems will wear the antiwar hat and submit the “letter” but because they don’t control the House, the letter will be blocked by those nasty GOP. The idea is to repackage Democrats as the antiwar party and make GOP the war party again.
You’re probably not wrong.
It doesn’t really matter. Biden is still President and Nuland is still in the Department of State. Even if the democrats lose, the Republicans will keep the war going until the bitter end of humanity.
The bipartisan un elected war criminals who never leave. Presidents are puppets.
Is there some sort of timeline for the end? 😉
No. But it is interesting to observe certain signs. Everytime Russia slowed down operations on all fronts, something happened to force escallation. Since I do not buy the stories of weak Rusdia lising the war — what could be the reason? Nord Stream pipelines are clearly sabotaged by Western actors, regardless of who actually detonated the explosives. Denmark, for example knows exactly who did it, snd had to be informed ahead of time. They have the highest amount of sensors in thise waters monitoring Russian subs. So, why?
It seems to me that sabotage of this order was to raise stakes and force Europe, particularly Germany into unserstanding -/ there is no alternatve, Why such agressiveness?
Perhaps long conflict is not any more desirable? Who is running out of time and resources? Dors not look like Russia is not running out of anything.
I may be mistaken but it seems NATO would like to find way out, But US cannot find a formula being so deeply involved.
Schultz is traveling to China. A sign of a break in the ranks? Or will the German Greens show who is the boss and pull the plug on the trip?
All opposition to Biden’s war is in the GOP. As in Europe, where the only opposition is on the Right. Which is yet another reason for the socialist parties to hate Victor Orban, who dares say that Russia should be treated as, in their parlance, “a rational actor” that you can talk to and negotiate with.
I don’t think so, Analyzer. Pelosi and the other leading Democrats in the House and the DNC are fully in control of party strategy and I can’t imagine them risking blowback from the thoroughly brainwashed Democratic base two weeks before the election.
Also, a mealy-mouthed letter from the mostly-irrelevant progressive caucus would make virtually no impact on the party’s reputation or public image in a few months, if the Republicans take over Congress. I doubt it would even be remembered.
And finally, the leadership, if for some reason it actually wanted to broadcast a pro-negotiation message at this point, almost certainly would not do so via the progressives.
So what do you think it was? A staff member actually intentionally leaking it without permission?
I certainly thought that was the most likely explanation when it first circulated. I don’t really know how to interpret the denials of that at this point.
Well, they could have actually wanted to release it, but I’m starting to think that they are too weak to have wanted to try that. Maybe there is an anti-war staff member who got fed up and said f-ck it, I’m sending it.
Ah, wouldn’t that be nice if that were true?… It would help restore a little faith in our flawed system…
Someone shared a link of the actual letter, and it was recently dated. The fraud squad strikes again.
I don’t think the dems will resubmit that letter. The overriding factor on who gets to play the antiwar role isn’t based on who controls congress but who is in the white house.
It seems that way. Executive orders, sanctions, anti-terrilorisn — all tend to commingle legislative, juidici and executive powers, in favor of the executive. So, the fewer state level contols, the fewer Congressional controls and the replacement of judiciarty in favor of executive in sanction cases against individuals — citizens or non-citizens alike – the more power in the Presidency. Thus the powers behind the throne need not spend too much resouces lobbying across the country.
honestly, that seems too complicated…like most republicans, dem’s are simply the war party now
So much for counting on the “progressives” to turn this car around before it speeds off the cliff. Time for plan B: start pouring sugar into the engine by electing Trumpian republicans. They may not fix anything but at least they’ll gum up the works.
One of my chores for today is to fill in my absentee ballot. In all of the races where I would normally have cast a lesser-evil vote for a Democrat I’m withholding my vote. I mean all of them, all the way down to county races.
I often compromise with lesser-evilism in races where the evil is minimally related to the office in question. However the disaster that is this war, for which the US and NATO are primarily responsible, and the potential global catastrophe that it could trigger, make all Democratic candidates unacceptable to me.
If a Biden-Trump rematch were held tomorrow, as creepy and sleazy as Trump is, I definitely would not vote for Biden,
Well here we agree !
We agree on a number of points.
I would not vote for either. A Socialist on the ticket is who I would vote for. Talk about a nightmare scenario, having to choose between Biden or Trump (deja vu 2016 and the choice between Trump and Biden). Yeah I voted for Biden, but man, not again.
So did I. I knew that he’s a lifelong cold warrior and liberal interventionist. I knew why he was known as “the senator from MBNA.” I knew that he isn’t particularly bright, or dynamic and that he probably wouldn’t accomplish much as president. But I thought he might be a relatively-innocuous caretaker after our trip to Trumpian Bizzaro World.
My worst political judgment ever.
You’re not alone, Red 😪
Options are few and far between…
1/ At the very least, I hope no one votes for a Democrat in any state where Democrats are either ahead or behind.
2/ And to be clear – I don’t condemn any progressive who doesn’t practice a ‘safe state’ strategy, and refuses to vote Democratic period.
3/ I do think that, ideally, an anti-war letter would spell out your reason:
“Open letter to the Democratic Party. Defining issue – I will not vote for you because your party refuses to negotiate a rapid end to the Russo-Ukrainian war.”
Progressives are routinely, falsely blamed, anyway, for Democratic losses that have more to do with much broader failures of the Party to represent citizen wants and needs.
This time, why not come out and say, ‘You won’t represent me? Guess what, you lost my vote.’
Yup. I happen to know some of the local and state Dem leaders around here. I’ve told them.
“I hope no one votes for a Democrat in any state where Democrats are either ahead or behind.” So it is OK to vote for a Democrat if the race is in a tie?
Red, if someone put a gun to my head and told me I had to vote for either Trump or ByeDone, I’d say “ shoot me”.
No. Time for plan C. We’ve been going back and forth with A and B for much too long.
“Time for plan B: start pouring sugar into the engine by electing Trumpian republicans.”
Progressives and anti-war people are always blamed for sabotaging the Democratic Party – but, in fact, they mainly end up voting for the lesser of two evils.
So as usual, they’ll be scapegoated for Democratic Party losses. But – like Russiagate – that’s a fake, self-serving argument. US progressives are a minority – the Democratic Party’s unacknowledged problem is the demoralized low income people who correctly feel the DP simply does not serve them, and stay home; and the ones who correctly feel it doesn’t serve their needs and vote Republican.
I think the Trumpian flank can and will politically capitalize on citizens’ lack of enthusiasm for this war – the pov completely debarred from the official DP and mainstream press. That is to say: the Democratic war party has just wholly ceded anti-war positions to the right.
So they have learned nothing since June, and apparently resort to the lying US media for all their knowledge. We shall see.
Just as well, I’d feel icky sharing the same side of any issue with such pathetic, cringing, milquetoasts.
This is SOOOOOO DISAPPOINTING 🙁 🙁 🙁
But not at all surprising.
This is the progressive caucus announcing once and for all that they are irrelevant, and that their existence in the House and Senate has no effect. It is immaterial whether they retracted their original
message by choice, or due to extreme pressure or even blackmail. It just does not matter. Their existence in Congress does not matter.
It is also the democratic party announcing very loudly and very clearly that the democratic party is 100% behind complete and total support for the US war with Russia. It is mostly being fought in Ukraine – but it IS a US – Russian war. And they made it clear that they are in this war for the long haul, with no opposition.
Total Spectrum Domination. I think that is the term they like to use.
“This is the progressive caucus announcing once and for all that they are irrelevant”
The lesson for the bloodthirsty government and press? The self-declared progressives of Congress can be shut up.
The lesson for the weak anti-war movement and, more broadly, any citizens to the left of the Democratic Party?
1/ The Democratic Party does not tolerate progressive representation – not even as a minority view. Even when its self-declared left flank espouses popular views – like the desire for diplomacy.
2/ The self-declared progressive flank is weak and unreliable – like the Democratic Party more generally, it is not democratically responsive to voter sentiment.
It is not, Our illusions are the problem. Each party is a corporation. To be elected one must audition through primaries and the corporate sponsors identify promissing talent. If the party wants to kerp a districymt, a smart candidate infuses local flavors into the debate. But the presumably lical favorites know nm ery well that their party-corporation will underwrite their candidacy, Thus — are beholden to Party core interest. And Party has to keep their sponsors happy.
There is something new here, Everyone who aspire to have a voice and not be cancelled must put out a clear disclaimer, code words of “unprovoked agression, against international law,”. Then have a priviledge to talk, From Chris Hedges to Oliver Stone,
These “progressives” found out hard way. They thought rules do not apply to them. What a lame excuse! It hardly matters why they withdrew the letter. Their humiliation is complete.
Have you read this? It’s by a guy who once worked for H Clinton and concluded that there is no way to change the Democratic party from within.
Don’t Fall for the Two-Party Scam
At the leadership level, Republicans and Democrats work for the same bosses.
Democratic and Republican politicians are not all the same, but at the leadership level, they work for the same bosses. Status quo stalwarts like McConnell, Pelosi, Biden, Pence, McCarthy, Romney, Manchin, Schumer, etc. keep their jobs for decades and are well-rewarded precisely because they preserve and protect the power and wealth of the ruling elites. The obscene inequality and injustice tearing our society apart is a feature of the two-party system, not a bug. https://www.directleft.com/p/dont-fall-for-the-two-party-scam
I think this is not only true but accurate as well.
We may be headed towards the future envisioned in the movie “Demolition Man” (Stallone, Snipes, Bullock)
Not only a pathetic debacle, but jawdroppingly feckless:
in the Cold War- and Russiagate-pilled US…
after 8+ months of a propagandizing mainstream press that not only obeys but enforces the government prohibition on antiwar speech…
after 8+ months of a viciously Russia-baiting right wing Democrat Twitter mob and its constant McCarthyist ‘Russia-stooge!’ smear…
(btw: recoalesced spawn of the anti-Sanders online mobs, which in turn spawned the hysterical Russiagate mobs in denial about the vile warmongering Clinton’s failure…though their true enemy was not Russia, but progressives who threatened the Democratic Party)…
in a slavishly obedient warmongering Congress, which Team Squad’s from-the-get-go silence reinforced…
…given all the above: how could they…how could they not have anticipated and steeled themselves for the hysterical slander that descended on them?
Get smart. Use the numbers like intelligent Italians did. Meloni went from a 4% party to top of the heap in one election cycle. All other representative style areas can do even better in their fake democracies;
Turn out and vote in record numbers— Write in a friend.
Meloni turned out to be more of the same. It’s hopeless, my friend.
Meloni is only an example. Italians simply voted for what in the US is anybody other than woke liberal progressive democrat war mongers.
The difference between Biden and Meloni is that Biden wants to destroy Ukraine (turn Ukraine into Afghanistan is his stated goal) and Russia, while Meloni wants to maximize that destruction as well as destroy gays, lesbians, and transgenders in her own nation.
She is more vicious than Biden, not less.
I did not say anything about personalities or positions.
Italian people are obviously sick of their versions of democrats and republicans. Meloni went from 4% to victorious.
If the US votes like that writing in friends instead of Meloni, the result will be even more confusing to people who believe the US is a democracy and it will show the rest of us that for all our differences we are not fooled by a totalitarian military empire pretending to be a democracy..
To vote for who or what?
“Progressive Democrats in the House
to President Biden calling for talks with Russia after facing backlash
for suggesting the idea of pursuing diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine.”
Arm twisting to push for the end of humans on earth. The shadow evil government behind senile Joey Biden of unelected NEOCONs and NEOLIBs needs to be sent out of office.
There is everything in life but hope… 🙂
That “peace balloon” didn’t float for long.
It popped when it exceeded the design altitude, which was just below the first cloud layer.
Is that a bad omen?….. 😉
Yes, very bad.
Like shapeshifters, these parasites morph into any shape or kind. You also wouldn’t expect a parasite to lead. Might as well show my math: progressive = operative. The labels are interchangeable.
The flock of DC politicians (with only a few exceptions) – from both major parties – is riddled with incompetent graduates of the Peter Principle, who have in turn appointed unqualified people to advise them.The net result has been a complete failure of US foreign policy, which has been transformed into a string of disasters for the entire race.
During the same interval over which the nation has spawned a truly impressive litany of catastrophic failures in “foreign policy”, the country’s domestic side has been swallowed by an avaricious herd of corporate businesses, who excel in the game of pig in the trough.
It’s all connected. Remember:
_Smedley D. Butler
You’re either part of the solution . . .
Just more evidence the D’s are now an Official Warmonger Party. All pretences to be otherwise will be accurately counted as Lies.
“Progressive.” Apparently “progressing” includes “retracting”.
just pasting in my RT comment-
What a bunch of blood soaked clowns. And the icing on the sh*t cake is Jayapal’s openly stated dread that somebody might think she was siding with the enemy, which it turns out actually isn’t Russia. And the fact that Ukraine has absolutely no chance of winning and thousands of lives and billions of dollars are being uselessly thrown away apparently just doesn’t matter. Just keep banging your head on the alter of the war god and you’ll get re-elected.
Well given that we are apparently all Satanists who needs to be defeated and the Ukrainians who cannot think of themselves as good Russians needs to be killed it is perhaps less of a hard question why we would support the Ukrainians as long as they want to fight to be allowed to chose their onw way of life and culture?
I stopped trying to understand your post after the third try, though really I should have quit at “less of a hard question”, and I only got as far as “Top Russian propagandist” on the video. Stick to neighborhood politics and refrigerator notes.
Social Democracy, joining the warmongering plutocrats for 108 years. By the way, this is why joining DSA is an act of political capitulation.
Amongst the lameness, it also demonstrates the enormous pressure being brought on those opposing the establishment narrative on Ukraine. They folded in just a few hours. I’m sure it was a full court press of threats that had to go beyond just re-election support.
I completely agree.
I wondered how much of the negotiations with Manchin was staged, and how much was real.
I am a lot more in the staged camp now.
Yes. Those of the thirty who are actually (more or less) progressive are pretty much bulletproof as far as reelection is concerned. AOC, Barbara Lee, Jayapal et al. certainly don’t need support from national or state Dems.
Other than that, I’m not sure what the leadership could do to punish them. Take away good committee assignments, of course. Whatever it may be, it’s not as important as the disaster in Ukraine and the threat of WWIII. Which is why I have repeatedly called this bunch careerist cowards.
Get real. Why do you think the MIC taps every phone and computer it can get to? Why do you think Hillary sent out a memo to steal the credit card numbers of the UN staff? You think she needed the money? Why do you think Lindsey Graham is their go to poster boy? Blackmail, actual or potential, is the oldest, dirtiest, and probably most effective trick in the book. It is no doubt practiced in Washington, the only question is scale, which I expect would be difficult to grasp.
If you think the House leadership is actually blackmailing Members, you are permitting imagination to push extrapolation too far.
Define “blackmail.” “Screw around and you may face a well-funded primary opponent next time” is not an unusual tactic.
It’s also not blackmail, which is a threat to expose something the target doesn’t want exposed. And it’s not a tactic likely to scare the “real” progressives among the thirty.
It would be a waste of money to primary AOC, Barbara Lee, Jayapal . . .
In the technical sense, you are correct that it’s not “blackmail.” It’s “extortion.” The two terms often get conflated, when the former is a larger category of which the latter is one more specific version.
It’s a whole MIC/cancel culture/power structure grease ball. Blow with the wind and float to the top or step out of line and be sunk. I think the main terror may be simply being perceived as somebody who might stand up to it. By this point I think actual blackmail is mostly unnecessary, but rest assured a lot of money and effort goes into keeping that toolkit at hand.
Thank you for your comments and the link you provided. Much appreciated.
Changing to be a non-democrat is a huge change. Now my biggest issue is getting my wife to join me, or at least to accept my own change.
I already voted in this election and voted all democratic. This is fine as it gives me two years to deal with the domestic fall out. On a practical note, there were not any 3rd party candidates in any of the races. I will make sure to have a list of write in names to vote for in future elections just in case.
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