A Look at the Republican 2020 New Hampshire Presidential Primary

I am a proud Republican in Name Only, I live in New Hampshire, and my civic duty is coming up. Here's my sample ballot, straight from the NH Secretary of State [SOS] (click for full-size PDF):

[My Primary Ballot]

The centennial! Like the Delta Tau Chi fraternity at Faber College, the New Hampshire Primary has a long standing tradition of existence.

But who are these guys (and one gal)? I recognize three, and that's only because I listen faithfully to Reason podcasts and know that this Joe Walsh isn't in the Eagles.

Well, that's why we have the Google. Let's take 'em in the order shown and find out who I'm gonna vote for.

  • Eric Merrill is a local boy out of New Boston, NH. He didn't respond to the Citizens Count issues survey. But Shutterstock shows him…

    [Eric and Bill]

    … plunking down 10 crisp Benjamins in front of Bill Gardner, our SOS, and that's all you need to do. Flannel, camo, and a Rutherford B Hayes beard… I'll put him down as a "maybe".

  • William N. Murphy is another Granite Stater, from Lyme, teaches social studies in Hanover. And he responded to Citizens Count, so let's take a look. Should the federal government ban certain "military-style" firearms, such as the AR-15?

    "'military-style' firearms should not be in the home or personal possession, but restricted to use in approved firing ranges. Owners and organizations who support the possession of fire arms have a responsibility to maintain high levels for safety, and are responsible for the misuse of an owned weapon."

    Sorry, William, the first phrase in your response is a deal-breaker.

  • Juan Payne from Theodore, Alabama. Nothing at Citizens Count. Can't even find a picture. The SOS office has an e-mail address, but I don't want to bug him about it. So: another "maybe".

  • Donald J. Trump from Palm Beach, Florida. We kind of know about him. More than we want to know, probably.

  • Joe Walsh from mighty Mundelein, Illinois. A short-lived Congresscritter. His positions seem… pretty solid, actually. He not only touches the entitlement reform third rail, he does the electric boogaloo on it.

    But via that first Reason link above…

    An undeleted tweet where Joe fantasizes about American citizens being murdered. Hm.

    OK, I know, the citizens in question are CNN and MSNBC "journalists", but still.

  • Bill Weld from Canton MA. His 2016 lie about being a "Libertarian for life" is a dealbreaker for me. But (truth be told) his positions aren't awful. How about that "military-style" firearms question?

    "I would not support any bill to outlaw classes of weapons unless it was a gun that could fire a tactical nuclear weapon."

    Whoa. I have to admit, that's a fine answer.

  • Robert Ardini of Long Island City, New York. He has a website, at least for now. On the issues, he can be unintentionally amusing. Let's look at his answer to the military-style weapons question:

    "First deal with mental health issues by requiring health insurance companies to incentivize their subscribers to see a Personal Care Physician and Psychologist/Social Worker once yearly - as mentally sound people don't commit mass shootings."

    That's … a unique position, Bob. Are you saying they can't buy a gun unless their "Psychologist/Social Worker" gives them a note?

  • President R. Boddie of Covington, GA. Yes, he actually changed his name to "President".

    That's a hardcore indication of a serious candidate. "If you're gullible enough to vote based on my name, you're my kind of voter."

    Again, the military-style weapon question on the Citizens Count is telling:

    "Only Those American Citizens Belonging To Well Regulated Militias Such As The 'G-Force Militia' Which Is The Citizens Branch Of Our New United States Praise Force (The Army Of GOD) Shall Have The Rights To Possess Such Artillery (Ref To The 2nd Amendment Of The U.S. Constitution) Elect President R Boddie 2020 Watch GOD Move!"

    Oooookay. This is kind of fun. Should the federal government reform social security by raising the cap on income subject to the Social Security tax?

    "Should the federal government reform Social Security by - Raising the cap on income subject to the Social Security tax? Again Social Security Is Not To Be Reformed But To Be Fulfilled. It's Not About Raising The Cap On Social Security Tax But It’s About Raising The Amount Of Benefits That Each Americans Receive From Their Very Own Private Social Security Trust Account. Which Is Where Your Social Security Benefits Came From In The First Place And Why Raise Social Security Benefits? Because Benefits Is The Root Of The Word Beneficiary And What Is A Beneficiary? The Third Person In A Trust Agreement See? Trustee, Executor And You The Benititary. It Was In Your Face The Whole Time. You Just Didn’t See It. But Now You Can Have 20/20 Vision Through My Eyes Because I Am Here To See It For You And To See To It That All Of You My Beloved Americans Can Now Finally Reap The Full Benefits Of Your Life And Labor. By Voting For Me, President R Boddie, As Your President On November 3rd 2020. Elect President R Boddie 2020 Watch GOD Move!"

    That's enough for me to rank President R Boddie as a solid "maybe".

  • Stephen B. Comley, Sr. of Rowley MA. More or less a single-issue candidate.

    [Nuclear Disaster]

    But he had an extra kilobuck to throw at the SOS, so. Apparently he responded to the Citizens Count folks with a screed. Kind of a hoot. The website to which the document and the pic above refer cannot be reached as I type.

  • Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente from San Diego, California. Rocky (it turns out) is somebody I probably should have heard about. He has a Wikipedia page. And a website. Citizens Count says he's raised over $10 million for the campaign, which is more than either Weld or Walsh. (And also more than Tulsi Gabbard or Julián Castro.)

    The Citizens Count issues page has a dodge on the "military-style" weapons query:

    "The Government has failed to keep the American People safe. Passing laws and regulations has not worked. We need access to mental health services and a less divisive country."

    Geez, just say "no", Rocky.

    Fun fact: Rocky also appears on the Democrat ballot.

  • Bob Ely of Lake Forest, Illinois. His Citizens Count page quotes his candidate website:

    On his website Ely describes himself as "party fluid" with "the charisma of a doorknob."

    And, OK, I realize he's serious enough to spend that thousand smackaroos to make the ballot. I encourage you to read his You're Broke position paper from his website for a fascinating mix of good, bad, funny, and insane. (Unfortunately too much work to copy and paste here.)

  • Zoltan Istvan Gyurko from lovely Mill Valley, California. Another very very unusual guy, see his website. ("Leader of a movement attempting to beat death through technology." -- the Discovery Channel) I'm pretty sure no other candidate can claim to have invented Volcano Boarding.


    As I seem to be saying a lot today: whoa. I could probably check out Zoltan's position on the issues, but who cares? Look out, Tulsi Gabbard.

  • Larry Horn from Scappoose, Oregon wins the "funny town name" primary. And loses my vote with…

    "The federal government should ban some 'military-style' firearms."

  • Rick Kraft of Roswell, New Mexico is probably not an escaped extraterrestial. His website promises that under a Kraft presidency we'll be "Returning to One Nation Under God".

    As to the issues, he's OK on the "military-style" weapon prohibition. He kind of weasels on Social Security:

    "We have got to make sure social security is solvent for our future generations. We must be creative to accomplish this by balancing not hurting those who have contributed over many years or over assessing the younger generation contributing at this time. I would like to see the older generation 'grandfathered' in while being more creative with the younger generation."

    Let's see your numbers, Rick.

  • Star Locke actually has libertarian leanings running for Governor of Texas on the Libertarian ticket, but failing to win the nomination. He ran for President of the United States on the Democratic ticket in 2016. No response to the Citizens Count issues questionnaire, but he's got a website. And … it's pretty much all about immigration for Star. He's agin it.

    I personally moved ... INSIDE MEXICO.  I was "undercover" to do research on this Border problem for 14 months. I LIVED IT.   I lived as a Mexican rancher & farmer "boots on the ground" across the border. During this time I found out EXACTLY what is going on there and the 'why'.  My 'MEXICAN REPORT' ........All that I learn will be presented to all VOTERS on April 15, 2012. At that time, I will make all my recommendations as to how to fix this problem and let the voters decided. UNTIL my 'MEXICAN REPORT' is presented, here are some FACTS to ponder on. Mexicans and all visitors to USA must understand that ANY  uncontrolled presence WITHIN OUR BORDERS is a threat to our National Security and must be treated as such.  We are at war with Islam and our enemies are cunning and have and will use this border problem to attack this nation.  It will do Mexican workers little good if this country is destroyed by TERROR ATTACKS or by "overwhelming' our  SERVICES and/or  TAX PAYERS.   If this country is bankrupted or destroyed, there will be no money or jobs for any of us!!   You must understand that.  Having said that I wish to state I realize that the Mexican people are being exploited/ robbed of their labor  and victimized by their own Government and the 'fat cats' who DO NOT GIVE A DAM if Mexican workers live or die!     Mexico is a dictatorship of the Rich. [oligarchy]      Rich Mexican 'patrons' treat their own people like they are less than dogs!

    I'm not a fan of the caps lock key, Star. Where do you stand on the growing movement to ban the caps lock key from American computer keyboards?

  • Matthew John Matern of Los Angeles, CA. He's got a website, but didn't respond to the Citizens Count questions. Interesting proposal:

    As the income-gap grows, the government doesn’t need to find a new creative way to “help” people who are struggling to make ends meet. Instead, here’s a novel idea: let hard working Americans keep the money they earn!

    1. Eliminate the income tax under $100K
    2. Dramatically reduce the size of the IRS
    3. Keep money in the hands of workers who have earned it

    Uh, fine. Payroll tax?

    And finally…

  • Mary Maxwell , the sole female, from Concord NH. Her website is here, and here is her Citizens Count issues page. The "military-style" question is dealt with succinctly:

    "Quote unquote, The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    Her response to climate change, also brief:

    "[The federal government] should cease and desist geo-engineering."

    Um… how much geoengineeing do you think it's doing now, Mary?

    But the little door on the cuckoo clock opens up for her response to the question: " What is your plan to restore confidence in the federal government?"

    "1. Respect the Constitution and privacy. 2 Celebrate honesty. 3. End torture. 4. Ask the citizens to contribute creative ideas. 5. Disparage the 'Westministerization' of the US government. 5. Crack down on child sex trafficking which is a giant business (See my book 'Reunion'). 6. Tell the truth as to what really happened on 9/11 and at the 2013 Marathon. (See my book 'The Soul of Boston.') 7. Restore schools to teacher/parental control. 8. Prosecute traitors. (See my book 'Prosecution for Treason.')"

    To quote the Allman Brothers:

    If I ever see that woman walking down the street
    I'll just stand back
    And try to move away slow.

Well, there's a write-in space down there at the bottom. Friends, I am leaning this way:

Last Modified 2020-01-31 6:40 AM EDT