Bill Hammons founded the Unity Party of America in November 2004, on the day after that year’s Presidential Election. Hammons had been a prominent volunteer with the Wes Clark campaign (he had started the grassroots group “Runners for Clark”), but was dismayed by what he saw going on in the two-party system. His father Rich was Unity Party member #2 (the “Uniter” moniker for Unity Party members didn’t come into usage until many years after the party’s founding).
Hammons left his job as Rights Manager at Newsweek Magazine five months later, and was in Colorado a few weeks after that, starting the new web business that is now Bill’s List. While Bill helped manage a City Council run for his friend Eric Bodenstab, candidates weren’t jumping on board to officially run with the Unity Party, so, in the spirit of “if it is to be, it is up to me,” Hammons made his first run for office, for Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, in 2008. (Incidentally, his main opponent Jared Polis is now Governor of Colorado.)
Bill became the first third party candidate to successfully petition onto the General Election ballot in the history of Colorado (and to this day is the only one to do so singlehandedly; the signatures he gathered himself, without the assistance of Bodenstab and others, would’ve put him on the ballot). That first appearance of a Unity Party candidate on an official ballot also put “Unity” on Colorado’s voter registration form, and, on D-Day of 2017, after 2014 and 2016 runs for US Senate by Hammons, the Unity Party of Colorado accrued enough affiliated voter registrations to achieve official recognition as a party by the State (Colorado Uniter candidates are now placed directly onto General Election ballots, no petitioning required).
The Unity Party of America now has members in 40 states and counting, and has fielded candidates at all Federal levels in the latest election cycle.