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When they finished counting the votes in Tuesday’s Republican and Democratic primary elections in West Virginia, the two expected candidates won: Mitt Romney on the GOP side and Barack Obama for the party of the donkey.
But the candidate who pulled down 70,000 votes was not someone named Paul, Romney or Santorum.
It was Keith Judd, who pulled down just over 40 percent of the vote in the Democratic presidential primary.
Judd is a felon currently serving time in a federal pen in Texas. When all the votes on the Democratic side, Judd got 40.6 percent to Obama’s 59.4 percent.
It’s that kind of political year. Romney won the GOP side with nearly 70 percent of the vote. The only remaining candidate on the GOP side — maverick Texas Republican Ron Paul — finished third — a percentage point behind Rick Santorum, who’s no longer a candidate.
Gotta wonder what they’re saying at the Democratic National Committee offices and at the White House. A felon pulls 40 percent of the vote against an incumbent President? Here at Capitol Hill Blue, we’ve seen a lot of strange happenings in this crazy election year.
How, exactly, did a felon doing time for making threats at the University of New Mexico in 1999 end up on the West Virginia ballot anyway? Well, it seems that all you have to do to get on the ballot in wild and wonderful West Virginia is filed a notarized petition of candidacy and pay a $2,5000 fee.
Judd had the money and has done this thing before. He ran for President in 2008 in the Idaho primary and got 1.7 of the vote, finishing far behind Obama and Hillary Clinton.
But in West Virginia, Keith Judd got 72,459 votes. That only about 5,000 votes less than Romney received on the GOP side. The other GOP candidates who is still running, Ron Paul ,received 12,263 votes — one fifth the total of a convict.
Of course, both Romney and Paul can take some solace from the fact that about 180,000 Demcorats voted in the primary, compared to just over 120,000 on the GOP side.
It’s been that kind of year.