In this upcoming presidential and even state-wide elections, partisan politics have played a huge role, as former Governor Bill Weld broke with the Republican party for Libertarianism, running with Gary Johnson on his 2016 ticket. This week, former district attorney, attorney general and Democratic nominee for Governor Scott Harshbarger signed on with the United Independent Party, leaving the Democrats behind in the hope for a better democracy.

“We need to have a party that people can identify with, that will put candidates into the election season on a local level,” Harshbarger said in an interview with Boston Public Radio on Thursday.  “Right now, two-thirds of the members of the House and Senate, many very good people, are incumbents, are running unopposed in the primary and in the general election.”

Harshbarger and Evan Falchuk, the founder of the United Independent Party, joined Jim and Margery on BPR to promote campaign reform, election reform and contested elections, which they believe will lead to better public policy and a changed electoral system. “We need contested elections,” Falchuk said, “and we need to revive our democratic processes.”

According to Falchuk, 21,000 people have already enrolled in the party, including Harshbarger, who joined online Thursday. This leaves 22,000 left to join to meet their required 43,000 enrollment goal.  “As a party, this way, you can have a party platform, [and] you can support candidates at the local level,” Harshbarger said. “People will be on the ballot for their elections and won’t have to overcome the issues of incumbency, financing, lobbyists, the whole bit. It’s a chance to really open up the process.”

Scott Harshbarger is a former district attorney, attorney general and Democratic nominee for Governor. He’s currently senior counsel at the law firm of Casner and Edwards. Evan Falchuk is the founder of the United Independent Party, a former business executive and former candidate for governor. To hear their full interview with Boston Public Radio, click on the audio link above.