Pro-Life (politician)

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Pro-Life
Personal details
Born Marvin Thomas Richardson
August 5, 1941 (1941-08-05) (age 72)
Carbon County, Wyoming
Political party Independent (2006-present)
Constitution Party (until 2006)
Spouse(s) Jean Benson (1964–1982)
Kirsten Faith Richardson (1982–present)
Children Fifteen[1][2]
Residence Letha, Idaho
Alma mater Brigham Young University
Occupation Organic farmer
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) (until 1998)[2]
Nondenominational Christianity (1998–present)
Website prolifeidaho.com

Pro-Life (born Marvin Thomas Richardson; August 5, 1941) is an Idaho politician and organic strawberry farmer known for his strong opposition to abortion, which inspired him to change his name.[3] He lives in the unincorporated community of Letha, Idaho.[4] He has made several unsuccessful runs for political office in Idaho and has been labeled a perennial candidate.[5] Having stated his intention to continue running for office until his death,[3][6] Pro-Life is a candidate in the 2014 Idaho gubernatorial election.

Early life and career[edit]

Born Marvin Thomas Richardson, Pro-Life was born in Carbon County, Wyoming. He played basketball in high school and attended Brigham Young University on an athletic scholarship but was eventually cut from the varsity basketball team. He graduated from BYU in 1967 with a degree in political science after serving as an LDS missionary in Arizona, California, and Nevada.[2]

Pro-Life has worked as an organic farmer since 2002, mainly farming strawberries. He has previously worked as an accountant, a coal miner, and a salesman of irrigation equipment and Caterpillar parts.[2]

Political career[edit]

As Marvin Richardson, Pro-Life first ran for public office in 2004, when he challenged Republican Kathy Skippen for a seat in the Idaho House of Representatives. Skippen won 78% to 22%.[7]

Having legally changed his middle name to "Pro-Life" in 2004,[2] Richardson filed for the 2006 Idaho governor's race as Marvin Pro-Life Richardson.[3] The Idaho Secretary of State's office would not allow Richardson to appear on the ballot with his new middle name, although he could be listed as Marvin P. Richardson. Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said, "We've made it clear to him since March we were not going to put 'pro-life' on the ballot, and that's still our position. The ballot is not supposed to be a forum for political expression—it's supposed to be as neutral as it can be."[8] Richardson was invited to participate in the 2006 gubernatorial debate, but did not respond to his invitation in time.[9] Initially, Richardson was the Constitution Party's candidate in the 2006 gubernatorial election,[10] but the Constitution Party of Idaho disavowed him. That year, he had his name changed to simply "Pro-Life," but still appeared as Marvin Richardson on the ballot.[8] In the election, he received 1.62 percent of the vote, behind Democrat Jerry Brady and the winner, Republican Butch Otter.[11]

In 2008, Pro-Life ran as an independent for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Larry Craig. That year, he was allowed to appear on the ballot as "Pro-Life." The executive director of an Idaho pro-life group expressed concern that voters would mistake Pro-Life's name on the ballot for a position rather than a candidate.[12] Such fears led to a qualifier next to Pro-Life's name on the ballot: "(A person, formerly known as Marvin Richardson)".[13] He has appeared thus on all subsequent Idaho ballots. He received 1.34 percent of the votes in the race, behind Libertarian Kent Marmon, independent Rex Rammell, Democrat Larry LaRocco, and the winner, Republican Jim Risch.[14]

In 2010, Pro-Life ran for governor for a second time.[15] He came in fifth in the race, behind Libertarian Ted Dunlap, independent Jana Kemp, Democrat Keith Allred, and the winner, Republican Butch Otter.[16]

Pro-Life was a candidate for Idaho's 1st congressional district in the United States Congress in 2012.[17] He ran against incumbent Republican Raúl Labrador and Democrat Jimmy Farris. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Pro-Life's 2012 campaign was entirely self-financed.[18] The incumbent won the race.[19]

He is currently running his third campaign for Governor of Idaho in the 2014 gubernatorial election.[6][20]

Political views[edit]

Pro-Life believes that abortion is murder, and supports charging doctors who perform abortions with murder.[12]

He opposed the Troubled Asset Relief Program as a candidate in 2008, citing concerns that its implementation would result in "a total fascist dictatorship run by the bankers."[21] He opposes war undertaken without a declaration of war by Congress.[17] He also opposes public education, which he considers to be communist.[3] After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, he suggested allowing Idaho sheriffs to organize groups of armed volunteers to protect schools.[6]

As of February 2014, Pro-Life and his wife affiliate with the paleoconservative Independent American Party, which does not have ballot access in Idaho.

Personal life[edit]

Pro-Life is a vegetarian.[3] As Marvin Richardson, he married Jean Benson in 1964, but they divorced in 1982.[2] He has been married to Kirsten Faith Richardson since 1982. In 2006, she ran for the Idaho House of Representatives as the Constitution Party nominee against Republican Steven Thayn, receiving 3,026 votes (24.56%).[22] Pro-Life encouraged her to run for this position, despite their conviction that women should not work outside the home.[23]

Formerly a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Pro-Life left the church in 1998, as the church does not ascribe personhood to the unborn.[2]

Electoral history[edit]

Idaho House of Representatives, District 11: Results 2004[7]
Year Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2004 Kathy Skippen 11,216 77.9% Marvin Richardson Constitution 3,189 22.1%
Idaho Governor: Results 2006–2010[11][16]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2006 Jerry Brady 198,845 44.11% Butch Otter 237,437 52.67% Marvin Richardson Constitution 7,309 1.62% Steve Gothard Libertarian 7,241 1.61%
2010 Keith G. Allred 148,680 32.9% Butch Otter 267,483 59.1% Jana Kemp Independent 26,655 5.9% Ted Dunlap Libertarian 5,867 1.3% Pro-Life Independent 3,850 0.85%
United States Senate for Idaho: Results 2008[14]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2008 Larry LaRocco 219,903 34.11% Jim Risch 371,744 57.65% Rex Rammell Independent 34,510 5.35% Kent Marmon Libertarian 9,958 1.54% Pro-Life Independent 8,662 1.34%
Idaho's 1st congressional district: Results 2012[7]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2012 Jimmy Farris 97,436 30.8% Raúl Labrador 199,489 63% Rob Oates Libertarian 12,264 3.9% Pro-Life Independent 7,605 2.4%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pro-Life (21 October 2010). "Governor: Pro-Life Q&A". Interview with The Idaho Press-Tribune. Nampa, Idaho. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "About". Pro-Life. Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Ames, Michael (31 October 2010). "The Candidate Named 'Pro-Life'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Richert, Kevin (16 March 2010). "Idaho elections: Brad Little files for lieutenant governor". Idaho Statesman. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "In Idaho, a Candidate for Governor Takes the Legal Name 'Pro-Life'". Namecandy.com. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Popkey, Dan (17 December 2012). "Deputize armed volunteers to protect schools, says perennial Idaho candidate Pro-Life". Idaho Statesman. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Ysursa, Ben (2 November 2004). "November 2, 2004 General Election Results". Secretary of State of Idaho. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Russell, Betsy Z. (19 September 2006). "Turmoil rends state Constitution Party". Idaho Public Television. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Idaho Debates 2006: Governor". Idaho Public Television. Retrieved 14 January 2008. 
  10. ^ Butts, Mike (6 April 2006). "No ‘Pro-Life’ allowed on ballot". The Idaho Press-Tribune. Archived from the original on 19 September 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Ysursa, Ben (7 November 2006). "November 7, 2006 General Election Results". Secretary of State of Idaho. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Butts, Mike (20 March 2008). "'Pro-Life' gets name on ballot this year". The Idaho Press-Tribune. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Sample General Election Ballot". Blaine County Clerk/Auditor/Recorder. 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "November 4, 2008 General Election Results". Secretary of State of Idaho. 4 November 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  15. ^ Pro-Life (29 October 2010). "Governor: Pro-Life essay". The Idaho Press-Tribune. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "November 2, 2010 General Election Results". Secretary of State of Idaho. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  17. ^ a b "Candidate profile: U.S. Rep. District 1, Pro-Life (formerly Marvin Richardson) (I)". Coeur d'Alene Press. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "Congressional Elections: Idaho District 01 Race: 2012 Cycle". Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Simpson, Labrador wins underscore Idaho GOP power". Idaho Press-Tribune. November 7, 2012. 
  20. ^ Popkey, Dan (1 February 2014). "Fulcher, Balukoff put money where their mouths are". Idaho Statesman. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Butts, Mike (25 September 2008). "Idaho officials, candidates weigh in on federal bailout". The Idaho Press-Tribune. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  22. ^ Ysursa, Ben (7 November 2006). "November 7, 2006 General Election Results". Secretary of State of Idaho. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  23. ^ Kirsten, Wife of Prolife, Pro-Life, archived from the original on 2012-04-15, retrieved 4 October 2012 

Further reading[edit]

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