Evan McMullin is an independent candidate in this year’s Presidential election.
McMullin announced that he was running for President on August 8, and has since built a name for himself in his home state of Utah. He is polling at 31 percent, compared to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s 27 percent and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 24 percent, according to a recent Emerson College Survey.
McMullin is part of the Never Trump movement, and is running as an independent conservative hoping to keep Trump from winning. He has garnered support from multiple conservative and Republican PACS that do not want Trump to win. He is on the ballot in 11 states, including Colorado, and is able to be written in on the ballots of 43 states.
In an interview on CNBC he called Trump an absolutely terrible candidate who is bigoted, misogynistic and xenophobic. He said he has no chance at becoming President, even against someone he believes is deeply flawed and corrupt like Hillary Clinton.
McMullin was born in 1976 in Provo, Utah, and is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After serving his mission in southern Brazil, he attended Brigham Young University where he earned a degree in International Law and Diplomacy. In 2011 he earned a Master’s of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
McMullin spent ten years working for the CIA as a undercover operations officer, working in counterterrorism in North Sudan, the Middle East and South Asia.
He considers himself the only true conservative candidate running for President this election, citing Trump’s past as a Democrat, despite him currently being the Republican nominee.
McMullin supports a restructuring of the higher education system, believing that it is broken and that the government is too involved in it.
“By handing out more loans, grants, and credits in response to rising tuition, the federal government signals to universities that Washington will pick up the tab for runaway cost growth,” says his website.
He also supports options other than higher education, with his website saying students should have access to high-quality technical schools, online programs and work-based learning in the private sector. He believes the current model of accreditation makes it extremely difficult for students at non-traditional programs to qualify for federal aid. He believes this is preventing competition and allowing universities and colleges to continue raising costs without consequences.
McMullin agrees with Clinton that climate change is a real problem, but disagrees with her on how to go about combating it. He believes promoting innovation is the most promising way to deal with climate change without placing a heavy burden on the backs of American taxpayers and workers.
On immigration, McMullin acknowledges that it is an issue in today’s America, but says it cannot be solved simply by building a wall and deporting every undocumented immigrant.
He believes that once the borders are secured, there should be a process of earned legalization for the illegal immigrants who are already here, because there is simply no efficient way to deport 11 million individuals; doing so would break apart families and likely cost $100 billion, according to his website.
McMullin is an advocate for religious freedom, saying it is central to the American experiment, and it should be protected, not disparaged.
“Our government should not target religious groups for discrimination or marginalization based on the obligations of their faith, but instead recognize that religious diversity and robust pluralism are foundational sources of strength for our nation,” says his website.
McMullin is pro-life, and wants to stop the subsidization of abortions on demand but wants to work with pro-choice advocates to increase support and resources to reduce unintended pregnancies and encourage adoption.
McMullin has no controversies that have been uncovered since he announced his candidacy for President.
Collegian reporter Stuart Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @notstuartsmith.