Former U.S. Congressman Considering Independent Run For Office

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A familiar name may be considering his third run for the 5th Congressional District.

Former Democrat-turned-Republican Congressman Parker Griffith says it was somewhat of a surprise to him when friends started gathering signatures to support him for a potential run for office - this time as an Independent candidate.

"I'm still considering it, I am not committed at all to running at all. I've done it twice, and failed," said Griffith, referencing his previous campaigns against current Republican Congressman Mo Brooks.

Still Griffith does admit, he believes the two-party system leaves much to be desired.

"For the last several decades the political parties have been choosing their voters instead of the voters choosing their representatives."

Griffith says with so much emphasis placed on party affiliation, the issues are drowned out.

"We wanna hear about an education lottery, we want to hear about the expansion of Medicaid and the creation of jobs," said Griffith.

If he does choose to run, WHNT News 19 political analyst Jess Brown assures it will be an uphill battle, by design.

"The reality is in every state both Democrat and Republican legislators have in recent years started to try to make it more difficult for independents. It's simply that the two parties want to keep their duopoly," said Brown.

To qualify Griffith would have to gather signatures from 3% of the district's voters. That's 6,858 from the 5th District.

While it has been done, Brown says with today's hyper-partisan politics, it's the two-party system or bust.

"If you want to hold political power through elected office you'll have to be the donkey or the elephant."

Griffith will have until the primaries in June of 2014 to turn in his signatures to the Secretary of State's office and decide if he will run.

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