Several years ago, Professor Charles Wheelan launched a project to elect several independents to the U.S. Senate, with the hopes that they might hold the balance of power in the Senate. This year his Centrist Project has endorsed three such candidates. They are Larry Pressler in South Dakota, Greg Orman in Kansas, and Jill Bossi in South Carolina. In addition, the Project endorsed Democrat Michelle Nunn in Georgia and Republican incumbent Susan Collins in Maine. See the Centrist Project’s web page here.
Jill Bossi is technically a minor party nominee; the American Party of South Carolina, a new centrist party, nominated her. She has raised $11,470 so far this year.
Larry Pressler, the independent candidate in South Dakota, was in the Senate previously as a Republican, so he has high name recognition in his home state. He has raised $72,656 so far this year.
Greg Orman, the independent in Kansas, has raised $597,163 in donations this year. He declared his candidacy in June and is currently collecting his needed 5,000 signatures, which are due August 4. He is a businessman who announced for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat in January 2008, and raised $568,838 in contributions for the 2008 race, but then he withdrew in February 2008 and returned those contributions.