(The Center Square) — According to a January CBS/YouGov poll, 70 percent of Republicans would consider joining a new “patriot party” led by former President Donald Trump.
But supporters are not waiting for Trump to establish one. Some are forming their own “patriot party” derivatives in Georgia, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.
Two such “patriot parties” have emerged in Florida, with the MAGA Patriot Party and the Florida American Patriot Party submitting ‘statement of organization’ filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Jim Davis of Punta Gorda founded MAGA Patriot Party in a Jan. 25 FEC filing. He’s the only officer listed on MAGA Patriot Party National Committee, which is not headquartered in Florida, but in San Antonio, Texas.
In a Jan. 27 interview with WINK TV News, Davis said he founded the party to “get the attention of the Republican Party that really we felt they weren’t representing us anymore.”
After Trump lost the Nov. 5 election, “We were kind of listening for what Trump potentially would do,” he said, “so when he mentioned he was considering the ‘Patriot Party,’ a lot of us were already considering it.”
‘Patriot Party,’ however, has been copyrighted by another Donald in Florida since 2008. Donald Magyar, of Winter Springs, renewed the trademark in 2018, and maintains a Patriot Party website. Magyar lists himself as chair, but has never registered with the FEC.
Davis, 57, a Marine Corps veteran, is a code enforcement officer for the city of Venice. He plans to challenge former Republican governor and current U.S. Sen. Rick Scott in 2024 as a MAGA Patriot Party candidate.
In January, he said, MAGA Patriot Party had about 12,000 members in all 50 states with the most, 450, in Texas. The party is based in San Antonio because Davis’ business partner lives there.
"Texas is the biggest springboard that we see,” he said. “There are three states I’m really focused on right now and that’s Texas, Florida and because we have someone to run for Congress in Maine.”
Davis ran into a snag with his FEC filing when he affiliated MAGA Patriot Party with Donald J. Trump For President (DJTFP), the former president’s official campaign committee, prompting it to disavow Davis’ organization in a statement filed with the FEC.
“To be clear: DJTFP has no affiliation with MAGA Patriot Party National Committee, which is not authorized by Mr. Trump or DJTFP,” the committee said.
Davis said he was “disappointed” and planned to refile MAGA Patriot Party with the FEC as the Constitutional Patriot Party.
The American Patriot Party of the United States (TAPPUS), based in St. Petersburg, submitted its FEC filing Feb. 5.
On its website, St. Petersburg health-insurance broker Brian Dow is listed as chair. The other officers are Joe Faletra of Denver, Colo., and Larry Glenn of Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
The party invites those who “have grown weary of the other two major political parties in the U.S.” to join.
“Whether you are new to politics and just want to get involved, you’ve come to the right place,” TAPPUS states. “We have no desire for a radicalized agenda and we will not become a marginalized entity comprised of what some might consider extremists.”
In a Feb. 12 interview with NC Policy Watch, Dow said TAPPUS can be a viable third party and force the Democratic and Republican parties to be accountable.
“I’ve had an awful lot of people jumping up and down yelling at us, ‘Don’t you know you’re going to take votes away from the Republican Party?’ And my answer to that is, in the words of Trump, ‘What have we got to lose?’” Dow said.