WASHINGTON – Andrew Yang, a New York businessman who unsuccessfully ran for president and mayor of New York, announced Monday that he is leaving the Democratic Party and has changed his voter registration to “independent.”
“It was a strangely emotional experience,” Yang said in a post on his website. Yang registered as a Democrat in 1995 and says he remained a “steadfast Democrat” throughout the 1920s and has since made many friends and confidants in the party.
“I am convinced that no longer being a Democrat is the right thing to do,” said Yang, who dropped out of the race for New York City mayor this year after being an early frontrunner.
Before the mayoral race, Yang launched his bid for the presidency in late 2017. A lawyer became an entrepreneur and author of a book called “The War Against Normal People,” Yang appealed to voters by warning about technological ailments – including automation and artificial intelligence.
Yang’s plan for a universal basic income — a $ 1,000 a month check, which he called the “Freedom Dividend,” served as a cornerstone of his larger vision of fixing a society he argued was deeply sick of capitalism.
The goal of becoming independent is “to do as much as I can to advance our community,” said Yang, who did not say whether he would be run again in 2024.
“There are phenomenal civil servants who do good work every day – but our system is stuck. It is stuck in part because polarization is getting worse than ever,” he adds. “Now that I’m not a member of any party, I feel I can be even more honest with both the system and the people in it.”