These 5 Weirdos Ran For Office This Year
Why does it seem like anyone can be a politician lately?
In today’s political climate, not much is surprising anymore. From reality-stars-turned-politicians to politicians-turned-reality-stars, previously unelectable mavericks are now the new normal, bringing with them sometimes extreme ideas. And, during this year’s midterm elections, there has been no shortage of weirdos hoping to do just that.
From wacky to downright frightening, there’ve been candidates that claimed to be in cahoots with aliens and one that openly admitted to being a pedophile. With the November 6th general election fast approaching, OK Whatever decided to highlight some of the more bizarre people hoping to secure a seat in the government this year.
Spoiler: Nobody on this list made it past the primaries.
Michael Snyder (R)
Running for: 1st Congressional District
Hailing from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Snyder loves Trump, guns, and God. On his campaign website, he was portrayed as an affable “outsider” with good and honest intentions who got into politics to help “drain the swamp.”
He is also, it turns out, a prolific writer. Snyder has penned four books about the Biblical “end times” prophecy laid out in the Book of Revelations. According to Amazon, his third book, The Rapture Verdict, is a must-read for those who “want to be on the cutting edge of what God is doing in these last days.”
But despite Snyder’s chummy relationship with the Almighty and insider knowledge about the apocalypse, voters weren’t having it. During Idaho’s primary elections in May, he finished last, quashing his dreams of holding office.
On the flip side, he seemed to be aware of his slim chances of winning, writing on his website early on, “Whatever happens in this election, Michael and Meranda [his wife] are looking forward to the future.”
Joseph Maldonado (L)
Running for: Governor
Also known by the moniker Joe Exotic, this openly gay man has led such an interesting life that we could write a whole book about it. He currently hails from Oklahoma (but has lived in other states including Texas and Wyoming), and is a true renaissance man. He’s worked as an EMT, owned a rare pets store, and was the youngest Police Chief in Texas history. In 1999, he moved to Oklahoma and used his experience dealing with unique animals to start the G .W. Exotic Animal Memorial Foundation (now named The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park), which rescues and provides a loving home for unwanted big cats in a privately owned zoo.
After a failed presidential bid as an Independent in 2016, Maldonado is now taking a stab at being the next governor of Oklahoma. With his bleached mullet and multiple ear piercings, you would expect to run into him at a Styx concert with a Miller Lite in-hand. But you’re more likely to find him on one of his “Liberty Tour” stops throughout the state, talking about low taxes, farmers’ rights, and marijuana legalization.
His website states that he is anti-animal rights, as he thinks that laws created to protect our furry friends can be harmful to an agrarian economy. And if PETA is to be believed, Moldonado’s animal sanctuary is also a sham. The organization sent an undercover investigator to the park who claimed they witnessed dead, dying, and injured animals in extremely crowded conditions, along with “a serious lack of basic necessities,” such as veterinary care, food, and water.
Fortunately for his exotic brethren, Maldonado will not be be moving onto the general election because fellow Libertarian Chris Powell won the primary in June.
Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera (R)
Running for: 27th Congressional District of Florida
Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera looks like a real estate agent you’d see on a bus stop bench, she’s that polished and coiffed. She boasts about growing the town of Doral, a Miami suburb of just over 45,000 residents, to No. 2 in the country for economic development during her tenure on the city council. Her bilingual webpage shows that she is very involved in strengthening her community through job-growth and human rights, and that she’s helped host women’s leadership programs at several Miami-area universities.
The caveat? Rodriguez seriously believes she was kidnapped by aliens several times in her life. According to the Washington Post, she claims that tall, blond, full-figured aliens abducted her as a child and communicated with her telepathically. They told her that “God is a universal energy, not a person, it’s in everything. God talks to people and they understand it in different ways.” The aliens also told her there are 30,000 non-human skulls buried in a cave on the Mediterranean island of Malta and that the energy center of Earth is located in Africa. In addition to these tidbits that can be filed next to David Icke in the conspiracy theory annals, Rodriguez Aguilera says she also talked with the aliens about Isis (although she did not state whether it was the Egyptian goddess or the Islamic State).
But even with an endorsement from the Miami Herald and her claims of being a “positive role model” in her community for more than 40 years, Rodriguez Aguilera lost to Spanish-language television journalist Maria Salazar in the August 28th primary, walking away with only 4.3 percent of the vote. Maybe she should try running for office in another galaxy next time.
Don J. Grundmann (I)
running for: U.S. Senator
Many candidates are not afraid to say they are anti-transgender, but Grundmann, an elderly man whose steely glare and pursed lips make him look like a villain in a Muppets movie, takes it a step further. In a 250-word blurb published in the California Voter Information Guide, Grundmann went on an anti-transgender rant, claiming that “it does not exist.” A chiropractor by trade, he’s on a crusade to “save children from the transgender hysteria and to ban the transgender mutilation of children.” A photo on his website of a drag queen reading a children’s book to a room full of kids is overlaid with the caption, “They are attacking the children. Stop the mutilation of children.”
Grundmann’s dreams of creating a trans-free world were shattered on June 5th when he lost in the California primary. Because of the state’s top-two primary system (also known as a “jungle primary”), only the two candidates with the most votes get to move on to the general election in November. (This year, it was Democrats Diane Feinstein and Kevin de León.)
Grundmann did, however, manage to get 14,627 votes. And knowing that more than 14,000 people agree with him is almost creepier than his anti-trans agenda.
Nathan Larson (I)
running for: 10th Congressional District of Virginia
Besides the fact that Nathan Larson spent 16 months in federal prison for threatening to assassinate a U.S. president in 2009, he has disturbing views on women and children. According to the Huffington Post, he thinks that women should be considered property and wants to legalize sex with children and incest. Just reading about his creepy ideas will make you throw up in your mouth. To top it all off, the self-described “incel [involuntarily celibate] pedophile” loves Hitler (big surprise). He also admits to raping his first wife who committed suicide shortly after giving birth to their daughter in 2015.
Presumably because of all of the media attention he received, Larson took down his website, nathanlarson.org, on June 1, according to Snopes. For a few months, it wasn’t clear whether he was still running or not, but the website for the Virginia Department of Elections states that Larson withdrew his bid on August 13th. Phew.