Aurora -- Richard Duncan is running for president -- again. This is the fourth time the Aurora resident has thrown his hat into the ring.
Duncan said he's running to make a point that the two-party system is failing the nation.
"I think our country needs help," he said. "The two-party system doesn't accurately or fairly represent the common, ordinary voter. I don't think we really have a voice."
He said the two dominant parties -- Republicans and Democrats -- make it difficult for small parties to get on the ballot.
For example, Ohio changed the rules for gathering petition signatures, requiring him to get them all in one year rather than spread over a longer time.
"I got 9,700 verified signatures. I needed only 5,000," Duncan said. "I got more verified signatures than Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party presidential candidate."
He has gathered signatures at football games and other public events. He was at the recent Republican National Convention in Cleveland, standing with his campaign sign.
Duncan is realistic about his chances. "I'm not going to win the national election," he said. "But I'm able to convey my message if I'm a contender."
His platform has three main points: national security (specifically pushing against the terrorist group ISIS), the economy and political reform to break the power of the two major parties.
Duncan advocates creating economic zones with special tax incentives to encourage industries and businesses to come home from overseas and hire U.S. citizens.
"A major problem in the U.S. is people don't have good-paying jobs. Today, kids are going to college and just hoping they get a job. Many are unemployed in their fields," he said.
As to breaking the power of the parties, Duncan said that lies with the voters.
"Stop voting for the major parties; start voting for independents," he said. "Make them start thinking twice, when they don't get as many votes."
Duncan, 63, a real estate agent and investor, is a graduate of Kent State University with a master's degree in urban geography and training as a city planner. He started his political quest in 2004.
"When my daughter was a senior at Aurora High, I was helping her with a government class. I decided, if I was going to run for president, it was time to do it. I wrote away for the paperwork and here we are," he said.
That year he got 17 votes as a write-in candidate in Ohio.
In 2008, he was on the ballot in Ohio and got 3,900 votes -- 108 of them in Portage County.
Last presidential season in 2012, he expanded his range. He got on the ballot in Ohio, and was a write-in candidate in about a dozen states, including Florida, Maryland and Kentucky.
Duncan tallied 12,557 votes nationwide that year -- 196 of them in Portage -- and 60 write-in votes.
This year he's only on the Ohio ballot. Since he spends only $5,000 per campaign, "I have to allocate my resources," he said.
But he's also one of five presidential candidates on the ballot -- fewer than in the past two presidential cycles. "That's good for me, I guess," Duncan said.
Duncan said he plans to continue his campaign into the fall, going to events to meet voters. Last weekend he was off to the Ohio State Buckeyes game in Columbus.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4189
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