EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire Elections

December 2, 2011

Roemer works to get his message out there

DERRY — Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer yesterday said he's in the New Hampshire GOP primary field to stay.

But, he said, he also will pursue the Americans Elect nomination to get his anti-corruption, political reform message heard.

"I have not been given that chance," Roemer said, protesting his exclusion from nationally televised Republican debates.

"I intend to walk on that stage sometime, somewhere, some night and talk to you," Roemer said in an interview with The Eagle-Tribune editorial board.

Americans Elect is a nonpartisan organization whose directors include former New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman, retired Adm. Dennis Blair who oversaw U.S. intelligence, and retired Hallmark Cards Inc. CEO Irvine Hockaday Jr.

The Washington-based group is letting voters nominate their own ticket outside the Democrat and Republican controlled system through Internet balloting.

The organization's aim is get the nominee on the ballot in all 50 states.

"We're happy to see he's interested in running," Americans Elect chief operating officer Elliot Ackerman said yesterday. "We welcome all candidates."

Roemer said he was attracted to Americans Elect because he could maintain his Republican Party membership.

Americans Elect requires presidential and vice presidential nominees be of different parties or independent.

"I'm a Republican, I'll remain a Republican," Roemer said. "I'm proud to be one."

He has served Louisiana both in Congress and as governor. He was a Democrat when elected to Congress, but led the "Boll Weevil" Democrats who aligned themselves with President Ronald Reagan.

"The reason I like Americans Elect is they will allow you to maintain your party membership," Roemer said. "I wanted to be honest and tell the public I will remain a Republican, I will be in the Jan. 10 election in New Hampshire — I love New Hampshire — I will appeal to independent-minded Republicans and independents here."

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