Keith Judd, the former Texas convict, is out of prison.
He’s tanned, he’s rested and he’s ready.
He’s still got his iconic pony tail, a super mullet of sorts.
It’s his trademark.
Oh, and he’s also running again for President of the United States.
At least in West Virginia, Texas and a handful of other states, that is.
Yup. He’s on the ballot.
Lookout Hillary and Bernie.
Back in 2012, Judd, then Federal Inmate No. 11593-051, made a splash and caused major embarrassment for President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party by winning 10 West Virginia counties — inlcluding Logan and Mingo — and taking 41 percent of the vote in the state’s Democratic presidential primary.
Judd did so well he even qualified to have a delegate at the Democratic National Convention, by winning at least 15 percent of vote. The necessary paperwork to do so was not done, however, and no Judd delegate stepped forward.
Judd was among the presidential candidates who officially filed to run with the Secretary of State’s Office ahead of last Saturday’s deadline. The West Virginia primary is May 10.
He’s expected to have a tougher go of it this time around since Obama, deeply unpopular in the Mountain State, cannot seek a third term and will not be on the ballot.
Also filing on the West Virginia Democratic Party ballot for president are Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Roque Rocky De La Fuente and Huntington native Paul T. Farrell, Jr. O’Malley suspended his presidential campaign after a poor showing in Monday’s Iowa Caucus.
On Election Day back in 2012 in West Virginia’s Democrat Primary, many voters were stunned to see another name running against Obama.
Judd, who was incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas, where he served a 210-month sentence for extortion, paid the necessary $2,500 filing fee and submitted a notarized “certificate of announcement” to appear on the ballot.
Since Obama was so unpopular in West Virginia, many ended up voting for Judd by default.
Only later did many of those Democrat voters find out that he was sitting in a prison cell.
To some, it didn’t matter.
Judd was the benefactor of voter anger and ended up doing his best in the southern Coalfields.
Despite the competition from natural gas and worsening market conditions, many in the coal-producing counties of West Virginia blame The Obama Administration and its tightened EPA standards for the loss of thousands of coal mining and coal-related jobs.
Voters then took their revenge by casting their ballot for “the other guy,” or “anyone but Obama,” on Election Day. It was seen as the ultimate protest vote. A reported 20,000 Democratic Party ballots were also left blank in the spot for President.
Judd, 57, was most successful in Mingo County, beating Obama by a stunning 20 points — 60.1 percent to 39.9 percent. Judd also carried Logan County by 14 points and won in eight other counties, including neighboring Boone, Lincoln and Wyoming. He narrowly lost in a few other counties, coming within a mullet hair of winning Wayne County.
Judd spoke recently with WVMetro News via phone interview from Midland, Texas, where he currently lives and works and talked about the 2012 election and his surprising success.
“It was a sizable vote. West Virginia had something to say and, I think, they used me to voice their concerns,” Judd said. “A lot of people said a lot of it was a negative vote against Obama.”
Judd, a musician and self-declared former member of the Federation of Super Heroes, reeled in 73,138 votes statewide to Obama’s 106,770. He later reportedly contested those results claiming he had won the state and filed suit.
Judd served a sentence for extortion in connect with alleged threats he made at the University of Mexico. He has maintained his innocence.
Judd was released from prison in 2013 but returned after allegedly violating his terms of probation. He was released again in 2014, according to reports.
Judd’s presidential platform includes returning to the vision of the Founding Fathers, reform of the US Judicial System, legalization of marijuana, ending the costly “War on Drugs,” support for the Second Amendment and his stance that the Obama Care penalty is Unconstitutional.
He’s also opposed to same-sex marriage and said it should have been left for the states to decide and not the unelected US Supreme Court.
“A lot of it is the same reason why some people wanted to be declared independent from England,” Judd told Metro News. “Seeing that the government has really come away from representing the people and the people have been stripped of their ability to really run the government.”
He is also steadfastly against Obama’s “War on Coal.”
“Obama’s War on Coal is supposedly to reduce carbon emissions, and reduce global warming. But in effect, this has been a War on People, especially people in West Virginia and Wyoming,” Judd writes in his blog. “Obama has caused coal mines to be shut down. Obama has directly attacked the jobs of people and devastated peoples’ lives and the economy of the entire State of West Virginia. Obama has reduced working people of West Virginia to poverty.
“Obama failed to consider people first. At times it appears that Obama was specifically attacking people he does not like. With the PEOPLE FIRST principle, the Federal Government should first consider carbon capture and storage. Other alternatives are available, rather than Obama’s War on Coal. The people must take charge of the Federal Government, as Government is supposed to serve the people.”
Judd is also no fan of Donald Trump, the Republican Party front-runner, who came in second in Monday’s Iowa Caucus to Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
“The old saying is that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Well, now it is Donald Trump and his Wealthy Class that are killing the Middle Class in the United States,” Judd says in his blog. “There is only so much wealth in this country and in the world, and when the rich are getting richer, the wealth is being sucked out of the Middle Class. Now we have a Middle Class that is strapped in debt and will never own a house in their lifetime. Trump and his Wealthy Class are the new Economic Slave-Masters cracking the whip on economic slavery.”
Official filings for U.S. President
In West Virginia:
Chris Christie — Republican (Mendham, N.J.)
Hillary Clinton — Democrat (Chappaqua, N.Y.)
Ted Cruz — Republican (Houston, Texas)
Roque Rocky De La Fuente — Democrat (San Diego, Calif.)
Carly Fiorina — Republican (Lorton, Va.)
Keith Judd — Democrat (Midland, Texas)
Marco Rubio — Republican (West Miami, Fla.)
Donald J. Trump — Republican (Manhattan, N.Y.)
Jeb Bush — Republican (Coral Gables, Fla.)
Ben Carson — Republican (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Paul T. Farrell, Jr. — Democrat (Huntington, W.Va.)
David E. Hall — Republican (Stuart, Fla.)
Mike Huckabee — Republican (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.)
John R. Kasich— Republican (Westerville, Ohio)
Martin O’Malley — Democrat (Baltimore, Md.)
Rand Paul — Republican (Bowling Green, Ky.)
Bernie Sanders — Democrat (Burlington, Vt.)
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).