"It’s fair to say I’m the dark-horse candidate in this race," said independent gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk, shown during a
"It's fair to say I'm the dark-horse candidate in this race," said independent gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk, shown during a recent visit to the Brew'd Awakening Coffeehaus in Lowell. "That's what makes these races interesting." SUN / BOB WHITAKER

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LOWELL -- There were no campaign signs or cheering supporters when gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk walked into Brew'd Awakening Coffeehaus on Market Street on a recent weekday.

He wore a red, white and blue plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up and ordered a large black iced coffee as three campaign staff members lagged behind.

"I usually take it with milk," Falchuk said. "But you have to take what they give you."

Falchuk, 44, is running for governor as the candidate from the United Independent Party (UIP) and hopes to establish a framework for future candidates. He founded the party as the alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties.

"I'm running because I'm a voter, and I feel the establishment isn't taking people seriously," Falchuk said.

Independent gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk, right, talks with Santiago Rodriguez of Lowell during a recent stop at the Brew’d Awakening
Independent gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk, right, talks with Santiago Rodriguez of Lowell during a recent stop at the Brew'd Awakening Coffeehaus in Lowell. SUN / BOB WHITAKER

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.
"I see the disconnect between what our government does and and voters are looking for."

Based on the number of unenrolled voters in the state, Falchuk would appear to have a solid base in which to grow support. According to the Secretary of State's Office, in October 2012 there were 2,283,273 registered voters listed as unenrolled, compared to 1,551,693 registered Democrats and 484,099 registered Republicans.

Falchuk approached Nancy Blaney, 44, of Chelmsford, while she was reading the newspaper at a table in the coffee shop. They stood up and talked about her concerns and his positions.

"A lot of the time, I vote because he's a nice person," Blaney said. "He listened and has a good personality.


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She did not know who he was when we first introduced himself but would consider voting for him. "I would have to look into him more."

Falchuk will square off against independent candidate Jeff McCormick in a debate at Middlesex Community College's Federal Building on Thursday at 1 p.m. Following that session, Republicans Charlie Baker and Mark Fisher will debate at 3 p.m. Both sessions are co-sponsored by The Sun.

Falchuk is a Bay State native who lives in Newton with his wife, Felicia, and their three children. He previously served in an executive role with Best Doctors, a boston-based global health care company with over 600 employees. Falchuk left the company in 2013 to run full-time for governor.

One of Falchuk's goals is to get 3 percent of the vote in the November election for the UIP to be officially recognized as a political party. His plan would be to run candidates across the state in 2016.

"We're going to have all kinds of independent candidates on the ballot in 2016," Falchuk said. "My vision is that we can win a large portion of those races and not be some third party."

He said unopposed races across the state are a sign that voters are not getting the choices they want. He believes the UIP will fill the void with good candidates.

The UIP aims to eliminate waste in government spending and reform campaign finance laws.

"Generally running as an independent is not a successful strategy," said Frank Talty, co-director of the Center for Public Opinion at UMass Lowell. "Independents still typically vote Democrat or Republican. There's no public sentiment to change that."

Talty said the two-party system is too ingrained in American politics. He said a third party is successful when trying to distinguish ideology but not for votes.

"Is this party going to actually run candidates for office?" Talty said. "It's very difficult, if not impossible."

Falchuk recognizes he is not the front-runner of the race but he believes a third party fighting to be the second most popular in the state is an achievable goal. He said it would mean building a structure for candidates to run organized campaigns rather than independently.

"It's fair to say I'm the dark horse candidate in this race," Falchuk said. "That's what makes these races interesting."

Falchuk has already qualified for the Nov. 4 statewide election and does not have a primary opponent.