An Independent Influencer in a Two-Party System with Evan McMullin

An Independent Influencer in a Two-Party System with Evan McMullin

Many Americans believe money and politics don't mix, but that's not a reality in most political campaigns. Sharon speaks with US Senate candidate Evan McMullin from Utah, who is running as an independent without special interest group donations. Together they discuss the two-party system, campaign reform, and the danger of partisan extremism. They also talk candidly about Evan’s background as a CIA officer and how it prepared him for a career change into public office. Evan is running with the goal to build a cross-party coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents like no other in the country.

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  • Host: Sharon McMahon
  • Executive Producer: Heather Jackson
  • Audio Producer: Jenny Snyder



Evan McMullin

Evan McMullin is a proud Utahn, former undercover CIA officer and chief policy director in Congress, and independent candidate for the United States Senate.

Inspired by books and movies at age 15, Evan contacted the CIA and asked to serve. He was told to call back when he was older. Later, as a sophomore at Brigham Young University (BYU), the Agency recruited Evan into its student trainee program. He alternated semesters between training at CIA headquarters in Virginia and school at BYU until he graduated.

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Evan deployed undercover to the Middle East where he ran counterterrorism and traditional clandestine operations against terrorist organizations and hostile foreign dictators for most of a decade.

After completing his CIA service, earning an MBA at Wharton, and working in the private sector, Evan was called back to service, advising Republicans and Democrats in Congress on national security and other issues from 2013-2016. In 2017, Evan co-founded Stand Up Republic, a nonprofit organization which led efforts across the country to unite Republicans, Democrats and independents against extremist movements and politicians in defense of American democracy.

Evan believes America has reached a crossroads between chaotic decline and continued progress towards a more perfect union. Political extremes don’t represent the majority of Utahns, or Americans more broadly, yet they’ve polarized the nation and now prevent it from overcoming major challenges. From soaring inflation to droughts to forest fires and water shortages, the rising cost of health care, and a never-ending pandemic, America requires leaders who unite instead of divide, finding solutions based on truth and common ground.

With an eye towards service, honor and civility, coupled with a deep love of country and conviction about what America must be, Evan McMullin is poised and ready to continue his service as Utah’s next United States Senator.

You can read about the 12 principles guiding Evan’s Senate campaign, as well as Evan’s top priorities if elected to the U.S. Senate, at

Evan currently lives with his wife, Emily, and their five children in Highland, Utah. They spend as much time as possible together in Utah’s mountains.