Yang says he has left Democratic Party

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew YangAndrew YangYang says he has left Democratic Party Yang says presidential bid 'messed with my head' Yang in new book: Trump might have won in 2020 'if not for the coronavirus' MORE announced his departure from the Democratic Party today, describing the experience as "strangely emotional."

Yang announced in a statement on his website that he was opting to change his registration to become an independent voter. 

"Breaking up with the Democratic Party feels like the right thing to do because I believe I can have a greater impact this way," Yang said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yang also acknowledged his experiences with thousands of Democrats during his previous presidential and mayoral bids. 

"At first, many didn’t know what to make of the odd Asian candidate talking about giving everyone money. But over time I established deep relationships with some of the local leaders who have worked in party politics for years," he said of the experience. 

Yang added that he was "confident that no longer being a Democrat is the right thing."

"Now that I’m not a member of one party or another, I feel like I can be even more honest about both the system and the people in it," he said.

Prior to his announcement today, Yang had been a Democrat since 1995. 

"It was a no-brainer for me. I went to a college that was very liberal. I lived in New York City. Everyone around me was a Democrat," he said of his initial voter registration decision.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yang's upcoming book, "Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy," is scheduled for release on Tuesday. In previously released excerpts of the book, Yang said that his presidential campaign "messed with my head."

Today, Yang tweeted that his "political homelessness" would be short-lived. 

His book also announced Yang's plans for his new third party, which would be called "The Forward Party." Yang said this party would be governed by principles like "fact-based governance" and "human-centered capitalism" in addition to promoting "universal basic income," an idea that garnered support and attention for Yang during his presidential bid.