Native Utahn Announces Independent Presidential Bid Aimed at Derailing Trump

Evan McMullin, a former LDS missionary and CIA officer, launches a quixotic independent bid for president that could hurt Donald Trump in Mormon Corridor states like Arizona and Nevada and perhaps even tip Utah to Hillary Clinton.

Reports Heat Street (see also related Hot Air, BuzzFeed, and ABC News stories):

But while other plans to challenge Trump’s appeal among GOP voters have failed, McMullin’s has infrastructure already built in. McMullin’s team will partner with Better for America, which has been working on ballot access for an independent  candidate in 20 to 30 states.

He may have difficulty — relying on litigation — making the ballot on larger Republican states like Texas, but he will be on the list in a few states where his presence will matter. But a source close to the effort tells Heat Street that they have an “aggressive ballot strategy” that they believe will get them “into play even states where the deadline has past.”

In the event he actually wins a few key states, McMullin could send the presidential decision to the House of Representatives.

A lifelong Mormon, McMullin attended Brigham Young University and did a foreign mission trip for the LDS church. That puts him in the same camp as Mitt Romney and Sen. Mike Lee, two leaders of the anti-Trump movement, and at home in one of the single most anti-Trump demographics. With Utah already troubling territory for Donald Trump, McMullin may be able to deny the state to the GOP candidate in a way third party candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein never could.

He just needs 1,000 signatures by next Monday to meet Utah’s ballot filing deadline.