8 Things to Know About Evan McMullin, the New Presidential Candidate

Former CIA officer Evan McMullin announced today he's running an independent bid for the presidency. "With the stakes so high for our nation and at this late stage in the process, I can no longer stand on the sidelines," he wrote on his website. "Our country needs leaders who are in it for the right reasons and who actually understand what makes this country the greatest on earth."

The news comes the same day 50 GOP officials signed a letter saying Donald Trump would be the most "reckless president in American history." Here's what else you need to know about the third-party presidential hopeful, according to NBC and his website bio:

  • He's been working as the chief policy director of the House GOP Conference since 2015 and resigned the morning he announced his bid.
  • The unmarried 40-year-old was born in Provo, UT.
  • He got his BA in international law and diplomacy from Brigham Young University and a master's of business administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • He served as a Mormon missionary in Brazil and a refugee resettlement volunteer in Jordan through the United Nations.
  • He's never held office but led counterterrorism efforts with the CIA in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia throughout the 2000s.
  • In 2011, he started working at Goldman Sachs in California's Bay Area before becoming a senior adviser on national security issues for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 2013.
  • He's been outspoken about his disdain of both party candidates, calling Hillary Clinton "a corrupt career politician" and saying Trump "appeals to the worst fears of Americans."
  • He reportedly has the support of prominent Republicans from the Never Trump movement who are expected to come out with endorsements.

The chances of McMullin actually making it onto the ballot in November are pretty slim, however. The deadline to get on the ballot has already passed in 26 states that have a total of 294 electoral votes, according to NBC, meaning the most votes he could get is 244 out of the 270 needed to win the presidency. Still, his efforts might be enough to take votes away from Trump — and that will make some Republicans very happy.