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Parachute candidate

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Title: Parachute candidate  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: By-elections to the 37th Canadian Parliament, Parachute (disambiguation), Carpetbagger, Full slate, Peter Mesheau
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Parachute candidate

A parachute candidate, also known as a “carpetbagger” in the United States, is a pejorative term[1] for an election candidate who does not live in and has little connection to the area he or she is running to represent. The allegation is thus that the candidate is being “parachuted in” for the job by a desperate political party that has no reliable talent indigenous to the district or state or that the party (or the candidate himself/herself) wishes to give a candidate an easier election than would happen in one's own home area.


  • Examples 1
    • United States 1.1
      • U.S. Senate 1.1.1
      • U.S. House of Representatives 1.1.2
    • Canada 1.2
      • House of Commons of Canada 1.2.1
    • United Kingdom 1.3
      • House of Commons of the United Kingdom 1.3.1
  • See also 2
  • References 3


United States

U.S. Senate

  • Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for U.S. Senate in 2014 in New Hampshire, despite having previously represented the more liberal Massachusetts in the Senate as recently as 2 years prior.
  • Former Reagan administration diplomat Alan Keyes, a resident of Maryland, ran unsuccessfully as a Republican during the 2004 Illinois U.S. Senate election.[2]
  • First Lady Hillary Clinton successfully became a Senator from New York after having bought a house in Upstate New York in 1999, prior to the 2000 election. She had previously resided in Arkansas

U.S. House of Representatives


House of Commons of Canada

United Kingdom

House of Commons of the United Kingdom

  • Shaun Woodward MP defected from the Conservatives to Labour in 1999. He faced much criticism from former Conservative colleagues, particularly when he refused to resign and fight a by-election.[5][6] Woodward did not run for re-election in his safe Conservative seat of Witney in Oxfordshire, instead being selected for the ultra-safe Labour seat of St Helens South in Merseyside. Labour Minister Chris Mullin wrote later in his diaries that "the New Labour elite parachuting [Woodward] into a safe seat ... [was] one of New Labour's vilest stitch-ups ... [it] made my flesh creep."[7]
  • Douglas Carswell MP defected from the Conservatives to the UK Independence Party in 2014, in turn displacing the existing UKIP candidate in his constituency of Clacton. Given Carswell was living in London at the time, he was accused carpetbagging by the former UKIP candidate.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b "NDP criticized for running parachute candidate in Labrador".  
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Fallout grows over Tory turncoat".  
  6. ^ "Top Tory defects to Labour".  
  7. ^ Chris Mullin (2009). A View From The Foothills: The Diaries of Chris Mullin.  
  8. ^

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