Election 2020

Evan McMullin Launches 'Stand Up Republic' to Challenge Trump

Independent candidate Evan McMullin speaks during a rally Oct. 21, 2016, in Draper, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin and his running mate Mindy Finn have launched a 501(c)(4) organization to stand up against the presidency of Donald Trump.

McMullin, a former CIA operative and House staffer, has been going after Trump on Twitter before and after the election. In a December rally speech, Trump changed the independent challenger’s name: “I had this character that nobody ever saw before, nobody ever heard of… Evan McMuffin; you believe that!”

McMullin, saying he liked the nickname and wondering if he should reciprocate, responded by tweeting a scathing Vanity Fair review of the Trump Tower restaurant with, “I hear Egg McMuffins taste a lot better than the steaks at the Trump Grill.”

The Utah native, who didn’t launch his presidential bid until August, campaigned mostly in his home state and got 21 percent of the vote there. He finished with 728,860 votes nationwide, or 0.53 percent of the popular vote.

“America was founded on the timeless truths that all men and women are created equal and endowed with the same inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These ideals are the foundation of our system of government, which has no rightful power over us except by our consent,” says the website of McMullin’s new group, Stand Up Republic.

“As President Ronald Reagan famously said, ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,’ and we must play an active role in promoting these fundamental ideals and upholding the integrity of our system. Without our vigilance, and that of each generation, these liberties can be taken from us.”

The group intends “to help Americans stand up in defense of the fundamental principles that have made this country the true home of liberty and a source of hope for many around the world.”

“Stand Up Republic will build and organize a grassroots movement in defense of liberty, equality, and truth in America. Our priorities will be to uphold the Constitution and defend the democratic norms and institutions upon which the protection of our basic rights depend.”

The group released its first TV ad, running for two weeks on MSNBC: