A lover of books, beer and Mass Effect, Matt Teaford doesn’t fit the conventional stereotype of a politician.
A writer, photographer, entrepreneur, University of Cincinnati graduate and candidate for Cincinnati City Council in 2017, Teaford describes himself as “socially liberal and fiscally moderate.” His casual, laid-back demeanor conveys a character quality that is seldom observed in the gritty and often ruthless world of American politics: authenticity.
“I love people from all parties,” said Teaford. “What I do not love is the parties’ leadership for the past couple of decades.”
An ideological independent, Teaford’s campaign for city council is not his political debut. In 2016, he ran for the Kentucky House of Representatives on the Republican ticket, but withdrew preceding the general election.
Teaford withdrew from the race in the wake of a lawsuit filed by former Campbell County Democratic Chairman Paul Whalen, which disputed Teaford’s Kentucky residency status. Ultimately, Teaford said his decision to withdraw stemmed from issues with party leadership.
“People from the party leadership would say ‘You can’t stand with LBGTQ rights. You couldn’t stand for women’s rights issues,’” said Teaford. “And if I would’ve won, even if I would’ve, I would’ve switched to independent almost immediately.”
Teaford has long been an opponent of the two-party system, saying that both the Democratic and Republican parties “pander to a very small but loud and vocal group.” A Gary Johnson supporter in the 2016 general election, Teaford highlighted the failure of both major parties to nominate favorable candidates.
“It was choosing between corruption and chaos,” said Teaford.
The historic unfavorability of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump reflects the current limitations of the U.S. election process. Per Teaford, the country needs “more third party voters” who will “vote on issues rather than party lines.”
Teaford cited Sen. Bernie Sanders,