Friday, August 13, 2010

Final Filing

Who The Hell Is Gregory James Hughes?

There's always one Some Dude on the last day of filing, and this year the prize goes to Mr. Gregory James Hughes of Cedar Rapids, who has three names, a web site, and 1500 signatures to run for governor. Apparently he's been at it since February.

"Hughes will bring to the forefront all the injustices occurring in Courts regarding domestic relations cases and how this impacts parenting, worker productivity, and employment opportunities here in Iowa," says the site, and Hughes appears to be active in the "father's right's" (sic) movement. Around our house we call those 'deadbeat dads.'

That was the only activity on the last day of filing. The full list is here; there's still a few days to drop out. The six candidates for governor are the most since 1994.

Two names that didn't make it: Perennial candidate Jim Hennager, who led the Reform Party to loss of ballot status as the nominee for governor in 1998 and later ran as a "One Earth" and "Earth Federation" candidate, failed to qualify as a US Senate candidate for the "Peace Party."

And 2006 Green nominee for governor Wendy Barth, who had been looking at a second bid, did not file. It's the first cycle since 1998 that the Greens have had no top of the ticket candidate (the only Green on the state or federal ballot is House District 89 candidate David Smithers). It means the Greens have, under current state law, no shot at full party status, because 2% for governor or president is the only way to get it. (That's the stated goal for Eric Cooper, Libertarian candidate for governor.) The Greens do keep their minor party "political organization" status. (Main difference: full parties have primaries, political organizations don't.)

Those two no-shows are a good break for Roxanne Conlin and Chet Culver, respectively, and both could use good news after a rough week of polling. Barth showed a bit of support in her `08 run for Congress against Dave Loebsack (he ran about five points behind Obama in Johnson County, which was almost exactly what Barth got here). And while Hennager's percentages have been to the right of the decimal point, the label "Peace Party" had some appeal in itself to war-weary lefty Dems.

So in general, the One Percent or so third party factor slightly benefits Democrats. Libertarians are in the Senate, Governor, and 1st and 2nd CD races, plus secretary of state. Libertarians will argue that they're "neither left or right," but Cooper's url is, and I think that indicates where the appeal lies. The tea-like Constitution Party is on for governor and 2nd CD, and that's the group Tom Tancredo is affiliating with for his run for Colorado governor. The only rivals to the left, unless some of the Some Dudes lean that way, are the Socialist Workers in governor and the 3rd CD, and they usually finish in the low tenths of a percent.

UPDATE: I literally lost count of the governor candidates. The Constitution Party did NOT qualify for governor, which is a good break for Branstad.

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