Former Gov. William Weld left the Republican Party two weeks ago and enlisted as a Libertarian Party member to pursue that party's vice presidential nomination. Now Scott Harshbarger, the former attorney general and 1998 Democratic nominee for governor, has also split from his party.

Harshbarger, a former district attorney and former CEO of Common Cause, is joining the United Independent Party — founded by Evan Falchuk — to help it reach 43,000 enrollees by November and with the goal of recruiting more candidates to run for public office.

"Common Cause, Larry Lessig, and other advocates on the left and the right repeatedly call for campaign finance reforms to curb the dominance of money and the entrenched power of lobbyists and incumbents," Harshbarger wrote Wednesday on the website of Commonwealth Magazine. "Faced with these challenges, ordinary citizens do not want to run, regardless of the merits of the incumbent. This leads to repeated elections like this one, in which, once again, a majority of our legislators are unopposed for re-election, not just in the primary but also in the general election. As a result, even common sense proposed reforms such as public financing, independent redistricting, and overturning Citizens United are all political non-starters."

"We all know that this is wrong! And let’s be clear, in Massachusetts, neither my Democratic Party with its overwhelming majority, nor the 'on-life-support' Republican Party solicits or encourages citizens to run for office against any incumbent of either party. As an official party, the United Independent Party will offer us challengers in races across the Commonwealth under a banner of independent thinkers promoting nonpartisan public policies that deserve to be heard and debated. That fact alone will begin creating the climate for reform."

Saying the UIP "needs your enrollment," Harshbarger also noted that "it's easy" to switch party registration after the election. "For me, as a lifelong Democrat, I will likely find my way back to the Democratic Party after November," he wrote.