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Dispatch from a plane over the mountain west

Today we were in California. As we sat and watched the people and looked out over the beautiful Pacific Ocean, even seeing the seals on the rocks, we were reminded just how vast and diverse this country is. It's a diversity that makes this country beautiful and truly great. It doesn't need to be made "great again." We simply need to be reminded of how great it already is.

A couple things struck me particularly tonight:

Donald Trump's very campaign slogan is just plain wrong. It implies that 1) America is no longer great and 2) He is the answer to its greatness. Both are completely false.

Hillary Clinton won't even talk to the American people. She's cocooned in her armored cars, won't do press conferences (200+ days since her last one), and believes she's so unaccountable to the American people that she can have a private email server in her basement - as the Secretary of State.

Join us in rejecting all these false, corrupt messages being sent to the people of America. Stand up for what is right and good and true. Stand up with Evan.


Dispatch from Minnesota

We are just about to hit the ballot access deadline in Minnesota. What a crazy, stressful, high energy experience this has been.

On Friday night, I flew in my wife from Austin to D.C. to go to dinner and catch a little bit of time together over the next 36 hours since we hadn’t seen each other in 18 days. After a fun dinner together and a bit of exploring D.C. (which included stopping by Evan’s future home on Pennsylvania Avenue), she went to sleep and I got back to work. I received an email around midnight that Minnesota was coming along slower than we had expected due to rain all week long in MN. So, when we woke up the next morning, I said, “Darlin, we’re going to Minneapolis.”

We held a meeting together with some volunteers and some members of the Independence Party of Minnesota and had a great, productive discussion on big picture strategy and grassroots efforts to get the 2000 signatures we need to get on the ballot in Minnesota. I was so impressed by the people I met on Saturday night. They represented Minnesota well.

Over the next couple of days, we had people all across the state out gathering signatures. One gentleman was out with his three toddlers rounding up signatures. Supporters were calling their cousins, brothers, sisters and parents to help with the effort. Everyone was doing their part.

I have mostly been working out of a hotel in Eden Prairie (my hotel room doesn’t look much different than my college dorm did most of the time) and have had a great number of people stop by to sign the petition. The diversity of supporters we have is absolutely unbelievable. I had two families stop by with their 6 children to sign the petition. Both talked about it being a family outing where they get to teach their kids the value of public service and standing for what is right.

One family came with their newborn son, Joshua, which was his first adventure into the public since being born.

One couple came by with their sweet daughter who happened to have special needs. She was a huge Minnesota Twins fan. And she signed our petition with more enthusiasm than anyone I’ve seen so far.

It is the moments like these, where you get to look people in the eye and hear their passion for this movement, that keep us going. My eyes couldn’t help but well with tears as I came across people who have jobs, families, and other responsibilities, but given the opportunity to do something small for their state and country, they answered the call.

So, whether we end up just short of the signatures we need in Minnesota or we surpass the 2000 we need, thank you to the many great people of this state who have stepped up to make a difference. We are so incredibly grateful.

With deep appreciation,

John Claybrook


What this election is really about

Just when we thought this was the craziest election in American history, last week it got even crazier. A patriot of great character and integrity stepped into the race with less than a hundred days to go and to the shock of many, was instantly credible. In a digital world, this is possible, and we did it.

The response to Evan McMullin’s launch has been, I will admit, shocking. Almost 100,000 people signed up to volunteer, donate, share or otherwise engage with us online in the first 12 days. And the only advertising dollars we’ve spent were a few thousand dollars to promote an event. That’s it. Anyone who knows the digital political world understands how crazy this is. So what is going on?

The reality is, this election has become about so much more than politics. This has become a battle for the very heart and soul of our country. Let me explain.

I was in the car the other day with Evan, returning from a TV appearance. Our driver, an older North African immigrant and now citizen, recognized him. When we stopped he turned, tears welling up, and said, “I’m voting for you.” He then proceeded to weep while he told us of his 38 years in the United States, of raising his children in DC public schools, of his son who graduated from Stanford with honors. “I love this great country,” he said. He wondered aloud, “what is happening to our country?”

The reality of this election is that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have offered old, broken, divisive ideas. Both of them are fundamentally unfit for the office they seek. A new generation of leaders is needed to point our country back in the direction of freedom, the pursuit of happiness, liberty, and the fundamental human principles that have made our nation truly special.

Throughout our history, when it seemed the great American experiment was on the ropes, a few people stepped up. I can’t help but think of Gettysburg. What an awful three days in our history. I recently visited there with my dad and my 8 year old son, Evan. We toured the battlefields, walked the ground where men lay dead those many years ago. My son asked all the right questions about what happened there. But as we left, and since, I have focused my heart and mind on what Lincoln did after Gettysburg – when America seemed on the ropes. He said:

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

I cannot imagine 15 years from now looking my son in the eyes when he asks me what I did in 2016 and telling him, “well son, it was complicated.” No, I must be able to look him in the eyes and say, “son, I stood up for what was right.”

And so, this election is about more than just winning the White House. This election is about what we believe is important as Americans. Do we believe that honesty, integrity, compassion and kindness still matter? Do we believe that we can be a nation of widely diverse ideas and beliefs that can still manage to co-exist in all the right ways? Can we be a nation that, when the rest of the world is watching, will be a beacon of freedom, truth and goodness to all who watch?

I believe we can. I believe it so deeply that I have chosen to make great sacrifices to serve alongside Evan McMullin as he stands up in this moment. Because it’s never too late to do the right thing.


Dispatch From The Train

It just won’t stop. The positive, encouraging, passionate engagement from people all over the country just keeps rolling in. With most campaigns you expect an initial honeymoon and then a settling in. With Evan, the movement just keeps growing as more and more people see him on TV, read about him, share their thoughts about him online and generally get to know him.

Sure, there are naysayers and plenty of haters. Some really vulgar Trump supporters especially. But you know what really keeps me going? It’s the fact that average Americans are coming alive with hope again. Hope that maybe - just maybe - Truth and Goodness still have a place in our political system.

These great Americans are knocking on doors, making homemade signs, sharing Facebook posts and showing up at events all over the country. Just last night at the lovely Black Barn Restaurant in New York City we had an intimate get-together with some of Evan’s friends and core supporters that reminded me once again how special he is and how special this moment is. People are hungry for a new generation of leadership. And that’s exactly what Evan McMullin brings to the table.

It’s never too late to do the right thing. Join us.


I need a favor

Americans are truly yearning for a candidate they can be proud of, and the support we've seen after the first week of our campaign has been more encouraging than I could have ever imagined.

Thanks to you, folks all across the country are learning about Evan and standing with him because it's never too late to do the right thing. I want you to know that I’ve noticed, and that I appreciate it.

I know you’re expecting me to ask you to chip in a few dollars, but actually that’s not why I’m writing today. Campaigns require fundraising -- it’s true -- but the biggest contribution you can make today is to share our message with your friends and family and help grow this campaign.

That's why I'm asking for a favor today. We've set a goal of having 250,000 people stand up with Evan by September 25th — and right now, we're short of that goal. But you can help us out by sharing your support with your friends.

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If everyone who’s joined our campaign brought ten friends along with them, we’d meet our goal today.

Millions of Americans feel just like we do, and it's up to us to make sure they know there is a better choice.

Thank you for standing with us!


A word about Donald Trump’s “Campaign Shakeup”

Every day, Donald Trump makes it more clear that he is wholly unfit to be President of the United States.

Today comes yet another "campaign shakeup" that will offer more of the same impulsive, reckless, and disrespectful tactics we've seen for the last year — none of which can fix a weak candidate who cannot win.

Trump's campaign is a disaster. It reflects the same lack of character that he personifies — no amount of "shakeups" can fix that.

There is only one candidate in this race with the experience, the temperament, and the ability to beat Hillary Clinton, and that's Evan McMullin.

It’s time for a new generation of leadership — principled leaders, who care more about our country and humanity than they do about their egos, political power, and money; leaders who speak truth and guide us to a positive vision for the future.

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Now is the time for action — let’s stand together against a campaign and a candidate who embarrasses us every day, and stand for a candidate who will make us proud.

Let's send a message that it's never too late.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Sean Rayford


Dispatch From The Train To New York

What an incredible day. This morning in Washington, DC we had an overflowing conference room of people who responded to a call to work for the campaign. Experienced Hill staffers, policy experts, retired school teachers and a host of young, energetic, talented people showed up to ask how they can help. Some of them were ready to quit their jobs. Some we hired by the end of the day.

And just now Evan wrapped up a conversation on Fox News Special Report (link) where he showed the country yet again that he is so uniquely qualified and ready for this challenge. Each and every time the American people hear from him, we get a fresh outpouring of interest, donors, and volunteers. It’s not because we’re so smart (although our team is incredible), it’s because Evan and his message have struck a deep chord in the hearts and minds of Americans all across this great land.

The outpouring of support continues. We are so encouraged by the high quality, caring people who are standing up with Evan in so many ways. Our campaign is growing and we want you to join us. Recruit volunteers and donors. Spread the word. Join us in this incredible moment in American history. It’s time for a new generation of leadership.


Dispatch From Union Station

One week ago tonight we were sitting in a hotel conference room with some of Evan’s closest friends and advisors and a team of seasoned pros and hungry young talent. Evan was ready, and we needed to be ready to serve him. It’s incredible to think that one week into this adventure we are already seen as a credible presidential campaign and tens of thousands of people are engaging with us, giving, signing up to volunteer, gathering signatures for us - the outpouring has been incredible.

So where do we stand, one week in?

It is clear to me that we have tapped into a sentiment in our country that is deep and quite passionate. People aren’t ready to give up and it was feeling like they had to either give up or settle — neither of which are American character traits. But now, with Evan, people are finding hope again. For a new generation of American leadership.

One of the things that has struck me the most is the incredible diversity of the people reaching out. People of every race, age, creed and religion want to be a part of this.

The millennial generation, so disenchanted with this election, is coming to life. Hundreds of them have already applied to work for the campaign. Yes, over 600 people have applied to work for us in the first week alone, many of them millennials.

Minorities — who are feeling deeply alienated by their options — see in Evan a caring, compassionate, committed man who will listen to them.

Stay at home moms, silicon valley investors, working class middle-Americans - they’re all reaching out and helping out. It’s truly inspiring.

Keep it coming, America. It’s never too late to do the right thing.


Heading To Des Moines

I’m heading to Des Moines and the Iowa State Fair, and I couldn’t be more excited!

As I write this I’m sitting on the plane, and I’m touching down this evening. I’m really looking forward to meeting with our early supporters and getting our signature gathering rolling so we can get on Iowa’s ballot. We plan to post up at the State Fair, too, which is going to be a blast. We hope to see you out there!

If you’re in Iowa, make sure to sign up here so we can get you involved. And if you’re elsewhere, sign up to take the lead in your community. There’s so much to do, but we’ve got momentum on our side!


Video: Watch Evan’s speech at the Campaign Kickoff in Salt Lake City

On August 10, 2016, Evan officially kicked off his campaign with an event in Salt Lake City, Utah.