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Presidency 2008

For the first time since 1928, both major parties will have open contests for the Presidential nomination without a sitting President or Vice President in the running. Politics1 presents a "first look" at those people being mentioned as possible, likely, speculative, or draft candidates for President in 2008.


REPUBLICANS - THE MAJOR CANDIDATES:

John McCain US Senator John S. McCain III (Arizona)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Click here to view our detailed profile of Senator McCain.


Ron Paul Congressman Ron Paul (Texas)

Congressman Ron Paul officially "scaled back" his Presidential campaign after the Super Tuesday contests, in order to concentrate on his reelection race. However, he insists he remains in the contest. Click here to view our detailed profile of Congressman Paul.


OTHER REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES:

Virginia Algar Virginia Algar (Florida)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Virginia Algar, a substitute teacher and veteran of the first Gulf War, is running for President for "for all the people not just a chosen few or interest groups." Since moving to Florida in 1979, she's lost three races for DeSoto County Sheriff and two races for DeSoto County Commissioner. Now she is setting her sites on being President because America needs "to elect the best and forget the rest." Her platform is rather sparse, in that it consists merely of a short list of slogans. Here it is in its entirety: "VETERANS!! IRAQ!!!! SOCIAL SECURITY!! UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE!!! GLOBAL WARMING!! COAL USAGE! FUEL EFFICIENCY! PUTTING A CAP ON CARBON! TAXES! FRIVOLOUS GOVERNMENT SPENDING!!!!" Website: Algar for President.


Michael Jesus Archangel Michael Jesus Archangel (Michigan)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. This gadfly candidate -- who also uses the name "Saint Michael Jesus the Archangel" (note: formerly named Philip Silva until he legally adopted the Archangel moniker in 1996) -- appears rather delusional. "From the time I was a little boy I knew I was God and Michael the Archangel, but I didn't dare tell anyone, not even anyone in my family because I knew that the devil, Satan, was going to try to murder Me, and indeed he did try, four separate times," he explains. He says he's a Vietnam War veteran who attempted suicide due to depression and paranoia. He also claims he later became a "a volunteer Secret Agent for the Central Intelligence Agency without pay." A former janitor, he is a self-employed "writer" these days. As for politics, he describes himself as a "radical conservative Republican" who recognizes "the fact that America is an official Theocracy." Archangel was arrested on attempted murder and other felony charges in March 2006. "As a matter of fact, he is crazy. Anyone in their right mind can see that," said the Sheriff who arrested him. You can find lots and lots of very long pages of his bizarre writing on his official website: ArchangelMichael.info (you've got to scroll down very far on the homepage to find the link to his Presidential campaign and his autobiography).


Dr. George Bailey George B. Bailey Jr. (New Mexico)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. George Bailey is an ordained minister, retired classroom teacher and USAF veteran. He was also briefly a candidate for New Mexico Governor in 2006, but withdrew before the primary. On his website, he describes himself as follows: "First, I am an American. Second, I am a practicing Christian. Third, I am a veteran. Fourth, I am a Cushite, Ebony, Negro, Black, and African American, who proudly embraces my ancestral heritage. Fifth, I am a former independent Democrat, and presently, I am an independent Republican. And sixth, I am my own man, free from any commitments to special interest groups who are paralyzed morally, and who hinder social-economic equity to all Americans in thought, word, and deeds." He has authored a campaign book and says he is "dedicated to God, Family, and Country." Related links: Dr. George Bailey for President (offical campaign site).


Rev. Edward Buck Edward A. Buck (Utah)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Edward Buck describes his campaign as the "Common Man Presidential Campaign." He says "the greatest threat to America is not terrorists, but rather the theft of the civil rights of each American by corrupt and illegal activities of politicians and judges." What, you may ask, is this all about? Buck explains he is upset that judges and government officials purportedly "condoned and participated in the theft" of an invention he tried to patent (to wit: "the first true bitless bridle for horses"). Buck has also filed pro se lawsuits against government officials to enforce immigration laws and against the media for assorted civil rights violations. An Army veteran, Buck describes himself as an "Equine physiologist" and hopes to one day have a horse that wins the Triple Crown. Related links: Buck for President (offical campaign site).


Allen M. Bunch (Georgia)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Allen Bunch (as he spelled his name on the FEC paperwork) also oddly refers to himself as "Alan" and "Alen" on his campaign website, so even this candidate's true name is a bit of a mystery. Bush is a self-described Reagan Republican who describes his campaign theme as "Fortress America." He promised to immediately send 10,000 military troops to patrol the US-Mexico border, but also supports a Guest Worker Program for the US. Bunch wants to replace the income tax with the "Fair Tax" (national federal sales tax). He also wants the US to focus on developing alternative energy sources, promises to break up business monopolies, denounces "Judicial Terrorists" (i.e., federal judges), and supports the war on "Islam-o-fascists." Bunch is a high school graduate who works as an insurance agent, but rather fuzzy on details of his family, life and career. "I am sorry to be vague in this document, but there might be members of the alien criminal element that might want to do me harm and until I qualify as a presidential candidate; I am not entitled to get Secret Service," he explains on his website. Maybe that is why he keeps changing the spelling of his first name. Related link: Bunch for President (official campaign site).


Hugh Cort Dr. Hugh Cort III (Alabama)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Hugh Cort -- a psychiatrist, fundamentalist Christian, and 2006 GOP primary candidate for Alabama State Representative (last place - 6%) -- touts himself as someone who has "spent years researching terrorism sources." His main campaign issue centers around the war on terrorism. On other issues, he supports constitutional amendments to ban abortion and ban gay marriage, describes himself as "pro-business" and is against higher federal taxes. Related links: Cort for President (offical campaign site), Stop Doomsday (Cort's anti-terrorism website), and Cort for State Representative (official 2006 campaign site).


John Cox John H. Cox (Illinois)

Wealthy attorney John Cox was an unsuccessful GOP primary candidate for Congress in 2000, a losing candidate for US Senate in the 2002 primary, and the GOP nominee for Cook County Recorder of Deeds in 2004. Undaunted for three defeats in a row, Cox ran for President in 2008. As for government experience, Cox previously served on the Glenview District 34 Local School Council and the Glenview Zoning Board in suburban Chicago. A political conservative, Cox describes himself as a "Reagan Republican." Cox made regular campaign swings to Iowa and New Hampshire, hired campaign staff, and spent over $1,000,000 -- largely from his own pocket -- on his quixotic campaign. He withdrew from the race in December 2007 after he continues to poll in the 1% range in Iowa. Related links: Cox2008.com (official campaign site) and RestoreTrust.us (Cox's PAC).


Susan Ducey Susan G. Ducey (Kansas)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Susan Ducey is a registered nurse and volunteer sign language interpreter. She ran for President in the 1996 New Hampshire GOP primary (12th place - 152 votes) and briefly made an abortive run for Congress in 2000 in Oklahoma. She describes herself as "a staunch conservative ... for strong national defense ... [and] is Pro-Life." Here, for example, is her stance on families: "Our tax structure and welfare system discourages the stable, married, two parent family by excessively taxing families with children and by forcing the father out of the house to give a single mom welfare benefits based on the number of children. Welfare reform and the forced responsibility of caring for ones own family will increase the importance of the family, and eliminate much of the welfare payments." In a related position, she supports total abolition of the federal income tax. Related link: Ducey for President (offical campaign site).


Dan Gilbert Daniel "Dan" Gilbert (North Carolina)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Electronics manufacturer and Vietnam War veteran Dan Gilbert is running for President as a self-styled "ordinary American" who still "believes America is the greatest country on earth." Politically, he describes himself as a "values-based conservative Republican" who espouses a social and fiscal conservative platform. Gilbert is trying to create a "We The People" Republican slate of "ordinary citizens to run for office" at all levels to bring about real change in Washington. Speaking of Congress, Gilbert complains that he is "not sure there are many real conservatives left in Washington." As for issues, Gilbert says "through the past 50 years we have witnessed the gradual erosion of our heritage. Our republic, carefully crafted by our forefathers to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority, has been abused. Those safeguards are now being used to subject the majority to the tyranny of vocal minorities" -- referring to illegal immigrants, gays, liberals, etc. Gilbert's top concern is illegal immigration, and he vows to "lock down the southern border and tighten controls on the northern border." He also wants to keep US forces in Iraq until the new Iraqi government is "ready to protect themselves from both internal and external threats," partially privatize Social Security, and fire "government employees who abuse the public trust by wasting or stealing taxpayer’s money." Related link: We The People: Dan Gilbert for President (official site).


Ray F. Green (Massachusetts)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Except that Ray Green has filed paperwork with the FEC -- and had previously filed as a Presidential candidate in 1996 -- no other info is known about this 2008 GOP hopeful.


Robert Haines Robert E. "Bob" Haines (New Hampshire)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Bob Haines -- a self-proclaimed "adopted Texan" who campaigns in a ten gallon cowboy hat -- previously ran for President in 1992, 1996 and 2004. He also sought other offices in Colorado and elsewhere in years past. In the mid-1990s, Haines moved to DC and began writing a political newsletter. He believes most voters still remember today he was the man on the sidewalk in front of the White House who tackled the gunman (Francisco Duran) who tried to kill President Clinton by firing shots at the building and at Secret Service agents in 1994. Haines himself later spent time in jail for a felony charge related to his pulling a gun on a man while campaigning for the 1996 NH primary (and again in 2003-04 for violating his probation from the '96 case). Haines maintained he was defending himself after one man choked him and another threatened him outside a bar. One of the funniest moments came when Haines was arrested in 2003 for the VOP charge and, from jail, used his post-arrrest "one phone call" to telephone the AP to declare his jailing would not stop his campaign for President. As for his views, Haines describes himself as "a fiscal and social conservative" who "advocates longer sentences for drugs and violent crimes and advocates fighting drugs and terrorists at their sources in Columbia and Afghanistan ... [and] advocates that the war in Afghanistan should have been originally been aggressively pursued into Pakistan to get Bin Laden and his army with the help of Pakistan's army." Haines -- who claims he's campaigned in 36 states in recent years -- refuses to accept the reality that he remains an unknown to most voters. As in 2004, Haines has established residency in the state just so he could campaign more effectively there. In 2004, he finished tenth in the NH primary with 579 votes. Haines hopes to improve his showing in 2008, and has already qualified for the NH primary ballot. No website yet, just an email address.


Curtis Hayward (Texas)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Except that Curtis Hayward has filed paperwork with the FEC, no other info is known about this 2008 GOP hopeful. His official campaign organization is named "Hayward for President Aides Cenocide Dismantling Research Association President." No, "Cenocide" isn't a typo, as he spells it that way on a few documents ... and no, we have no idea what the name means.


Albert Howard Albert B. Howard (Michigan)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Albert Howard filed paperwork with the FEC and subsequently qualified for a spot on the NH primary ballot. According to his website, Howard explains "The Angel of the Lord told me in January of 1992 that Hillary Rodham Clinton and I would meet and be running against each other and that she would lose." Howard's entire campaign site is filled with various religious messages, or religious explanations for things that happened in his life. Howard, a self-described college drop-out ("like Bill Gates"), is an Army veteran and a professional singer. And, from the family photo on his website, it appears he is married and the father of 8 kids. On issues, Howard wants to end the Iraq War, cancel the Patriot Act, ban the government from planting computer chips into people, "stop globalization" and "shut down" the Federal Reserve. Related link: Albert Howard for President (official campaign site).


Millie Howard Mildred T. "Millie" Howard (Ohio)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Millie Howard previously ran for President in the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 primaries. She is back making a fifth bid in 2006. In fact, her rather durable slogan of "Millie Howard for President USA 1992 and Beyond" is easily adaptable to as many more runs as Howard desires to make. A medical office receptionist who will be 70-years-old in 2008, she earned her B.S. degree in Finance in 2003 from Northern Kentucky University. Arguing that politics in America is "corrupt" and our current system is "socialistic," Howard called for smaller government. In a very libertarian vein, she also demanded the elimination of any laws that codify immorality (which Howard defines as "abortion, bankruptcy, divorce"). "Government needs to be moral and the rest will fall in place," Howard explains. Her central theme is creation of a "$10,000 Birth Right Stipend" program to eliminate all current entitlement programs. She also advocates adoption of eight new constitutional amendments, including declaring that life begins at conception, abolishing the death penalty, and eliminating automatic US citizenship for US-born children of immigrants unless at least one parent is a US citizen. In the 2004 New Hampshire primary, Howard placed 13th with 239 votes. Related links: Millie Howard for President USA 1992 and Beyond (offical campaign site).


Jerry R. Johnson (Virginia)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Jerry Johnson retired as a construction contractor in 2005, and is now making a run for President. A long-time GOP activist, Johnson made runs in Georgia years ago for State Representative and US Senate. Johnson explains his campaign as being based upon a "political/governmental structure that is true to the people and our society. God finally revealed it to me and I present it to you as Amendment 28: a method and a solution." Johnson's proposed Constitutional 28th Amendment would repeal the 17th Amendment (direct election of US Senators), reduce each state to having only one US Senator (appointed by the state legislature) and have federal judges serve three year terms (subject to Presidential reappointment and Senate reconfirmation). Related links: Johnson for President (offical campaign site).


Donnie Kennedy Walter D. "Donnie" Kennedy (Georgia)

STATUS: EXPLORATORY CANDIDATE. Donnie Kennedy is a longtime activist in the "Southern Heritage" movement (i.e., seeking to keep the Confederate battle flag flying in the South and incorporated within the design of Southern state flags, opposing the MLK Holiday, etc.). Kennedy is also the former Commander of the Louisiana Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. A retired nurse anaesthetist by profession, Kennedy is the co-author several books including The South Was Right!, Myths of American Slavery, and Was Jefferson Davis Right? He also serves on the Board of Directors of the League of the South. Kennedy was briefly a candidate for President in 2004, but quit the race before the primaries started. Kennedy says his candidacy might cause Southern Republican elected officials to "remember the issues of conservative, Christian Southerners of all races who elected them over their liberal anti-South opponents ... [and] help guarantee [Confederate] flag votes by the people in Georgia and South Carolina." He believes the conservative movement largely suffered from 100 years of defeats over the past century at the hands of "the liberal/socialist regime" and says "we must have real States Right’s or that little bit of liberty upon which we now barely subsist, that too shall be taken from us." Kennedy was a featured speaker at the 2006 Texas Constitution Party convention. Related links: Kennedy for President (offical campaign site), KennedyTwins.com (official website for Kennedy and his twin brother), Liberty Based Society (official political organization), DixieBroadcasting.com (unofficial grassroots supporters) and Southern Party of North Carolina (unofficial grassroots supporters)..


Dr. Mark Klein Mark I. Klein (California)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Dr. Mark Klein, a psychiatrist who bills himself as "The National Shrink", filed FEC paperwork in 2006 to run for President. "I am so concerned about the heartless destruction of stable, affordable American middle class family life ... I believe that the first policy considerations of any Administration should be about the enhancement of family stability and the affordability of middle class life," says Klein. However, most of his specific stances relate to equalizing the rights of both parents in divorce and child custody cases. Related links: Dr, Mark Klein Campaign (offical campaign site), Calling 'Em As I See 'Em (official blog), DrMarkKlein.com (offical personal site), and Klein2008.org (unofficial grassroots supporters).


William Koenig William R. Koenig (Virginia)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. A former commercial real estate broker, William Koenig changed careers in 1996 to begin publishing his own watch.org online international news site. Since then, he's co-authored two books on Israel and Middle East policy. Through his news site, he's become a credentialed White House reporter. Now, he's trying to apply this background to his Presidential campaign. "My reputation of addressing difficult issues and boldness in speaking out stands in stark contrast to those who watch one another and constantly modify their messages to pacify their critics ... I am a uniter rather than a divider, preferring reasoned unity over unreasonable division. I view partisan politics as disruptive, counterproductive and enormously costly to our nation ... I possess solid conservative credentials both socially and economically," he explained. Related links: William Koenig for President.


Pastor Kok Philip A. "John" Kok (California)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Evangelical pastor Philip "John" Kok (pronounced "Coke") -- also known as "JP" -- operates his own Mustard Seed Ministry. While his ministry website -- annoying loud in both embedded music and design (plus lots of very blurry photos) -- is full of content, his Presidential site is barren. It essentially consists of this one statement: "Bringing Back the Positive Spiritual Heritage of Our Country!" Related link: Kok for President.


Elvena E. Lloyd-Duffie (Texas)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Elvena. Lloyd-Duffie was a Democratic Presidential hopeful in 1996, and has now filed paperwork with the FEC to run in 2008 as a Republican. An accountant, here is how Lloyd-Duffie previously explained her interested in running for President: "'I am running for President because in 1989 I sensed a call from God almighty to be President. I absolutely know and understand the function of the entire world." With her background as an accountant and auditor, she boasts she could balance the federal budget "in three to four days." Her foreign policy: "We need to make ourselves so appealing that [other countries] will want to copy us, then we won't have to negotiate and argue over who's right and who's wrong." Social policy? "Welfare is a disgusting and disgraceful thing. Pity and compassion is stupidity without wisdom. Give their jobs to recipients and put the social workers on welfare. Everyone on welfare has lied to get on it," she explained. Yet, despite this view of welfare, she supports giving "free unlimited college tuition to anyone who wishes to pursue a higher education." No website yet.


Yehanna Joan Malone Yehanna Joan M.M. Malone (District of Columbia)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Joan Malone, a widow and mother of three children, was a write-in Democratic hopeful in 2000. She later amended her federal paperwork in 2001 to run as a Republican in 2004 as a Presidential candidate and "Representative for God." In her August 2002 withdrawal letter to the FEC, she wrote that she decided to attend college and earn a bachelor's degree in religious studies as a better way to "serve my God-Trinity, my Savior Jesus Christ, be more like him, and truly make a difference in this world ... Politicians have done nothing but steal from me." Again billing herself as "Representative for God," Malone filed FEC paperwork to make another GOP run in 2008. No website yet.


Jim Mitchell James C. "Jim" Mitchell Jr. (Illinois)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Water treatment plant engineer and Navy veteran Jim Mitchell currently serves on Lake County Regional Board of Education. He previously served on the Lake County Commission, the Union Drainage District Board, the Lake Villa District Library Board, and the West Deerfield Township Board -- and lost a GOP primary bid for Congress in 2006. Announcing his candidacy before a high school class, Mitchell explained his White House campaign is not about winning but about being involved in the political process. "I sincerely believe I can help shape the debate," he said. Mitchell told the Chicago Tribune he "believes in" the Boy Scouts of America, the Ten Commandments and making English the nation's official language. Mitchell is a conservative who wants to reduce the national debt, crack down on illegal immigration, improve the federal government's response to natural disasters and stop the flow of narcotics from foreign countries. He says his campaign will be internet-based. Related link: Mitchell for President (official site) and Mitchell for Congress (2006 campaign site).


Fred Ogin Frederick E. "Fred" Ogin (Oregon)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Fred Ogin is a Vietnam War veteran. He previously filed paperwork to run for President in 1984, 1996, 2000 and 2004, but did not qualify for any primary ballots. He's also run as a Democrat in the past. FYI: He's been using the photo (above) since his 1984 run. No other info is known about this candidate. No website yet.


William N. "Doc" Raven (Oregon)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Except that Doc Raven has filed paperwork with the FEC, no other info is known about this 2008 GOP hopeful.


Marshall S. Sanders (California)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Businessman Marshall Sanders was briefly a candidate for Congress in a 2005 special election. He later filed paperwork with the FEC to run for President, but no other info is known about this 2008 GOP hopeful.


Jack Shepard Jack Shepard (Italy / Minnesota)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Dr. Jack Shepard is a USAF veteran and dentist ... and a convicted felon (narcotics possession) who fled as a fugitive to Italy to avoid trial in Minnesota when he became the suspect in the arson of his dental office. Claiming he was wrongly convicted in the drug case and wrong accused in the arson, Shepard continues -- from Rome, Italy -- to run as a candidate for federal political office in Minnesota to bring attention to his demand that the conviction be overturned and the arson charge dropped. He says the drug conviction should be overturned because dentists can have narcotics in their offices and that he is innocent on the arson charges. "I never broke the law," Shepard posted on one political website. The US government has never formally requested his extradition from the Italian government, although then-prosecutor Amy Klobuchar -- now US Senator -- requested the Feds seek his return. Shepard lost a GOP primary run for US Senate in 2002 and Congress in 2004 and 2006. In his campaigns -- waged on his websites and in emails to Minnesota newspapers -- accused various Democrats of either being tied to encouraging "the Terrorists" or being "owned" by "the Israel Lobby." Related links: Shepard for President (official site), ShepardUSGov.com (Congressional campaign site), and People for Peace Group (Shepard's organization).


Michael Charles Smith Michael Charles Smith (Oregon)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Michael Smith is a computer company executive and USAF veteran, who earned his MBA degree in 2000. He also served as a Village Trustee of Garrett, Illinois (a town of around 200 people) in 1993-94. "I’m a Republican who is frustrated that the most prominent voices of the Republican Party are those of the extreme right and religious fundamental community. I’d like to see a more moderate discussion within the Republican Party that reflects more accurately the views of the people. I have a well rounded education and experience in the military, international business, and a perspective from the working middle class. I’m willing to speak up for what I believe is right, and unwillingly to cater my message to specific interest groups," says Smith, in explaining his White House candidacy. He plans to seek ballot status in the Oregon primary, and possibly New Hampshire and/or Iowa. Smith is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-medical assisted suicide, anti-flag burning amendment, pro-military draft, pro-drug decriminalization, pro-gun rights, critical of the Patriot Act, and supports replacing the current federal income tax with a national sales tax. Related links: Michael Charles Smith for President (offical campaign site) and MySpace.com: Michael Smith for President (official site #2).


Richard Michael Smith Richard Michael Smith (Texas)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Richard Michael Smith -- who uses his full name throughout his campaign site -- holds a bachelor's degree in theology, was a local credit union general manager/president in the 1970s, and is now a Radio Shack merchandising executive. He also served nine years on the Board of Trustees of Southeastern Bible College and is active today in the ministry of his local evangelical church. He is a staunch conservative who fully supports the "War on Terror," supports the Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars" missile shield), supports "sealing and protecting [US] borders" to deal with illegal immigration problems, and warns of the problem of "judicial tyranny." As for the Iraq War, Smith says "it is time to quit wringing our hands on how we got there and focus on what we need to do to stabilize Iraq and the entire Middle East." Related links: Richard Michael Smith for President (offical campaign site).


Keith Sprankle Keith Sprankle (Washington)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Keith Sprankle -- a self-described "regular middle class American" -- has Multiple Sclerosis "and because of this have had to deal with the inadequacies of our health-care system." He and his wife also have spent the last few years trying to launch a new private tour company business. Promising to lead "a new priority based and faith based administration," he wants a major withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, supportings setting "a timeline of just three years to have a solid solution" to breaking US reliable on fossil fuels, says his energy policy will held ease global warming problems, is pro-gun rights, pro-life, supports tougher border enforcement of immigration laws, and promises "we can accomplish all of this and more without increasing taxes." Related links: Keith Sprankle for President (offical campaign site).


Corrogan Vaughn Corrogan R. Vaughn (Maryland)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Corrogan Vaughn -- a limousine company owner, Baptist church deacon, former airline worker, and cancer survivor -- has lost primary runs for US Senate in 2000, 2004 and 2006. Now he's filed paperwork to run for President. Vaughn is also a longtime GOP activist, having volunteered on many Maryland campaigns over the years. Vaughn is pro-life, supports making English the official language of the US ("English ... is our god given right"), opposes same-sex marriage, supports a balanced budget amendment and line-item veto amendment, and wants tougher enforcement of existing laws to stop illegal immigration. Related link: Vaughn 4 America.


Virgil L.R. Wiles (Missouri)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Except that Virgil Wiles has filed paperwork with the FEC, no other info is known about this 2008 GOP hopeful. No campaign website.


Vern Wuensche Vern Wuensche (Texas)

STATUS: ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE. Vern Wuensche (pronounced "win-she") is a CPA, construction company owner, former Army Reservist, "an active political conservative, and a Christian who is serious about his faith." He also holds an MBA degree from the University of Texas. After "a difficult 30 year struggle to survive his construction business without a functioning legal system ... where each assault was worse than the previous," Wuensche launched a legal reform group in 2003 to address his complaints about the judicial system. As for his Presidential campaign, Wuensche believes the Internet can help level the playing field between himself and the big-name candidates. Additionally, he makes weeklong campaign trips to either Iowa or New Hampshire each month. Wuensche has a detailed platform on his campaign website. On issues he wants to ban all abortions and ban embryonic stem cell research, supports drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, supports the teaching of "intelligent design" in public schools, supports privatizing Social Security, vows to eliminate Affirmative Action programs, supports banning gay marriage and gay adoption, supports "English Only" government programs, opposes any immigration amnesty, and wants to replace the current income tax with a national consumption tax. Related links: Vern Wuensche for President (offical campaign site) and Legal Reform Now! (Wuensche's organization).


NOT RUNNING IN 2008:

George Allen Former US Senator George F. Allen (Virginia)

US Senator George Allen's unexpected 2006 re-election defeat -- after running an amateurish and gaffe-prone campaign -- destroyed the once strong buzz touting him as a likely first-tier '08 White House contender. In December 2006, Allen said he would not run for Presidential in 2008. "There are people encouraging me to run for office again in the future. What happens further on down the road remains to be seen. But it's way off in the future," he explained. Click here to view our detailed profile of Senator Allen.


Haley Barbour Governor Haley R. Barbour (Mississippi)

When "Draft Haley Barbour for President" stickers started floating around DC, Barbour told reporters he was flattered but did not plan to run in 2008. However, he did not entirely close the door on the race and some of his close political advisers purchased some 2008-related website names -- keeping the Barbour '08 stories in play until early 2006. Barbour is well-known with GOP leaders around the nation from both his two-terms as Republican National Chairman in the 1990s and his highly televised, professional handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in his state (especially when contrasted to the poor handling of the same storm by Louisiana's Governor). A consumate DC insider and former high-powered lobbyist, the conservative Barbour has the Rolodex needed to raise substantial funds -- but he says it won't be in 2008. In February 2006, Barbour gave a definitive statement he would not run: "There's no way I can consider running for President. I've been flattered by the people who have encouraged me or said they would support me. But there's no way I could run for President and do what I've got to do as Governor [with the post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding effort]." Click here to view our detailed profile of Governor Barbour (which we created before Barbour ended the speculation).


Sam Brownback US Senator Samuel D. "Sam" Brownback (Kansas)

Senator Sam Brownback started early and worked to position himself in the 2008 race as the leading social conservative candidate. However, his campaign never gained traction. He threw nearly all his resouces in the influently August 2007 GOP straw poll in Ames, Iowa -- but finished a distant third behind social conservative rival Mike Huckabee. That finish largely doomed Brownback's campaign, as it made it nearly impossible for him to raise the money needed to keep his campaign going. He quit the race in October 2007 after reporting weak fundraising in 3Q-07. Fortunately for Brownback, he exited the race with $100,000 still in the bank and zero campaign debt. Brownback has also announced he will honor his voluntary term-limits pledge and not seek re-election to the US Senate in 2010. Click here to view our detailed profile of Senator Brownback.


Jeb Bush Former Governor John E. "Jeb" Bush (Florida)

His father George H.W. Bush was President ("Bush 41") from 1989-93, and his older brother George W. Bush has been President since 2001 ("Bush 43") ... so lots of Republicans like the idea of turning Florida Governor Jeb Bush into the "Bush 44" President. Bush, however, repeatedly says he is not running in 2008 and actively discourages any attempts to suggest he'll change his mind. Bush allows for the possibility he may run for President at some future date, but he strongly emphasizes that it won't be in 2008. "I'm not going to run for President in 2008. That's not my interest," said Bush in October 2004. In May 2005, Bush's father explained that Jeb wouldn't run in 2008 because "The timing's wrong ... he doesn't want to do it." Jeb apparently believes the nation isn't ready to elect two brothers to back-to-back terms in the Oval Office. Two possible reasons that gave credibility to Jeb's denials on 2008: (1) He'll only be 59-years-old for the 2012 election, and (2) many believe he could be the VP nominee in 2008, paving the way for his future White House run. Several top Bush allies in Florida -- who rarely ever act contrary to Bush's wishes -- committed to MItt Romney's campaign in December 2006. Related links: Jeb.org (official political site); and Wikipedia: Jeb Bush (online resource).


Dick Cheney Vice President Richard B. "Dick" Cheney (Wyoming)

In interview after interview, Vice President Dick Cheney repeatedly states he will not be a candidate for President in 2008. Here are some typical Cheney comments about 2008 (from a June 2005 interview with Fox News): "I looked at [running for President] many years ago, and concluded back about 1994, '95 that I was not going to run, and went off to private life. I came back at the request of the then-Governor of Texas to be his runningmate. I've loved being Vice President. It's been a tremendous experience. But it works in part because my agenda is his agenda. I don't have anything here that I'm trying to do. I'm not worried about what I'm going to do in the Iowa Caucuses in 2008. I'm here to serve the President and to focus on the problems of the moment. And I think it's very important that I continue to do that. So I've made it clear that this is my last job in public life. I've got other things I want to do when my time is up here -- [like] spend time with the grandkids ... If nominated, I will not run, et cetera, et cetera." Still, some don't believe him. Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, for example, still thinks Cheney will run. In August 2005, Woodward said it is "highly likely" Bush may urge Cheney to run. He continued: "[Cheney[ would be 67 if he ran and was elected. Reagan was 69. Republicans always like the old warhorse ... Nixon was 68 ... Both parties like to nominate Vice Presidents. ... Cheney would do it [if asked], and I think it's highly likely, so stay tuned." Click here to view of detailed profile of Vice President Dick Cheney.


Bill Frist Former US Senate Majority Leader William H. "Bill" Frist (Tennessee)

US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist did not seek re-election in 2006, seemingly, in order to prepare for a 2008 White House run. A surgeon and multi-millionaire hospital chain co-founder, Frist made extensive visits to Iowa, New Hampshire and other key early contest states. By late 2006, GOP polls still showed Frist mired in the low single digits. In November 2006, Frist pulled the plug on his Presidential aspirations and announced he would not run, and later endorsed Fred Thompson for President. He is rumored to be pondering a 2010 run for Tennessee Governor. Click here to view our detailed profile of Senator Frist.


Jim Gilmore Former Governor James S. "Jim" Gilmore III (Virginia)

Former Virginia Governor and former Republican National Chairman Jim Gilmore unexpectedly told reporters in November 2006 that he was considering either running for President in 2008 or running again for Governor in 2009. A month later, after making visits to Iowa and New Hampshire to guage his prospects, Gilmore filed federal paperwork to establish a Presidential exploratory committee. His brief campaign effort was lackluster at best. Citing a late start and the front-loaded primary calendar, Gilmore quit the race in July 2007. “I have come to believe that it takes more than a positive vision for our nation’s future to successfully compete for the Presidency. I believe that it takes years of preparation to put in place both the political and financial infrastructure to contest what now amounts to a one-day national primary in February, ” explained Gilmore in his exit statement. Click here to view our detailed profile of Governor Gilmore.


Newt Gingrich Former US House Speaker Newton L. "Newt" Gingrich (Georgia)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spent nearly two years criss-crossing the country, selling his new book and pitching his latest political ideas. He also kept noting the weakness of the current GOP field and saying how there was an opening for a legitimate conservative with a bold vision. Just when he was on the brink in September 2007 of launching an exploratory committee, he pulled the plug the very next day. Gingrich explained the change of plans was due to restrictions in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law. "Yesterday morning we learned from our attorneys that under the McCain-Feingold law, it is a criminal penalty if I had retained any communication with [my] American Solutions [PAC]. I could go to jail, and the idea that you're on the turn-of-the-dime kill this program in order to obey the McCain-Feingold Act which I think is an unconstitutional, frankly destructive bill, was crazy. And I just said if we have to choose, then it's irresponsible to not finish building up American Solutions," he told ABC News. Besides, Gingrich added, "I think the odds are 80% that Sen. Clinton is the next President." He said he would not endorse any GOP candidate until one is nominated next summer at the national convention. Click here to view our detailed profile of Speaker Gingrich.


Rudy Giuliani Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. "Rudy" Giuliani (New York)

Withdrew from the Presidential race on January 30, 2008, after weak showings in the Florida primary. He immediately endorsed John McCain for President. Click here to view our detailed profile of Mayor Giuliani.


 

Chuck Hagel US Senator Charles T. "Chuck" Hagel (Nebraska)

US Senator Chuck Hagel -- a decorated Vietnam War veteran and wealthy former businessman -- has cultivated the image of being an independent-minded maverick. For over a year, the outspoken Hagel openly talked of making a possible White House run in 2008. While Hagel is pro-life and a fiscal conservative, he stood out from nearly all of the other GOP hopefuls for his outspoken calls since early 2006 to withdraw US troops from Iraq. He also differs with the Bush Administration by supporting an end to the decades-old economic boycott of Cuba, saying the embargo failed to dislodge Castro and harmed Cuban civilians. Hagel also openly flirted with the idea of either running on a national Independent ticket with billionaire NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg -- another move that didn't win Hagel GOP fans. In September 2007, Hagel finally announced he would not run for either re-election nor President in 2008. Related links: Office of US Senator Chuck Hagel (official government site), Sandhills PAC (Hagel's Leadership PAC), DraftHagel08.com (grassroots supporters) and Hagel2008.blogspot.com (grassroots supporters).


Mike Huckabee Former Governor Michael D. "Mike" Huckabee (Arkansas)

Governor Mike Huckabee, an affable former Baptist minister, emerged during the primary season as John McCain's strongest rival for the GOP nomination. Huckabee remained in the race until March 4, when McCain secured the number of delegates needed to win the nomination. He then withdrew and endorsed McCain. Click here to view our detailed profile of Governor Huckabee


Duncan Hunter Congressman Duncan L. Hunter (California)

Withdrew from the Presidential race on January 19, 2008, after weak showings in the Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina contests. He subsequently endorsed Mike Huckabee for President. Click here to view our detailed profile of Congressman Hunter.


Frank Keating Former Governor Francis A. "Frank" Keating (Oklahoma)

Former two-term Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating said in December 2006 that he was considering entering the P2008 race, as he didn't believe any of the remaining Republican candidates were truly "Reagan conservatives." Keating's open flirtation with the race was brief, as he announced in January 2007 he would not run. "It's just not the right thing for me to do at this time," he explained. Instead, he said he'd like to run for the US Senate someday. Related links: American Council of Life Insurers: Frank Keating (official business site); Wikipedia: Frank Keating (online resource).


Alan Keyes Former Ambassador Alan L. Keyes (Maryland)

Dr. Alan Keyes, a social conservative who has been a bombastic TV and radio show host, made a GOP third run for President in 2008. However, he quit the GOP in March 2008 and announced he was continuing his candidacy under the banner of the arch-conservative Constitution Party. Keyes previously lost runs for the GOP Presidential nomination in 1996 and 2000, for US Senate in Maryland in 1988 and 1992, and for US Senate in Illinois in 2004. Keyes -- who holds a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard and was initially a US Foreign Service Officer -- served in the Reagan Administration as US Ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (1983-85) and Assistant US Secretary of State (1985-87). Since then, Keyes has been involved with a variety of conservative causes and these days maintains his own leadership PAC. A group of his supporters purpotedly "drafted" him to run for President again in 2008. However, it should be noted the draft group operated from a website owned and controlled directly by Keyes. Related links: AlanKeys.com (official site & Presidential "draft" site); RenewAmerica.us (Keyes leadership PAC); Keyes Archive (official site); Declaration Foundation (Keyes organization); Declaration Alliance (Keyes organization); Wikipedia: Alan Keyes (online resource); Alan Keyes Skeleton Closet (negative site).


Bill Owens Former Governor William F. "Bill" Owens (Colorado)

Term-limited Colorado Governor Bill Owens was once viewed as a hot prospect for the next GOP White House nomination. So much so that during 2002-03, he was seen as already positioning himself to run and building a national network of contacts. That, however, was before the ongoing saga of his on-and-off marital separation woes. In 2004, it apparently played a role in his decision to not run for an open US Senate seat. By 2005, Owens sounded like someone who not only won't run for President in '08, but is likely to leave the political world entirely. Owens told the Rocky Mountain News in May 2005 -- after he and his wife reconciled -- he is looking "outside politics" for his future and added it was "probably a very safe assumption" he will not be on the GOP national ticket in 2008. In July 2005, Owens went even further and told reporters he had "never" seriously considered running for President in 2008. A related link: Office of Governor Bill Owens (government site).


George Pataki Former Governor George E. Pataki (New York)

Former Governor George Pataki made several trips to Iowa, New Hampshire and other key early contest states during 2005-06. He even opened an office in New Hampshire for his PAC (but closed it in early 2007). In January 2007, Pataki told NH Republican leaders he was "going to let the dust settle and see where we are in a few months" -- and added he would understand if his GOP friends wanted to take a closer look at or endorse some of the announced GOP hopefuls in the meantime. One guest at the small dinner told the Manchester Union-Leader: "He never came out and said, 'I'm not running for President,' but everybody basically saw the handwriting on the wall, which is he's out." Pataki's spokesperson said the ex-Gov was still "considering the possibility of running for President" but was instead "focusing on policy rather than politics." Yup, he's out. Related links: Friends of George Pataki (official political site), 21st Century Freedom PAC (Pataki's leadership PAC), and ThePatakiPlan.com (official Iraq War policy site).


Tim Pawlenty Governor Timothy J. "Tim" Pawlenty (Minnesota)

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was frequently mentioned as a dark horse White House hopeful during much of 2004-05 -- in large part because of his conservative politics coupled with his proven past ability to get elected in a Democratic-leaning state. Pawlenty made a point of shooting down those rumors of national ambitions in some 2005 interviews. After winning a narrow 2006 re-election, Pawlenty became co-national chair of John McCain's campaign. Related links: Office of Governor Tim Pawlenty (government site) and Pawlenty for Governor (official campaign site).


Condi Rice US Secretary of State Condoleezza "Condi" Rice (California)

US Secretary of State and former Stanford University Dean Condi Rice has slipped from time to time in interviews -- usually ones given abroad -- and mentioned an interest in someday being President. However, Rice adamantly insists she will not run in 2008 and plans to return to academia in California when the Bush Administration ends. That hasn't stopped a small but enthusiastic draft movement from forming, which has even run some TV ads in Iowa. Click here to view our detailed profile of Secretary Rice.


Mitt Romney Former Governor W. Mitt Romney (Massachusetts)

Withdrew from the race on February 7, 2008, after acknowledging John McCain appeared to mathematically hold an insurmountable lead in the race for the GOP nomination. Click here to view our detailed profile of Governor Romney.


Mark Sanford Governor Marshall C. "Mark" Sanford Jr. (South Carolina)

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford -- a former Congressman and businessman-- never expressed any interest in running for President in 2008. That, however, did not stop some folks from launching "Draft Sanford for President" groups in early 2005 -- praising his record of fiscal conservatism. In April 2005, Sanford quickly shot down the draft movement when he told told South Carolina newspapers he would "absolutely not" be a candidate for President in 2008. Related links: Office of Governor Mark Sanford (government site); Sanford for Governor (official campaign site); Draft Sanford for President 2008 (grassroots supporters); Draft Sanford in 2008 (grassroots suporters); and Draft Mark Sanford for President Petition (grassroots suporters).


Rick Santorum Former US Senator Richard J. "Rick" Santorum (Pennsylvania)

For much of 2004-05, social conservatives floated the name of US Senator Rick Santorum as a potential Presidential candidate in 2008. Santorum -- the #3 Republican in the Senate Leadership -- seemed to appreciate the attention, but then the Democrats succeeded in recruiting a major challenger (Bob Casey Jr.) against Santorum for his '06 Senate race. When Santorum published his controversial It Takes A Family book in mid-2005, many thought it was intended to be his '08 campaign book. Opponents -- and even media pundits -- crowed the book was an opposition researcher's dream because it contained so many passages that would be used against him in TV spots. After his 2006 re-election defeat, Santorum quickly stated he would "absolutely, positively not" be a candidate for President in 2008. Related links are: Santorum US Senate Committee (official campaign site), Stand with Santorum (grassroots site), Santorum Blog (grassroots site), Santorum Exposed (negative site), Dump Santorum (negative site), Stop Santorum Now (negative site), SantorumRecord.com (negative site), Patriots Against Senator Santorum (negative site), Santorum Watch (negative site), and Spreading Santorum (negative site; adult content).


Michael Savage Radio Talk Show Host Michael Savage (California)

Bombastic conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage said in February 2007 that he was contemplating entry into the 2008 GOP White House race. "I know it sounds bizarre but when you consider the people running for the Presidency, none seems to be qualified ... A non-politician who has a very large following, who is very conservative, and who believes in a simple message of borders, language, and culture, has a great chance of electrifying the American people," explained Savage to NewsMax. He said he didn't think his candidacy would hurt the Republican chances in November because the GOP has "virtually no chance of winning right now." Since initially mentioning the idea, he seemingly dropped any plans to run since he's never mentioned it again since then. Savage made a name for himself over the years with his incendiary racist, sexist, xenophobic or homophobic rant, and will need to explain the sharp contrast between with his vitriolic conservative radio persona and his actual life history that seems sharply at odds with his rhetoric. FYI: "Michael Savage" is actually just a show biz name, as his real legal name is Michael Alan Weiner. Related links: MichaelSavage.com (official site); Wikipedia: Michael Savage (information resource); Media Matters: Michael Savage (negative site); and Michael Savage Sucks (negative site).


Tom Tancredo Congressman Thomas G. "Tom" Tancredo (Colorado)

Congressman Tom Tancredo spent all of 2006-07 campaigning around the nation in an effort to gain support for his darkhorse bid for President. But, when he failed to poll above the 2% in any early contest states, he quit the race on December 20, 2007, and endorsed Mitt Romney. Tancredo claimed his campaign succeeded in his real goal: making his staunch anti-immigration views a major topic of discussion in the race. With most of the Republican hopefuls embracing views close to Tancredo's, he exited the race. Tancredo previously announced he will retire from Congress in 2008. Click here to view our detailed profile of Congressman Tancredo.


Fred Thompson Former Tennessee US Senator Fred Dalton Thompson (Virginia)

Withdrew from the race on January 22, 2008, after weak showings in the Iowa and South Carolina contests. Click here to view our detailed profile of Senator Thompson.


Tommy Thompson Former Governor Tommy G. Thompson (Wisconsin)

Forrmer four-term Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson served as US Secretary of Health & Human Services during President George W. Bush's first term. Believing he had something to offer the national debate -- particularly on the topic of reforming health care -- Thompson launched his candidacy for President in January 2007. He focused his efforts largely in Iowa, hoping for a strong showing in the Ames Straw Poll in August 2007. Thompson -- who vowed to quit the race if he did not place at least third in the sraw poll -- quit the race one day after his sixth place finish in Ames. Click here to view our detailed profile of Governor Thompson.


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