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Populist Party
First SecretaryWillis Carto
Founded1984; 38 years ago (1984)
Dissolved1996; 26 years ago (1996)
IdeologyWhite nationalism
White supremacy
Right-wing populism
Political positionFar-right

The Populist Party was a political party in the United States between 1984 and 1996. It was conservative and often white nationalist in its ideology. The party was unrelated to the original American Populist Party or other American parties that have used the same name. Willis Carto helped found the Populist Party, which eventually served as an electoral vehicle for the former Knights of the Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke.

1984 presidential election

In the 1984 presidential election, athlete and minister Bob Richards ran for president of the United States on the newly formed far-right, Populist Party ticket. He and running mate Maureen Salaman earned 62,646 votes.

1988 presidential election

In the 1988 presidential election, white nationalist David Duke was the Populist Party's nominee for President of the United States. In some states, the vice presidential nominee was Floyd Parker, while in other states it was Trenton Stokes.[1] Parker replaced Bo Gritz, who had initially agreed to act as the party's nominee. However, Gritz pulled out when he discovered that the presidential nominee would be Duke rather than James Traficant. (Gritz ran for a Nevada seat in the House of Representatives instead.) The Populist Party ticket garnered 47,047 votes, for 0.04 percent of the national popular vote.

1992 presidential election

In the 1992 presidential election, the Populist Party nominated Bo Gritz for president and Cyril Minett for vice president.[2] Under the campaign slogan "God, Guns and Gritz" and publishing his political manifesto "The Bill of Gritz" (playing on his last name rhyming with "rights"), he called for staunch opposition to "global government" and "The New World Order", ending all foreign aid, and abolishing federal income tax and the Federal Reserve System.[2] Gritz received 106,152 votes nationwide, or 0.14 per cent of the popular vote.[2] In two states he had a respectable showing for a third party candidate: Utah, where he received 3.84 per cent of the vote, and Idaho, where he received 2.13 per cent of the vote.[2] In some counties, his support topped 10%, and in Franklin County, Idaho, was only a few votes away from pushing Bill Clinton into fourth place in the county.[2]

The party ran candidates for a few other offices as well that year. Rita Gum got 0.47% in the Utah gubernatorial election, Anita Morrow 2.31% in the Utah Senate election, Harry Tootle 0.89% in the Nevada Senate election, Don Golden 1.05% in the race for Nevada's 2nd congressional district, and Ki R. Nelson 1.6% in the election for Colorado's 3rd congressional district.[3]


By 1996, the party had collapsed. It did not nominate any candidates for the 1996 presidential election or any other election.

Presidential tickets

Year Presidential nominee Vice-Presidential nominee Votes
Robert E. Richards.jpg

Bob Richards
Maureen K Salaman.jpg

Maureen K Salaman
66,324 (0.07%)
David Duke.jpg

David Duke
Grand Wizard
Floyd Parker
Trenton Stokes
47,004 (0.05%)
1992 Bo Gritz Cyril Minett 106,152 (0.10%)
1996 Not presented


  1. ^ 1988 Presidential Candidates Archived 2016-07-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c d e Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L Foster (2008). The Mormon Quest for the Presidency (Ann Arbor, Mich.: John Whitmer Books, ISBN 1-934901-11-3) pp. 208–226.
  3. ^ "Populist". Our Campaigns. Retrieved January 17, 2022.