A Former CIA Officer Enters the Presidential Race as a Republican Alternative to Trump

On Monday, a new GOP presidential contender threw their hat in the ring. Anti-Trump Republican Evan McMullin announced he’s running for president to offer voters a choice other than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in November. McMullin resigned from his position as the chief policy director for the House Republican Conference in order to run and previously worked as a CIA counterterrorism officer.

“In a year where Americans have lost faith in the candidates of both major parties, it’s time for a generation of new leadership to step up,” McMullin said in a statement to ABC News. “It’s never too late to do the right thing, and America deserves much better than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton can offer us. I humbly offer myself as a leader who can give millions of disaffected Americans a conservative choice for President.”

Although many GOP leaders have reluctantly backed Trump, some have still been unable to bring themselves to support the billionaire-turned-politician. McMullin’s counting on Republicans appalled by Trump’s rise to support him instead, though he’s entering the race really late in the game and immediately faces a lot of challenges.

For starters, McMullin missed the ballot deadline in 26 states, meaning he’ll have to sue to make it on the list. In some states, like California, he can make it on the ballot by collecting tens of thousands of signatures in the coming days.

McMullin changed his Twitter page Monday morning to signify his bid for president, adding his slogan — “Standing up to run for president because it’s never too late to do the right thing” — to his bio and changing his photo to a logo of an “M” surrounded by a circle. His Wikipedia page was also created Monday, outlining his career in the CIA, financial banking at Goldman Sachs, and then a shift into politics in 2013, becoming a senior adviser on national security issues for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

It’s unclear what exactly his platform will entail besides being as starkly different than Trump’s as Republican views allow. Like the other third-party candidates still trying to break into the race (shoutout to Jill Stein and Gary Johnson), McMullin will have to poll at 15 percent in at least five national surveys and secure enough spots on state ballots to chart a path to the Oval Office in order to participate in the presidential debates. Since simply getting your name on a national survey is tough as an outside candidate, these requirements will be very difficult for McMullin to achieve.

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