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The Times
  • Kent Bush: Bush-Natvig top candidates from Kansas

  • I don’t guess there ever is a really good time. But this is not the time of year you want to find out Santa is not on your side. In fact, in my recent presidential campaign, Santa proved to be a real nemesis. Thankfully, the monk/child advocate who changed his name to Santa Claus never ran as a candidate in Kansas. He confined his efforts to Maryland and a few other states.


     

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  • I don’t guess there ever is a really good time.
    But this is not the time of year you want to find out Santa is not on your side. In fact, in my recent presidential campaign, Santa proved to be a real nemesis. Thankfully, the monk/child advocate who changed his name to Santa Claus never ran as a candidate in Kansas. He confined his efforts to Maryland and a few other states.
    But I think he had a big impact on my candidacy. I would rather have ended up on the naughty list than to have Santa endorse a competing candidate.
    When the state of Kansas finally tallied all of the votes and made the 2012 general election results official, Kent W. Bush and Todd Natvig received a grand total of 48 votes. Only 44 of those were from Butler County.
    We came in ninth place in Kansas. But we received more votes for president in 2012 than any other candidates from Kansas.
    Of course, Mitt Romney won the six Kansas electoral votes - which were awarded to him just a few minutes after 7 p.m. while many Kansans were still standing in line to vote at polling places - with 692,634 votes (59.7 percent). President Barack Obama, despite having grandparents who are Kansas natives, received only 440,726 (37.9 percent). 
    Libertarian Gary Johnson got 1.7 percent of the vote with 20,456, and Reform Party Candidate Chuck Baldwin got 0.4 percent of the vote with 5,017.
    Those four candidates were included on the ballot. Kansas also had 15 official write-in candidates. That is where Santa Claus (of Maryland) comes in. On Halloween, the man wears a Santa Claus costume every day dropped out of the race and endorsed Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein. Stein received 714 votes in Kansas. After a lovely email exchange with the jolly old elf, I would have really appreciated his endorsement. I feel a little betrayed. Luckily, he has a chance to redeem himself in a few weeks. We don’t have a chimney, Santa, but you are welcome to come through our window to leave my gift. It better be worth at least 714 votes.
    Coming in as the runner up of the write-ins was Virgil Goode with 187 votes. Goode was the Constitution Party candidate. He was also on the ballot in more than half of the states - although he was a write-in like me in Kansas.
    The third best write-in total went to Rocky Anderson with 95. 
    Anderson is a former mayor of Salt Lake City and represented the Justice Party in several states.
    The next highest vote-getter was none other than Roseanne Barr. She got 58 votes in Kansas. Really, Kansans? There are 58 people who call this state home that wrote this woman in on their presidential ballot.
    That is disheartening in general but specifically because that is 10 more than there were who wrote me in on their ballots.
    Page 2 of 2 - What is nice about Roseanne’s success is extrapolating it nationally. 
    She beat me 58-48 in Kansas.
    However, she received about 8,000 votes in Florida. Proportionally, that means I would have received more than 6,500 votes in Florida, and that is a really good number.
    You question my figures? It’s science, people. Don’t argue with science.
    Then came Bush and Natvig with 48 votes. We were in the top 10. I know we were at least fourth in a few precincts in and around Augusta, beating Baldwin despite the fact that we weren’t on the ballot and he was.
    Seven of the write-in candidates received zero votes here. Others received as many as 19 or as few as one. Also, the secretary of state listed our vote total as 0 percent. Would it have been that hard to include just a few more decimal places and call it 0.004 percent?
    That would have meant a lot - well four thousands of a percent - to our campaign’s supporters.
    But the results are now official.
    For our campaign, the race didn’t end up in a trip to the White House - or even Disney World.
    We did heighten readers’ awareness of the history and current inner workings of the Electoral College. We gave them an outlet to express their displeasure with the system.
    Several government teachers and college professors used the material in their classrooms.
    We drank coffee, participated in a parade and ate ice cream on election night as results were reported.
    It was three months of fun and education.
    Who knows, next time we might get 75 votes.
    Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta, Kan., Gazette.
     
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