The Independece Party formed in 1994 as the Independence Fusion Party in the afterglow of Ross Perot's 1992 run for the White House. It was renamed the Independence Party shortly after the election that year.
It has been characterized as socially liberal and largely inclusive, but it has arguably lacked strong stances on issues other than a call for government reform and accountability. Rather than serving as a true third party, the Independence Party has frequently cross-endorsed candidates running on the Democratic or Republican lines. The notable exception was three runs for governor by Rochester businessman Tom Golisano from 1994 to 2002.
The party was New York's third largest as of 2003 with more than a quarter of a million registered voters.