PHOENIX — Arizona Democrats who are not impressed with the three main contenders for president are going to have some alternatives.
The list of those running in the March 22 Presidential Preference Election includes those who would be expected: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. All managed to qualify by Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline.
Also on that list is Henry Hewes of New York. He’s a Republican who switched parties in 2008 over his opposition to the war in Iraq.
Aside from his stance to get American military out of the Middle East, his platform is a mix of issues from both parties.
On one hand, he wants to outlaw abortion, repeal the Affordable Care Act, seal the border and abolish the income tax in favor of a European-style value-added tax. But Hewes also wants to break up big banks and re-establish the “Fairness Doctrine” that required TV and radio stations to provide balanced coverage of issues of public importance.
And if that doesn’t interest Democrats, they have another choice: Roque De La Fuente, a businessman from San Diego.
He appears to share Hewes’ interest in withdrawal from the Middle East and elsewhere, saying on his website that nothing in the U.S. Constitution “gives us the responsibility or authority to serve as the ‘police force’ of the world.” De La Fuente said hostile countries and terrorist groups justify their hatred of the United States “upon our unwanted occupancy of their land.”
He also supports more renewable energy, though through incentives rather than mandates. And De La Fuente also decries the increasing national debt.
And Florida attorney Michael Steinberg hopes to be the Democrat nominee, promoting stronger ties and military support for Israel, allowing those not here legally to earn citizenship, and decreasing the use of fossil fuels through taxes.
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Over on the Republican side, the choices are more predictable — if not more numerous.
As of the deadline, 14 presidential hopefuls had qualified:
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush;
Retired surgeon Ben Carson;
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie;
North Carolina resident Tim Cook;
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz;
Former Hewlett Packard executive Carly Fiorina;
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham;
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee;
Ohio Gov. John Kasich;
Former New York Gov. George Pataki;
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul;
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio;
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum;
Businessman Donald Trump.
Two people are seeking the Green Party nomination: Jill Stein and Kent Mesplay.
The Libertarian Party has opted out of the preference primary.
The candidates’ order on their respective party ballots will be chosen Tuesday.
Anyone who wants to vote in the preference primary has to register no later than Feb. 22.
Unlike regular state primaries, where independents can vote, this one is “closed.” Only those registered with one of the three parties can cast ballots, and only for that party’s candidates