Stewartville man running for president in 2016 — sort of
His name may be posted alongside the likes of Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, but David Larm isn't quite ready to consider himself a serious contender in the 2016 presidential campaign.
"I know I can't win," Larm said in a phone interview this week with the Med City Beat. "I don't have the time or the money for a serious campaign."
Larm, a 52-year-old telecommunications worker from Stewartville, recently filed paperwork with the Federal Election Campaign to enter the presidential race.
He's one of more than 440 people in the country — including at least five in Minnesota — who have filled out the necessary forms so far. That number has been growing steadily for the past few months and has already surpassed the 419 people who filed for the 2012 election.
The vast majority of candidates (excluding the 20 or so listed here) have no real experience, campaign structures or funding.
So why do it? Well, for one it's easy. The entire process only takes about 15-20 minutes and can be done entirely online. There's no fee or ID verification. Candidates don't even have to provide financial disclosure forms unless they actively start fundraising.
Plus, as the National Journal found out earlier this year, announcing a presidential bid offers average people a way to challenge the system.
"I don't like any of the candidates running," Larm said, who moved to the area about 15 years ago after spending a decade in the Navy. "I rather vote for myself than waste my vote on the lesser of two evils."
Filing is easy. Actually campaigning for president — now that's difficult. Just to get a name on Minnesota's ballot, independent candidates must file a petition containing 2,000 verified names. Then there's media interviews, speeches, fundraisers, debates and so on.
Larm said he'll start with a Facebook page, and see where it goes from there.
"A lot of my family and friends feel exactly the way I do: largely disconnected from the process," he said. "It's unfortunate that the American people aren't being represented at all."