Many of us are aware that a major North American nation already is enmeshed in the 2020 battle over who will lead said country beginning on Jan. 20, 2021.
The field has narrowed a bit (John Hickenlooper, we hardly knew ye), but there still are plenty of candidates you’ve heard of from which to pick. But wait, there’s more. And maybe you’ll want to give a quick look at some of the candidates you’ve never heard of.
According to the Federal Election Commission, 901 candidates have filed, so far, to run for president of the United States of America. Most will never qualify for a primary ballot, but, having filed the required paperwork, all can raise money for the race. And, for the rest of their natural lives, each can claim to have been a candidate for president of the United States of America. Can’t hurt on a résumé.
(FYI, it’s early. By early December 2015, the FEC list of 2016 presidential candidates had 1,420 names, some of which were unfit for publication in a newspaper read by people of various sensibilities. Also FYI, the FEC list of folks signed up for the 2024 presidential election already has 21 names.)
The 2020 candidate list includes, as it always does, some of the usual suspects and a whole bunch of unusual suspects in this quadrennial indulgence in political whimsy.
Tops among the candidates you’ve never heard of in fundraising is Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, a Republican (this time around) who’s raised $5,682,021.06 for the race. All but $1,310.08 of that is, FEC records show, from “loans made by candidate.” De La Fuente, whose family made money in auto dealerships and real estate, really, really wants to be a real elected public servant. And he knows how to run in an election. He just doesn’t know how to win in an election.
He ran for president (as a Democrat in primary season and as an independent in the general election) in 2016 but didn’t get the gig. He has also run for the U.S. Senate. Nine times. In nine different states, including several simultaneously.
He lost them all.
While running in 2018 in Wyoming (though he lives in California), De La Fuente told NBC News: ”(I) love Wyoming. I love to ski in Jackson Hole. Plus, the filing fee is only $200. And you can do it from your house online.”
Wait ’til this guy finds out what else you can do from your house online.
Elsewhere in fantasy candidateland, Dan Taxation is Theft Behrman has raised $15,166.45 and, according to his disclosure reports, has spent every penny of it. Behrman is seeking the Libertarian Party presidential nomination, an honor that will be conferred at the party’s national convention May 22-25 in Austin. Our Fair City’s first national political convention?
Behrman’s campaign website is a mix of stuff, serious and otherwise (and sometimes hard to tell which is which). We’re told he is “an international speaker, promoting the ideas that Taxation is Theft, that individual freedom is paramount to the government, and that we are not government property.” He is the founder of the Taxation is Theft Shop, which offers a variety of merchandise, including a T-shirt that says, “I’m already against the next tax,” and a shirt that shows somebody patting down somebody else near that somebody else’s private parts. “It’s not gay if it’s TSA,” the shirt says.
Behrman was born in southern California, but you guessed that.
He’s got a bunch of ideas, including world peace and ending homelessness, daylight saving time and the drug war. He also wants to “legalize pineapple pizza.”
“Pineapple pizza has grown into a topic that fuels raging conflicts on social media,” he says. “Sometimes these conflicts escalate to threats of violence against each other.”
People already have voted for Behrman. And not just any kind of people, but Texas people. In 2014, he got 5,144 votes for a Houston-based Texas House seat, almost a fourth of the votes cast in the election won by Democrat Justin Rodriguez, whose position on pineapple pizza is unknown to me.
Seymour Cats also is in the FEC financial database. Cats apparently is a cat, a domestic shorthair. Pretty much has to be. I don’t think a foreign shorthair would be constitutionally qualified to be president.
“Seymour is a dedicated, hard-working individual. He believes in helping people and this photo proves it,” we’re told. “He is on top of his cabinet and has decided to run for the office of president of the United States again. He can do no worse than the Trump administration is doing.”
Slogan: “If you want to run with the big dogs, you’ve got to vote for a cat.”
Lots of candidates reported balanced books, having raised and spent nary a penny. That list includes Chocolate Pancakes, Earnest Lee Professor Sir Esq Easton, Batso B Mr. Pres El Sr., Cocaine, Stefanus Steffieboy Cuyckens, Sexy Vegan, Karen Deez Nuts (Communist), Seven the Dog (unknown), Sir Voice Over Pete (Ace party), Leomard Sportsinterviews (Libertarian), Ray Madrigal de Pancho Villa (Democrat) and frequent candidate Vermin Love Supreme.
And at least one whose name I have no chance of getting in the paper.
My favorite long shot is Bepis Cola of the Prohibition Party. Yes, I’m aware that some of you think prohibition and party are mutually exclusive.
Do any of these folks have a chance of winning? Doubtful. But you never know. See 2016.
Final thought. Isn’t it odd that no presidential candidate has seized on this slogan: ”(Candidate name here): 2020 vision”