In this diary earlier today we learned the story of an elderly veteran who went for his daily outing to his local rec center while wearing an Obama T-shirt. He got crosswise with election law because the center was also functioning as an early voting polling place in his Texas community, and campaign messages were not allowed. Several people commented that this was not possible because there was not a primary election for President in the Democratic Party. Obama could not be on the ballot, so an Obama T-shirt could not possibly run afoul of election law.

As a Texas resident I will be going to cast my (early) votes in the next few days. I will have four choices for President on my Democratic Primary ballot. Go below the Itzl to learn more about who those candidates are (and which one actually has a bit of traction due to "anybody but Obama" voters in the Democratic party.

The first choice on my sample ballot is Barack Obama. I think most here pretty much know who this candidate is, so I won't spend any time introducing you to him.

The next option I have is John Wolfe. His message is likely to resonate with a number of DKos posters who want a far more progressive choice. (this does not explain why he is doing somewhat well in decidedly non-porgressive states)
From his campaign web site

Why John Wolfe is Challenging Obama for the Democratic Nomination?
by John Wolfe

Barack Obama’s leadership has been shaped too much by the office and too little by the ideals that got him there. Sadly, no one is leading the way to restore progressive values in our country’s top office. I, for one, will not stand idly by.

America needs an alternative to what we have in the current club of presidential candidates – what I call the duopoly of Democrats and Republicans who sadly have shown little difference on the critical issues facing America today.

The interests of the Pentagon, Wall Street, and corporations have dominated Obama’s administration. And loyal Americans, taxpayers and small businesses are paying a heavy price as a result.


Some recent media coverage

Wolfe, an attorney from Tennessee, tells NRO the new poll numbers indicate Democrats’ discontent with their standard-bearer. “He doesn’t understand them,” he says. “I think it’s more manifest in the health-care area. I think they would like something different.” For his part, Wolfe promises to repeal Obamacare……
Wolfe’s critics might claim that he’s a Republican in disguise, but the candidate says he’s a progressive through and through. He notes that Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, whom he describes as “perfect,” were progressives. “Republicans are not doing what I would like them to do,” Wolfe says. “They weren’t always this way. Even Ford and Nixon would still stand up against industrial waste and pollution. They would stand up against corporate greed.”
Arkansas won't award any delegates to a lawyer running against President Barack Obama in Tuesday's primary, despite predictions that he could pull significant support in a state where the president is unpopular, the state Democratic Party announced Thursday.
Party spokeswoman Candace Martin said John Wolfe hasn't complied with Arkansas' delegate selection rules and hasn't turned in two mandatory documents. Martin said the national party has told the Arkansas Democratic Party that delegates Wolfe might claim won't be recognized at the national convention.
Wolfe, who filed paperwork with the state on March 1 and paid a $2,500 filing fee, blasted the party's decision.
"The people of Arkansas will speak, and if they want to disenfranchise the people who vote for John Wolfe it'll be a terrible reflection on the Democratic Party nationally and in Arkansas," Wolfe said.

Next on my ballot is Darcy G. Richardson

Darcy Richardson: ‘Why I’m Running for President’
by Darcy G. Richardson • October 26, 2011
While it was my fervent hope that a candidate of national stature and credibility would challenge President Obama in the 2012 Democratic primaries, I have entered my name in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary to offer my fellow disillusioned Democrats a choice.
The growing sense of political hopelessness, frustration and alienation symbolized in the fledgling Occupy Wall Street movement represents a much larger national trend.
I hope that my candidacy, as limited as it may turn out to be, might in some small measure restore a belief in American politics and American government, reinforcing the notion that real change can be achieved at the ballot box.

His reported campaign website is www.darcy2012.com. It resolves to:Uncovered Politics

About Uncovered Politics
Uncovered Politics proudly covers Republicans, Democrats and those working outside the major parties with an emphasis on the stories that most other media outlets overlook.  The site was founded in May of 2010 by Darcy G. Richardson and Austin F. Cassidy.
The only 'news' coverage I could find about Mr. Richardson that wasn’t an article written by Mr. Richardson himself was this (note that the story is as much about Wolfe as about Richardson):
The only question is whether Obama's re-nomination will be unanimous, and that rests in part on whether Chattanooga, Tenn., attorney John Wolfe Jr. can successfully sue the Louisiana Democratic Party to force it to give him the three or more delegates he appeared to have won in the state's binding March 24 primary.

On that score, Wolfe has won an ally in Darcy G. Richardson, who finished fourth behind Obama, Wolfe and "Bob" Ely in the in the primary, and considers it petty and undemocratic that the party is denying Wolfe the right to claim his delegates because he failed to identify an authorized representative in the state and failed to file a statement of "full participation" with the party…..

Shortly after the Louisiana primary, Richardson wrote Texas Democratic officials to ask that they remove Wolfe from that state's primary ballot because, he argued, Wolfe's failure to file any campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission violated that state party's loyalty oath. But a state party official replied to Richardson "we cannot remove someone from the ballot because of FEC violations."
The question at issue is whether Wolfe has exceeded the fundraising and spending thresholds that require him to file reports with the FEC, which has said he will eventually do.

That spat aside, Richardson and Wolfe are both liberal critics of the president.


Lastly, we have Bob Ely.
From his campaign web site we have

Before you consider my candidacy, read TWO DOZEN GOOD REASONS NOT TO VOTE FOR ME:
These include
1. If You’re Unemployed, I’ll Get You a Job THAT You Might Not Like
2. I Want to Make it Easier for You To Get Fired
3. I Will Raise Taxes on the Wealthy and Maybe the Not So Wealthy
4. I’ll Dream Up Lots of Other Taxes
5. I will cut the defense budget
6. I will slash all other spending

Almost no media coverage, but Politico weighs in with:

In light of Texas inmate Keith Judd's surprising 41-percent performance against President Barack Obama in West Virginia, another little-known Obama foe insists Judd isn't the only Democrat putting points on the board against the incumbent.
Bob Ely writes:

I don’t have the good looks, winning personality and street cred of Keith Judd, but I did manage to win a few votes in Louisiana and Oklahoma without stepping foot in either state, much less spending any money. ….. Ely, who got 5 percent in Oklahoma and 7 percent in Louisiana, sends along this letter, excerpted below:…… My 9,897 votes creamed Buddy Roemer’s. OK, that’s a bit apples and oranges since Buddy was on the Republican ballot. But Buddy is a former governor of Louisiana ? pure political royalty ? and I’m a mid-west suburbanite who has never held public office.


So yes, there is (and has been) a Democratic Primary for President underway. No doubt you will have a preferred candidate in that "invisible" race.


Who is your preferred candidate in the Democratic Presidential Primary?

52%19 votes
27%10 votes
5%2 votes
5%2 votes
8%3 votes

| 36 votes | Vote | Results

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