Joe Schriner (born March 3, 1955) is an American political activist and journalist. Schriner has run for the United States presidency in five consecutive election cycles spanning from 2000 to 2016. He has primarily run as an independent candidate, but he also ran as a Republican during the early portions of the 2010 and 2016 presidential election cycles. He also vied unsuccessfully for the Green Party presidential nomination during the 2008 election cycle.
Before becoming a perennial candidate, Schriner spent a significant amount of time travelling across the United States and conducting ad hoc interviews with individuals he met. Schriner purports that these subjective experiences leave him better-informed about national social, political, and economic issues than experienced policymakers. He has been interviewed by numerous media outlets over the years and has spoken at various colleges and universities.
Schriner has been billed as "average Joe" in the media. He is also sometimes referred to as "Joe the Painter." He is currently self-employed as a house painter. In addition, he is a free-lance writer for his hometown newspaper, The Bluffton News.
Early life and education
Schriner spent his freshman year at Bluffton College in Ohio. After taking a year off from school to work, he transferred to Bowling Green State University. He majored in journalism, wrote for the college newspaper, and completed an internship as a reporter on Ohio’s Troy Daily News. Schriner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Bowling Green State University in 1978.
Schriner began his career as a journalist after college for the Sandusky Register. He was assigned as a bureau reporter to cover Huron, Ohio. He wrote about the town government and issues facing the local school division, in addition to various human interest features. Schriner left the Register after two years.
In 1983, Schriner began working at a halfway house in Lorain as a drug and alcoholism counselor. The halfway house was a 90-day treatment program run operated by the Lorain County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LCCADA). During the next two years, Schriner pursued seminar studies to become a certified drug and alcoholism counselor. After receiving this certification, he became an outpatient counselor (also with LCCADA), specializing in both individual and group counseling. Schriner eventually developed one of the first outpatient treatment models in the Midwest for "adult children of alcoholics". He later went into private practice in Cleveland, specializing in drug addiction, alcoholism, and addictive family system dynamics in the late 1980s.
Cross country research
In 1990, Schriner phased out his private counseling practice and took to the roads of America to begin extensive cross country research that would eventually lead to him running for president. He traveled some 100,000 miles from 1990 to 1998 interviewing people about a wide variety of issues. Information from these interviews would then be plugged into extensive position papers.
During this time, he also became a "lay Catholic speaker" talking in numerous churches throughout the country about such topics as: abortion; euthanasia; the poor; environmental stewardship. (He believes in a Consistent Life Ethic and a good deal of his political platform revolves around the precepts of Catholic Social Teaching.)
Schriner declared to run for U.S. President the first time with a speech at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA, on April 30, 1999. He initially declared as a Republican candidate, but then switched to independent after George W. Bush won the Republican Primaries. During that campaign, Schriner and his family were on the road 19 continuous months and traveled 20,000 campaign miles. The family did a number of what they referred to as Americana Tour Routes: Old Route 66; the Old National Pike; the Lewis & Clark Trail, to name a few. For this campaign, they also did a 2,000-mile Back-to-Basics Tour through the Midwest on bicycles. His travels for this campaign are chronicled in the book: Back Road to the White House.
Schriner ran again in 2004, with him and his family logging some 40,000 campaign miles. They, again, did tours with Americana themes: the Country Music Highway; the "Black Belt Region" Tour; a "Coast-to-Coast" Tour. In addition, the Schriners campaigned heavily in Ohio this election, including a 1,300-mile Buckeye Trail Tour. A hallmark of the campaign is doing regular, and impromptu, "back road stumping" on small town street corners, in diners and in village parks. In addition, during this time he talked at the University of Dayton, the University of Toledo, and Greenville College.
2008 and 2012
During these two campaigns, the Schriner family accumulatively traveled some 50,000 miles. Besides the small town stumping, during this time Schriner also talked at Holy Cross College, the University of Notre Dame, LaGrange College. The family also did an extended "Immigration Border Tour" looking at Hispanic Immigration issues, as they traveled the San Joaquin Valley looking at farm worker issues. During part of these campaigns, the Schriners also moved to a hardscrabble area of Cleveland, Ohio (just west of the inner city) to do outreach work with the Catholic Workers there. In between campaign tours, the Schriners lived in Cleveland for five years. Schriner wrote the book America’s Best Urban Neighborhood about the family’s experiences in Cleveland. After the Cleveland experience, the Schriners moved back to Bluffton in 2011. Schriner has also written two books about Bluffton: America’s Best Town and America’s Best Town 2. He writes that Bluffton has the "best quality of life" when it comes to such things as town camaraderie, civic activism, outreach to the poor, environmental stewardship, and downtown vibrancy. These are all qualities that he emphasizes in his political platform.
In keeping with the grassroots nature of Schriner’s campaign, he initially put up a campaign flier on a general store bulletin board in Beaverdam, Ohio, in October 2014. Schriner subsequently declared his candidacy in a podcast on the home page of his official campaign website. This marks his fifth consecutive run for president.
Schriner, a journalist, has traveled the country extensively, interviewing a wide variety of people for a comprehensive series of lengthy position papers on many topics of the day. The lynchpin of his campaign revolves around a "Consistent Life Ethic" that sets him against abortion, euthanasia, poverty, global warming, nuclear proliferation, violence on the streets and anything else that can end life prematurely. Schriner was one of the featured speakers at the Consistent Life 25th Anniversary Conference in Chevy Chase, Maryland (March 9–11, 2012). Schriner has also repeatedly said that he and his wife Liz are running as "concerned parents" from the Midwest.
Shortly before the 2016 election Schriner and his family moved to Steubenville, Ohio.
- "What Drives the Perennial Candidates?" (NPR online) -- Campaign 2012
- "Average Joe Schriner visits T’ville" (WALB News 10 online) -- Campaign 2012
- "Average Joe Tours State: Ohio resident makes 4th bid for presidency" (Amarillo Globe News) -- Campaign 2012
- "Not Your Average Joe" (The Post-Journal) -- Campaign 2012
- "Presidential Candidate Average Joe Schriner Visits Rome" (Rome News-Tribune) -- Campaign 2012
- "A Catholic President?" (University of Notre Dame Joe talk: 1/27/10) -- Campaign 2012
- "Presidential Candidate Makes Stop in Plainview" (MYPlainview.com) -- Campaign 2012
- "Not your average Joe? Maybe I’ll vote for Joe Schriner" (Catholic Online) -- Campaign 2008
- "'Average Joe' runs for president" (NPTelegraph.com) -- Campaign 2008
- "Schriner comes to Wooster Campaigning for White House" (The Daily Record) -- Campaign 2008
- "Average Joe for president" (New West) -- Campaign 2008
- "Average Joe for prez" (Pike County News Watchman) -- Campaign 2008
- "Buckeye Ballot Also Includes Lesser Known Names" (The Athens Messenger) -- Campaign 2008
- "Average Joe Brings Campaign to Conneaut" (Star Beacon) -- Campaign 2008
- "Presidential Candidate Visits Tifton" (The Tifton Gazette) -- Campaign 2008
- "'Average Joe' returns to area" (The Herald Star) -- Campaign 2008
- "He’s not your average Joe. Ohio resident Joe Schriner runs for president" (State Line Observer) -- Campaign 2004
- "An average Joe Comes to Wilcox" (Wilcox Range News) -- Campaign 2004
- "'Average Joe' Makes White House Bid" (CadillacNews.com) -- Campaign 2004
- "Not Your Average Joe Presidential Candidate Stresses Common Sense Platform" (The Daily Jeffersonian) -- Campaign 2004
- "A van, a message and a mission" (Christian Science Monitor) -- Campaign 2000
- "Average Joe rides for president" (Ludington News) -- Campaign 2000
- "Independent Presidential Candidate Supports Radical Change" (The Digital Universe / Brigham Young University) -- Campaign 2000
- "Average Joe Hits the Campaign Trail (Road to the White House is Tough without the Millions)" (Savannah Morning News) -- Campaign 2000
- America's Best Town (ISBN 1932303243 ISBN 978-1-932303-24-7)
- America's Best Town 2 (ISBN 159526129X ISBN 978-1-59526-129-8)
- Back Road to the White House (ISBN 1595262776 ISBN 978-1-59526-129-8)
- "In the 2008 presidential campaign it was Joe the Plumber. In 2012 it's going to be Joe the Painter". Star Beacon. January 14, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
- "Schriner 2016 declaration speech podcast". www.voteforjoe.com. September 12, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
- "A van, a message, and a mission". Christian Science Monitor. February 8, 2000. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
- "Green Party Presidential Candidate Forum talk, Reading, PA". July 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "College Talks". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- ""Average Joe" Runs for President". The North Platte Telegraph. May 25, 2004. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
- "Joe the painter running for president". LaGrange Daily News. March 5, 2010. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
- "Making a Living". www.voteforjoe.com. September 12, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
- "Bluffton News (pen name: "Average Joe") multiple stories". September 17, 2005. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
- "Slider on Joseph Charles Schriner". 2008. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- "Joe the Quarterback". www.voteforjoe.com. September 12, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- "Troy Daily News article, 1977". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "University alumnus runs for United States President". BG News. September 23, 2003. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Sandusky Register (Huron Bureau) article, 1978". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "The Metropolitan News (Toni Morrison article), 1982". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Lorain County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse newsletter article, addendum note, 1985". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Cross Country Travels audio and text". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Joe as a Lay Catholic Speaker". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Catholic Online, Editorial: Not your Average Joe. Maybe I Will Vote for Joe Schriner?". July 10, 2008. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "Article reprints: Agua Viva newspaper (Las Cruces, New Mexico, Catholic Diocese), Universe Bulletin (Cleveland, Ohio, Catholic Diocese); articles appeared during Campaign 2004". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Campaign 2000 candidate Party listings". USA Today. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- "Independent Presidential Candidate Supports Radical Change (The Digital Universe / Brigham Young University)". October 12, 2000.
- "Campaign Tours 2000". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Average Joe rides for president (The Luddington News)". July 19, 2000. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- "Average Joe makes White House Bid". Cadillac News. June 16, 2003. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- "Tours of 2004". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Joe's Campaign Tour Overview". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Stumping". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "University of Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns Talk Archive, this talk on: January 27, 2010". Archived from the original on September 25, 2015.
- "Joe Tour Maps, 2006". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Joe the Volunteer". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Joe's positions". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "2016 Declaration Speech by Joe Schriner". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Also-Rans: What Drives The Perennial Candidates?". NPR. September 23, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Life Issues". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Consistent Life 25th Anniversary syllabus" (PDF). Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Presidential Candidate Makes Stop in Plainview". Plainview Daily Herald. May 29, 2010. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "NBC News, Wired, house painting, stumping, voting… Jonathan's question". VoteForJoe.com. November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
- "About Family". www.voteforjoe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Not Your 'Average Joe'". The Post-Journal. August 14, 2009. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- Vote for Joe Official Site
- Joe Schriner's Political Courage Test
- American Solidarity Party — 3rd Party which endorsed Joe Schriner in 2012
- Joe's Official Facebook page
- Joe's WikiNews Interview from Campaign 2012
- Joe Schriner Newspaper Columns
- Joe Schriner Campaign Positions
- Joe Schriner Campaign Tour Maps
- Joe Schriner College Talks
- Joe Schriner college text book essay in book: Social Justice (Opposing Viewpoints), Greenhaven Press *essay on Native American issues
- Joe Schriner Videos
- Joe Schriner Blog
- Joe Schriner's Family