Darcy Richardson, the historian who challenged U.S. President Barack Obama in several 2012 Democratic Party primary races, has notified Wikinews he will now “actively seek” the presidential nominations of the Reform Party of the United States of America and several third parties with single-state ballot access.
Richardson initially ran as a progressive alternative to Obama, concerned largely with the president’s economic policies. Discussing his qualms in detail during a November 2011 Wikinews interview, Richardson cited Obama’s extension of the Bush tax cuts, his inability to include a public option in his health care bill, his failure to renew the Glass-Steagall Act and pass cap-and-trade legislation, and his seeming reluctance to defend Social Security and Medicare. He also mentioned Obama’s continued use of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and prosecution of the War in Afghanistan.
As a Democrat, Richardson qualified for primary ballots in New Hampshire, Missouri, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas. His strongest showing proportionally came in Oklahoma, where he won 6.36 percent of the vote. Overall he received a total of 41,386 votes in the five states, 25,296 of which came during the May 29 Texas primary, after he had already suspended his campaign.
Last April, Richardson ceased all campaign operations, and shifted focus to his news blog Uncovered Politics. At the time, he said he planned to support Americans Elect and Reform Party presidential candidate Buddy Roemer, in part due to his economic plans, such as the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. Richardson described Roemer as a “straight-talking, anti-Wall Street former governor of Louisiana who is … head and shoulders above any other potential third-party candidate in his conception of the current economic crisis.”
After Roemer ended his presidential campaign as a whole following Americans Elect’s board decision to not nominate a 2012 ticket, Richardson was left to decide whether to support Obama’s re-election or reconsider his own campaign. He ultimately chose to relaunch his campaign, and like Roemer, run for Reform Party nomination. He concluded:
I can’t in good conscience support President Obama’s re-election. He’s a good man, but entirely out of his league in putting the country on a path to economic recovery. The American people are hurting, and they’re hurting badly. President Obama squandered the first two years of his presidency on a health care bill that nobody wanted while essentially ignoring the private sector in his $787 billion stimulus package in 2009 ‘ legislation that did little other than preserve the bloated payrolls of public sector employees across the country. We need a President who understands what it will take to end this depression, somebody with extensive private sector experience. Unlike President Obama, I have spent my entire life in the business community.
Currently, six other individuals are seeking the Reform Party presidential nomination: Blake Ashby, who challenged President Bush in the 2004 Republican primaries; fitness model Andre Barnett, the only candidate remaining who participated in the January 2012 Wikinews Reform Party forum; Dow Chemical worker Edward Chlapowski; consultant Kenneth Cross; economic adviser Dick McCormick; and estimator Michael Edwin Whitley.
The Reform Party currently has ballot access in four states, but with the aim of achieving access in a dozen, Richardson will also compete for the nominations of ballot-qualified third parties with single-state access elsewhere.