The (10) White House Candidates in Your Neighborhood

In Washington state, it's not just about the Clintons and Obamas of this campaign.

If you didn't know that Keith Sprankle was running for president of the United States, then you probably don't know he dropped out this month. The Everett businessman officially filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) last year and laid out his Republican blueprint to fix America, beginning with a Web site (sprankle2008.com) and a $200 campaign contribution from his wife, Donna. Alas, President Sprankle was not to be: He formally withdrew his name a few weeks ago, announcing he "will continue to fight for the people of America" from the sidelines. Yet Washington remains in the competition to send a favorite son or daughter to the White House: At least 10 other Evergreen Staters have notified the FEC of their hope to succeed George W. Bush. They are among the 256 choices Americans voters have in the 2008 presidential race: 53 Republicans, 75 Democrats, and 128 of assorted proclivities, says the FEC. Most have a public profile lower than Tom Tancredo's, and are in it for laughs (an FEC spokesperson says there's no fee if you want to sign up and impress your friends and family). Of course, those who want to get on the state ballot will have to obtain signatures from at least 1,000 registered Washington voters at a nominating convention, an exercise usually reserved for viable fringe candidates such as Ralph Nader. Even then, failure is an option: Nader, drawing 15,000 votes here in 2004, finished a million behind John Kerry. Still, some local candidates are serious about becoming the first presidential candidate elected to Washington from Washington. Democrat Dal LaMagna, a tool company founder who splits his time between homes in D.C. and Poulsbo, ran a TV ad in New Hampshire before the primary, in which he garnered three votes. A former congressional candidate from New York, LaMagna has one issue: "I'm running to stop the violence in Iraq as fast as possible," he says. Conversely, the FEC lists Todd Marvin "Chival Dragonmaster" Clayton Jr. of Edmonds as an apparently less serious aspirant. (His online bio says he likes rugby, reads Frank Herbert, and is a cook at Fred Meyer). Then there is, once again, Max Englerius. The former Seattle mayoral candidate tells us he's running in part to prevent abuse in a police state and to clear up the nation's $10 trillion debt. "I am not a puppet candidate of mainstream party operatives," he adds. That may explain why this is his fourth mostly unnoticed White House run.

 
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