BOISE – A Constitution Party candidate for governor of Idaho is protesting a state decision to exclude his middle name, which he legally changed to “Pro-Life,” from his listing on the November ballot.
“I’m probably gonna go to court and drop Marvin, so my first name will become Pro-Life,” said Marvin Pro-Life Richardson, a 64-year-old organic strawberry farmer from Letha, Idaho. “I’m a pro-life activist. My name the rest of my life will save a few babies’ lives, so I’m not doing it just for political reasons.”
Chief Deputy Idaho Secretary of State Tim Hurst sent Richardson a letter Wednesday saying his request to include his middle name on the ballot had been denied. After consulting with the attorney general, Hurst wrote, the office determined that “the inclusion of your middle name on the ballot would adversely affect the integrity and fairness of the ballot, allowing you to make a political statement, which other candidates will not have the opportunity to do.”
Hurst said Richardson may be listed by his first and last name, or he could choose to include a middle initial, so he would be listed as “Marvin P. Richardson.”
Richardson went to court in 2004 to legally change his middle name. “The reason I gave the court was I’m a pro-life activist,” he said. He noted that his wife is using her middle name in her own run for the state Legislature from Gem County. “My wife’s middle name is Faith, and she uses that on the ballot.” He said he doesn’t expect to win. “I don’t like politicians, because they try to offend the least amount of people to get elected,” he said. “I try to offend people with the truth. … I don’t care what the consequences are in votes.”