Republican Sarah Gonzales, who earned the Tucson Weekly's endorsement by winning our Project White House competition, finished sixth in Arizona's Republican presidential primary.
Gonzales had 1,538 votes as of noon on Monday, March 5. She clobbered former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, who got only 689 votes, and trailed Texas Gov. Rick Perry by just 473 votes.
Gonzales, who described her unexpectedly strong showing as "crazy," suggested that, as the only woman on the GOP ballot, she was an attractive candidate to Republicans who are unhappy with the discussion of women's rights by the four GOP front-runners—and their surrogates, such as Rush Limbaugh, who made headlines last week for referring to a woman who testified before Congress about contraception as a "slut" and a "prostitute."
"I think Republican women and some Republicans in general are tired of extremist views, but there are no other options for them," Gonzales says. "So me just existing—I don't think they knew my opinions or my views—gave them an option. With women's bodies right now, it's so crazy. It's a battleground. There's a war being waged on women."
Despite coming in sixth on the Arizona ballot, Gonzales was leaning toward suspending her campaign for the presidency rather than taking it to the convention later this year.
"Somebody asked me if I was going to be Mitt Romney's running mate, but I thought it was a ploy to get me to self-deport, so I said no," said Gonzales, who told the Weekly that she intends to remain a Republican for the time being to see how it works out.
Gonzales was one of a dozen Republicans who participated in the Weekly's Project White House competition, which encouraged ordinary citizens to seek the U.S. presidency, as well as the Weekly endorsement.
Local musician Al "Dick" Perry—who enjoyed a hot streak out of the gate with mentions on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show, the Talking Points Memo website and Texas Monthly—racked up just 310 votes, including family members throughout the state.
Perry suggested his placement in the No. 4 spot on the ballot cost him votes, because many of his supporters may have been looking for his name at the bottom of the ballot, and therefore inadvertently voted for Rick Perry, whose name was 17th on the ballot. "I think Rick Perry stole a lot of votes away from me," Perry said.
He added that we won't have Al "Dick" Perry to kick around anymore, at least in the political realm.
"I'm not cut out for politics," Perry said. "The people have spoken."
The tally for some of the other Project White House candidates:
Cesar Cisneros, who apologized to his fellow Americans in the first Project White House debate when it collapsed in disarray over the outing of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu: 416 votes.
Mark Callahan, who didn't participate much outside of filling out the Project White House questionnaire: 357 votes.
Michael Levinson, who promised to "change the course of human history on our water planet" if he were allowed to make a globalized speech to mankind ("I speak, I win"): 216 votes.
Ronald Zack, who confessed right away that his "main purpose in running is to enrich myself and some of my friends, legally through collateral benefits of the office, and to have the opportunity for unlimited travel with members of my extended family": 153 votes.
Charles Skelley, the semiretired engineer with a zeal for restoring Adam Smith's invisible hand of the marketplace: 57 votes.
Peter "Simon" Bollander, who laid out his plans to change America in an ambitious 10-star program: 54 votes.
Among the Green Party members on the ballot, our endorsement could not put Richard Grayson ahead of the campaign juggernaut of Tucsonan Michael Oatman among Project White House candidates. Oatman and Grayson tied at 39 votes apiece.
Gary Swing, the Colorado cinnamon-roll aficionado, won 30 votes.
All three candidates finished just behind Kent Mesplay of San Diego, who is one of two Green Party candidates competing in other states for the Green Party nomination. Mesplay got only 48 votes, losing to Jill Stein, who got 381 votes.