Buddy Roemer dropping GOP presidential bid to run as third party candidate

Former Louisiana Gov. Charles 'Buddy' Roemer III, an advisor to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), introduces McCain's wife Cindy McCain at a breakfast with the Louisiana delegation at the Republican National Convention (RNC) September 1, 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is unknown how much of the Republican National Convention's program, which is scheduled to run September 1-4 in St. Paul, Minnesota, will continue as planned due to Hurricane Gustav making landfall in Louisiana. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Former Louisiana Gov. Charles 'Buddy' Roemer III at the Republican National Convention (RNC) September 1, 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Updated: 2:24 p.m. ET

Little-known presidential candidate Buddy Roemer is officially dropping his Republican presidential bid and will instead seek the nomination under a third party, he announced on Wednesday in a press release. According to the campaign, he no longer considers himself affiliated with the Republican party.

Roemer, a four-term congressman and former governor of Louisiana, said he was making the change because Republicans had "once again turned their backs on the democratic process" by excluding him from the GOP presidential debates.

"Tomorrow, I will formally end my bid for the GOP nomination for President of the United States," he said in a statement. "As the GOP and the networks host debate number twenty-something this evening, they have once again turned their backs on the democratic process by choosing to exclude a former Governor and Congressman."

Roemer has not to date been invited to participate in a single Republican debate due to low support in the polls, which usually dictate the criteria for inclusion.

Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer talked to CBSNews.com last year. Watch the video at left.

As Reuters points out, part of the reason for Roemer's consistently low support in the polls could be the fact that his name is often not included in surveys of Republican presidential candidates.

Roemer says he will announce Thursday that he is seeking the nomination of the Reform Party. He is also angling to be the choice of Americans Elect, a third-party group seeking to gain ballot access in all 50 states.

"I have decided to take my campaign directly to the American people by declaring my candidacy for Americans Elect," he said. "Also, after many discussions with The Reform Party, I am excited to announce my intentions of seeking their nomination."

He added: "It is time to heal our nation and build a coalition of Americans who are fed up with the status quo and the partisan gridlock that infects Washington. Together, we will take on the special-interests that control our leaders and end the corruptive influence of money in politics so we can focus on America's top priority - jobs."

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