Lesser-known NH primary candidates

January 8, 2008 4:31:44 PM PST
You may not know their names, but that doesn't mean they don't want a vote in New Hampshire.While Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain capture the headlines, there are actually nearly two dozen other people on the ballot in Tuesday's primary.

It's not a rematch of the 2004 senate race, but both Alan Keyes and Barack Obama are on the ballot in New Hampshire. Keyes' name is one of 21 on the Republican primary ballot.

Also listed: John Cox, the perennial conservative candidate from Chicago. The Democratic ballot is equally "robust."

"I go into it with the intention to win. You can't do this unless you have that intention," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, (D) presidential candidate.

This run is Ohio Congressman Kucinich's second run for the White House. In 2004, he got three-and-a-half percent of the vote. Kucinich shows voters a photo of himself from high school, a 97-pound third-string quarterback. He said he likes the roll of underdog, even an unrecognized one.

So what would possess someone with little or no chance of winning to enter this race in the first place?

"One of the beauties of the New Hampshire primary is we really offer a level playing field. Anyone who believes they're qualified to be President of the United States can enter the New Hampshire primary and potentially win," said Gov. John Lynch, (D) New Hampshire.

All it takes to get on the presidential primary ballot there is a check for $1,000 made out to the Secretary of State. If you don't have the cash, they'll let you on if you produce signatures from ten regular voters who live in ten different counties.

As you can imagine, that creates a climate for some colorful characters to enter the race. You need only stop at the name of Republican candidate Vermin Supreme to prove that point.

"I am the Vermin Supreme and that makes me the most qualified candidate in this race," the faux caricature says in his YouTube video.

Vermin Supreme is a prankster/street performer who's only run for imaginary office before. We caught-up with him, where else? YouTube.

"I believe it'll be a very spiritual and uplifting experience," the character says in an Internet video.

For the majority of those on the ballot, sending a message is the motivation, even if winning is a long shot.

"I can't say it's a challenge, it's my life's work, a commitment I made 40 years ago to go into public service," said Kucinich.