By: Emma Shinn
After months and months of tedious campaigning from countless cookie-cutter candidates, some legitimately exciting news has finally emerged from the Republican party regarding a possible Presidential nominee. An unlikely (but completely qualified) candidate from right here in Ripley, West Virginia has made national headlines by recieving a huge number of write-in votes in the Republican primaries. Agriculture teacher and local farmer Craig Canterbury is rapidly shaping up to take the nomination.
Canterbury has been running a quiet, grassroots campaign for well over a year now. He was a relatively unknown option until a small group of supporters took to the internet, launching a viral campaign on his behalf. After posting hundreds of tweets, Facebook statuses, and blog posts, the group finally came to national attention after having a segment run about them on “The Today Show. “
Overnight, the Canterbury for Our Country campaign had taken the Republican party by storm. Because the campaign was largely unfunded, Canterbury’s name did not officially appear on a single ballot in any of the primaries. Rather, all of his votes came from write-ins resulting from the media attention surrounding the movement. When asked about his platform and the sudden success of his political endeavor, Canterbury had this to say:
“I never really set out to get our party’s nomination. I sort of got dared into it by some of my FFA students, to be honest. I’ve thought about politics quite a bit in the past, and while I’m not known for being quiet about things, I haven’t really expressed a lot of my opinions. I thought, what the heck, the best time to do that would be during an election. And so I ran for President as sort of a joke, and somehow it turned into all this.”
Canterbury’s platform is pretty simple. He and his supporters feel that leaders of both political parties have lost touch with “real” American citizens, and that in order to turn things around, we need to get an “average Joe” into the White House. Canterbury’s campaign staff is playing up his image as an average, working American who volunteers in his community and invests in our future by being an educator. They point out that while Canterbury doesn’t have any “big business” experience, his farm has been a commercial success in his area in the past.
Anyone looking to donate funds to or get more information about the Canterbury for Our Country campaign can do so by searching for the campaign title pretty much anywhere online. Think of it as a scavenger hunt, but with internet links! And for those of you who are of age, remember to get out and vote May 8, whether you’re voting for Canterbury or not.