7 Presidential Candidates You’ve Never Heard Of

By now, you’ve learned more than you might ever care to know about Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. But what about the third party candidates? Some consider them ballot spoilers, while others call them the only conscionable choice. Either way, thanks in part to a self-imposed media blackout, the fact is that the majority of Americans don’t even know these candidates’ names, let alone their stances on the issues. Take a moment to meet some of the other Americans running for President.

Only the seven candidates contending for the most Electoral College votes in the 2012 election are included; they are listed in order of the number of electoral votes for which they are eligible. All stances mentioned are abbreviated positions from the candidates’ own websites.

Libertarian Party

Candidate: Gary Johnson

Bio: Governor of New Mexico, 1995-2002

Hometown: Minot, North Dakota

Vice President: California Judge James P. Gray

Civil Liberties: Repeal Patriot Act, relax TSA regulations

Economy: Balance the budget and audit the Federal Reserve

Education: End the Department of Education, give control back to teachers and parents

Environment: Stop federal subsidies for certain energy sources, let the consumers decide

Foreign Policy: Bring the troops home from Afghanistan, reduce defense spending by 43%

Gay Marriage: Allow gay marriage; government shouldn’t define marriage

Guns: Supports the 2nd Amendment and concealed carry

Healthcare: Repeal Obama’s plan and reduce government restrictions on health care so private insurance companies can reduce their prices

Immigration: Simplify legal immigration, get stricter with illegal immigrants

Taxes: Cut taxes, as well as government spending across the board

War on Drugs: Legalize marijuana, health experts should treat drug addiction, not courts and jails

Of Note: Johnson is taking the Libertarian reigns after Ron Paul gained momentum while participating in the Republican primaries

Learn more at: http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/


Green Party

Candidate: Jill Stein

Bio: Physician

Hometown: Born in Chicago, Illinois; resides in Lexington, Massachusetts

Vice President: Cheri Honkala, human rights advocate

Civil Liberties: Repeal Patriot Act, stop infringing on protesters’ right to assemble

Economy: Create 25 million new green jobs

Education: Forgive student loan debt, stop high-stakes testing

Environment: Tougher regulations; promote sustainable, waste-free solutions

Foreign Policy: Stop drone attacks, pursue peace, reduce defense budget

Gay Marriage: In favor of marriage quality

Healthcare: Provide affordable health care to all Americans

Immigration: Demilitarize border; citizenship path for undocumented immigrants

Taxes: Cut down on corporate tax loophole; cut military spending

War on Drugs: Health problem not criminal problem; legalize medicinal marijuana

Of Note: Stein is running on a platform of a “New Green Deal,” hoping to jump start the economy with environmentally-friendly jobs

Learn more at: http://www.jillstein.org/


Constitution Party

Candidate: Virgil Goode

Bio: Served the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2009

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

Vice President: Jim Clymer, former Constitution Party chair

Abortion: 100% opposed to abortion, no exceptions

Economy: Propose a balanced budget, eliminate or reduce national departments and agencies

Education: Policies determined by the state; opposes national standardized testing

Environment: Reduce the country’s dependency on fossil fuels with alternative energy sources

Foreign Policy: Leave Afghanistan; do not provide foreign aid

Gay Marriage: Opposes not only gay marriage, but civil unions

Guns: Rated highly by the Gun Owners of America

Healthcare: End Obamacare, limit malpractice lawsuits that drive up health care costs

Immigration: Secure borders and no amnesty for illegal immigrants

Taxes: Promote the “Fair Tax” which

Of Note: Unlike Romney’s spotty “liberal” past, Goode has been consistently ultra-conservative throughout his career

Learn more at: http://www.goodeforpresident2012.com/


Justice Party

Candidate: Rocky Anderson

Bio: Mayor of Salt Lake City from 2000 to 2008

Hometown: Logan, Utah

Vice President: Author Luis J. Rodriguez

Ballot: On the ballot in 15 states, eligible as a write-in for 19 states

Abortion: It’s a choice best left up to a woman and her doctor

Civil Liberties: End the Patriot Act; stop the death penalty

Economy: Increase the minimum wage to at least $10 per hour; pursue a green economy

Environment: Address climate change; end fracking

Foreign Policy: Reduce defense spending; be a moral leader

Gay Marriage: Supports full marriage equality

Healthcare: Affordable health care for all Americans

Immigration: Streamline the immigration process; respect our immigrant heritage

Taxes: Progressive taxation; incentives for local manufacturers

War on Drugs: Considering pardoning non-violent drug offenders

Of Note: Anderson recently left the Democratic Party because he felt it was being bought by the same interests that run the Republican Party

Learn more at: http://www.voterocky.org/


Party for Socialism and Liberation

Candidate: Peta Lindsay

Bio: Activist and graduate of Howard University

Hometown: Born in Virginia, raised in Philadelphia

Vice President: Yari Osorio, native of Colombia

Abortion: Protect women’s right to choose

Economy: Having a job should be a constitutional right; defend unions

Education: Should be free and a constitutional right; end student debt

Environment: Ending capitalism will stop the for-profit environment-harming practices

Foreign Policy: Shut down military bases and bring troops home

Gay Marriage: Opposes any LGBT discrimination

Healthcare: Free healthcare for all

Immigration: Stop raids and deportations; full rights to immigrants

Taxes: Power must be taken from the super rich

War on Drugs: End the mass incarceration of minority communities

Of Note: Because she is only 28, Lindsay would be constitutionally ineligible to serve as President even if she wins

Learn more at: http://www.pslweb.org/votepsl/2012/


Peace and Freedom Party

Candidate: Roseanne Barr

Bio: Comedian, TV personality

Hometown: Salt Lake City, resides in Big Island, Hawaii

Vice President: Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist

Economy: Create green jobs; end the Federal Reserve

Education: Forgive existing student loans

Environment: Preserve natural resources; promote green jobs

Foreign Policy: Stop feeding the military industrial complex; make war obsolete

Gay Marriage: Laws should not restrict who people love

Immigration: End racial profiling under guise of immigration laws

War on Drugs: Reform drug laws; legalize marijuana

Of Note: Barr ran for the Peace and Freedom Party after losing to Stein in a bid for the Green Party nomination

Learn more at: http://www.roseanneforpresident2012.us/


Reform Party

Candidate: Andre Barnett

Bio: Entrepreneur and model

Hometown: Born in Zanesville, Ohio, resides in Poughkeepsie, New York

Vice President: Kenneth Cross

Economy: Grow new jobs by giving corporations incentives

Education: Give power back to the states

Foreign Policy: Stop foreign aid; get America’s orders in affair before occupying other countries

Guns: Strongly in favor of protecting the 2nd Amendment

Healthcare: Reduce the government’s role, but regulate insurance premiums

Immigration: Stop illegal immigration

Taxes: Simplify tax codes; lower corporate tax rate for companies that bring jobs back to America

Of Note: According to Buzzfeed, Barnett has a soft core gay porn past

Learn more at: http://andrebarnett2012.com/main/


Related Stories:

The Case for Not Voting

So Much for the Third Party Bid

Do We Need a Third Party Presidential Candidate?


Candidate photos originate from campaigns' respective media kits


Sue H.
Sue H5 years ago

The system has been need of a change for quite some time.... we just don't seem to be able to get it done.

Suzanne L.
Suzanne L5 years ago

I had read about Jill Stein before. The others I didn't know they were in politics.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G5 years ago

Oh yes I have!
For me it would be Jill Stein, Roseanne or Rocky...even though I'm not an American.
It is as Stephen G. states; "And screw America's corrupt two-party system."

Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Nelson Petrie
Nelson Petrie5 years ago

Instead of the normal two-party system, America would be better off with a multiparty system. Unfortunately, the powerful American media do not focus on the third-party members many of whose policies (especially people like Jill Stein of the Green Party and Cheri Honkala) make more sense than profiteers like Romney and gutless guys like Obama.

J.L. A.
JL A5 years ago

thanks for helping make sure we here could know their names

Terry V.
Terry V5 years ago

What about the "Sesame Street party"???

ELMO for President!!!

Adam C.
Adam C5 years ago

And after Jill and Cheri were arrested, they were shackled to chairs for 8 hours. It took an enormous amount of effort and resources for them to get on the ballot in the first place, and this is how the duopoly handles them.

Adam C.
Adam C5 years ago

Thank you!!! The only reason it is 'unrealistic' for a 3rd party to win is because that is how the media / election is rigged. Here is just one recent example:

"Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and vice-presidential candidate Cheri Honkala were arrested Tuesday as they attempted to enter the grounds of the presidential debate site at Hofstra University. Like other third-party candidates, Stein was blocked from participating in the debate by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Republican and Democratic parties."


Gina H.
Gina H5 years ago

I know where you're coming from Stephen G. Obama has really screwed up on environmental issues. I'd rather vote my conscience but if we were to replace the number of conservative corporate whores on the dole (on both sides) we'd stand a better chance to get the president to build environmental protections with teeth. Part of me would rather not vote at all for either. But I hate the Romney/Ryan regieme that much and feel they would be disastrous to the environment and wildlife so I'm voting for Obama. I admire your conviction here though. Many of us have been too afraid to vote for another party because of the way the US political system has been built to support the Dems and Repubs.