SAN ANTONIO, Texas - An office complex on the west side of San Antonio is the address for the MAGA Patriot Party National Committee. Its opening was immediately viewed as a political opening by Texas Democrats.
"You look at this past election, and up to 10% of Republicans voted for Joe Biden. So I think there is definitely a path forward for moderate Republicans to meet Democrats and create a new voting block," said Abhi Rahman with the Texas Democratic Party.
Paperwork for the patriot party was filed Monday with the FEC. James Davis, who lives near Tampa Bay, Florida, is listed as its Custodian of Records, Treasurer, and Designated Agent.
After leaving a message for Davis Wednesday morning by phone, the retired Marine called back. "We want to be a swing party," he said.
Breaking away, according to Davis, is about sending a message. "It kind of puts the Republican Party, sends a message to them, this is what we are going to do and we are going to follow through with it, and may actually see some Republicans that actually change and start getting back to the commitment they made to their voters," he said.
As for why Texas, Davis said a business partner lives in San Antonio, but that’s not the only reason.
"Texas is the biggest springboard that we see. 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, Maine would be the third state," Davis said.
Supporting former President Donald Trump is listed as a reason for the MAGA Patriot Party. That prompted the Trump campaign to file a response. The "disavowal" notice states the MAGA Patriot Party is not authorized by Trump, and contributions are not being made to him. Repercussions, according to political analyst Brian Smith from St. Edward’s University, could go beyond Trump.
"Any party to the right of the Republicans hurts them. Meaning it's going to siphon off votes," said Smith.
Political splinter groups impacting elections are nothing new. Notable third party candidates who influenced elections, according to Smith, include Teddy Roosevelt, John Anderson, Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, and even Bernie Sanders.
"If there is a consistent presence on the Right and splits the Republican Party, every state comes into play," said Smith.
In a way, the Democrats, according to Smith, had the same situation with the Green Party back in 2000 and 2004.
"So it was an issue that the Democrats were not addressing, it cost them politically, so what they did was brought them back into the tent by moving closer to the policies the Green Party was supporting, so then we look at 2008, 12, 16, 20 the Green Party is irrelevant," said Smith.
Forcing change appears to be Davis' strategy, but he also has a ballot box fail-safe. "Say we are in Texas and are running against a Republican, then if polls show us way at the bottom, and all we are going to do is pull votes from the Republican, then we will pull our candidate from that campaign," said Davis.
With the 2022 elections looming, that and other political party plans will soon be put to the test.