Unconventional Voices Make Points in New Hampshire

Graphic: Emily Metcalf
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Graphic: Emily Metcalf

BY Carolyn Presutti – The American presidential election isn’t until November of this year.  But the nation’s first primary election takes place on Tuesday in the northeastern state of New Hampshire.  Six candidates are considered to be in the top tier.  But New Hampshire state laws allow many unknown candidates – some bizarre and unusual – to enter the race.

This official campaign rally is in for a big surprise. Fringe candidate Vermin Supreme is taking charge. “I am a tyrant that you can trust and you should let me run your life,” he said.


Supreme is an official candidate.  With an official platform.

“Free ponies and mandatory tooth brushing,” he said. The free ponies and mandatory tooth brushing did not convince the security – who wanted him removed from the location.

Supreme is an example of democracy in action.  New Hampshire is one of the easiest places to get on the presidential ballot. The cost is a $1,000.  The paperwork minimal.  So, there are 44 candidates on Tuesday’s primary ballot….most of them unknown to New Hampshire residents.

Robert Greene, a physicist, is running a single-platform campaign that promotes the use of the element thorium in all nuclear energy technology, January 8, 2012.

This campaign party had it all:  energy, free snacks, even expectant journalists.  Everyone waiting for the candidate…..except the voters.  The few here are Bob Greene’s family and neighbors. But he didn’t seem to mind.

Greene is a single platform candidate, trying to get publicity on the element “Thorium” to replace uranium as a nuclear fuel. “If we produce a reactor a day for 50 years we could replace every single fossil fuel reactor in the world and that would stall global warming,” he said.

Karger’s campaign event was held at “New Hampshire’s favorite gay and alternative bar,” January 8, 2012.

Nearing midnight, inside a gay bar – a very rare openly homosexual candidate. Fred Karger sounds a lot like the mainstream candidates. “My first topic is jobs and jobs now,” he stated.

Voter Philip Mayo liked what he heard, but is still undecided. “I’d like to know that he could compete with people like Mitt Romney with big bucks in their pocket. But I think it is great,” he said.

These candidates have no delusions about competing with the frontrunners.  They’re just pleased getting visibility for their causes.