Stewartville man joins presidential election
A Stewartville man has thrown his hat in the ring and joined 442 people around the U.S. who are running in the 2016 presidential election.
David Larm, a telecommunication specialist, described himself as half a voter education candidate and half a protest candidate.
"I'm running because I don't think the current candidates represent my view nor the views of the people in my close circle," Larm said.
He said he doesn't believe he'll ever raise the millions required to have a realistic chance of being elected. But he hopes his work will get people motivated to think and talk about major political issues.
He said his only form of political involvement has been casting a ballot. He said his filing was spurred by a political discussion with his wife, who told him that he should do something about his political concerns.
Larm describes himself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. He said he believes government shouldn't control people's lives but rejects the idea it has no role in helping people and businesses. He said neither major party has the best alignment on all of the issues.
Larm could be considered pro-labor, he said, but he supports reducing taxes. He said he is still deciding what he wants to accomplish with his candidacy and that he plans to announce his platform in August.
Larm said a major focus of his run will be on increasing voter turnout in elections.
Less than half of eligible voters have voted in most federal and state elections for decades, with record low turnout numbers seen in recent years, including in Minnesota. Larm said this trend deeply troubles him and he wants to do something about it. He said both major parties have let down U.S. citizens in many ways but voters are equally culpable. Too many people have turned away from voting because they are cynical about their ability to make a difference or feel the political issues are too complex, he said.
"There's a saying: 'You get the government you deserve,'" Larm said.
Larm said he will promote his candidacy with his friends and on social media. He said he is unsure if he will do any public speeches. In fact, he said he won't even ask for votes if his run helps get more people out to vote.
His campaign committee is called Committee for Common Sense to Elect David Larm.
Running for president
When Larm filed, he was among more than 442 people who plan to run for president, including four other Minnesotans. The total already exceeds the 419 people who filed for president in 2012.
The other Minnesotans who have filed, with a variety of interesting backgrounds and ideas, are:
• Shoreview retired computer specialist Peter Breyfogle, who proposes replacing he House of Representatives with a House of Citizens that would include most U.S. citizens over 25 years old.
• Minneapolis resident Ole Savior, who has run for president four times since 2004 and run numerous times for other Minnesota higher offices. In 2010, his running mate was an Elvis impersonator from Brooklyn Park.
•Savage resident Ryan Joseph Quinton Perera, an Iowa State University sophomore who is running under the Communist Party as an "experiment" to see how hard it is to begin the process of becoming a candidate. He said he doesn't necessarily consider himself a Communist. The Star Tribune playfully notes it would be impossible for Perera to be elected president if his run was serious. He is 19 and a subject of Canada. The Constitution requires a minimum age of 35 and that the individual be a "natural born citizen" who has resided in the U.S. for at least 14 years.
• Zimmerman resident William Johnson. Details about his campaign are unknown at this point.