Jun 4, 2024 - Politics

Independent National Convention coming to Denver headlined by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at the Libertarian National Convention on May 24, 2024 in Washington, DC. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at the Libertarian National Convention on May 24, 2024 in Washington, DC. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and leaders of independent political movements will headline an Independent National Convention this September in Denver as counter-programming to the major party gatherings.

Why it matters: Led by United Independents, the event is designed to boost Kennedy's campaign and build on the trend of voters moving away from the Democratic and Republican parties at a time of heightened polarization.

State of play: The organization announced Tuesday it would move the convention from July to Sept. 18-20 to galvanize candidates and like-minded voters ahead of the November election.

  • No candidate will receive an endorsement at the event, but Kennedy is the headline speaker.
  • The convention features a dozen program tracks about the independent movement and its candidates across the country and confirmed speakers include Jackie Salit, a leading independent strategist and organizer at independentvoting.org.
  • Other third party and independent campaign organizations are expected to attend.

By the numbers: An estimated 2,000-3,000 people are expected to attend, according to organizers, making it the largest event of its kind. The venue can hold a maximum of 3,500.

What they're saying: "I think it's important to be able to see that there's a larger, growing U.S. independent movement that's broader than just the silo of the Libertarian Party or the Forward Party or RFK and his supporters," the convention's organizer Christopher Life told us.

  • "There's organizer firepower and there's financial resources that have been sitting on the sidelines of our existing political system, waiting for fundamental alternatives to the two party system to reveal themselves."

The other side: Much larger crowds are expected at the Republican National Convention hosted in Milwaukee in July and the Democratic Party's Chicago event in August.

The big picture: Colorado is a hotbed for independent political thinking — the Libertarian Party was founded in Denver, for instance — and half the state's voters are unaffiliated with a political organization.

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