December 6 , 2017 - Former Illinois Republican Congressman John Anderson who waged a highly publicized run for the White House in 1980 has died at 95. First elected to Congress in 1960 , Anderson began his presidential bid by entering the 1980 Republican presidential primaries. He would go on to finish second in the Vermont and Massachusetts GOP contests. In April 1980 , Anderson dropped out of the Republican primaries and began his third party quest for the Oval Office.
For a running mate in the general election against Republican Ronald Reagan and Democrat Jimmy Carter , Anderson selected Patrick Lucey who had served as the Democratic Governor of Wisconsin from 1971 - 1977. On September 21 ,1980 in Baltimore , Maryland, Anderson debated Reagan on national TV though Carter had refused to participate in the debate.
On election day in November , 1980 , Anderson would receive 7% of the vote which was the best showing by a third party presidential candidate since George Wallace in 1968.