Project White House Candidates Dominate Ariz. Presidential Primary Ballot

The list of candidates for Arizona’s Feb. 28 presidential primary is complete, and Project White House 2012, the Tucson Weekly‘s reality journalism competition, is underway.

At least 10 of the 23 Republicans on the ballot and at least half of the Green Party candidates are participating in Project White House 2012, which gives the candidates the chance to win the Tucson Weekly‘s endorsement.

“We’re thrilled to have so many candidates participating in Project White House,” said Jim Nintzel, senior writer for the Tucson Weekly and chief administrator for Project White House. “We are confident that our candidates have just as good a chance of winning Arizona as Newt Gingrich does.”

Project White House candidates won the top five spots in a random drawing of names at the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Of particular note: Legendary Tucson guitarist Al “Dick” Perry landed the No. 4 spot on the Arizona GOP presidential ballot at a random drawing of names for ballot order at the Arizona Secretary of State’s office earlier this week. That puts him well ahead of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is at the No. 17 spot.

“I hope that doesn’t confuse our voters,” Secretary of State Ken Bennett told the Tucson Weekly. “I think that people who support Rick Perry will vote for Rick Perry and hopefully they’ll notice the distinction between Rick Perry and Al ‘Dick’ Perry.”

To land a spot on Arizona’s presidential primary ballot, candidates merely have to fill out a two-page form, have it notarized, and send it to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office. Arizona requires no nominating signatures, no ballot fees and no birth certificate to land a spot on the Feb. 28 ballot.

Candidates participating in Project White House will campaign via YouTube, the Project White House blog, FaceBook and other social media outlets. The grand prize for the best candidate is Tucson Weekly‘s coveted presidential primary endorsement.

In 2008, when Tucson Weekly sponsored the first Project White House, half of the 48 candidates on the Arizona presidential primary ballot participated in Project White House. One candidate, Democrat Sandy Whitehouse, captured more votes than former Alaskan Sen. Mike Gravel.

This year, Arizona Democrats have withdrawn from the presidential primary, so candidates seeking the White House must run on the Republican or Green Party ticket.

“It appears Arizona Democrats may have been worried that President Barack Obama could have been upstaged by a dark-horse, Project White House candidate in Arizona,” said Nintzel. “But people still have a chance to run as Republicans, and judging from the polls, GOP voters remain unhappy with the choices that they have, so this is a chance for fresh faces to win the hearts and minds of the nation.”

Full details are available at

For more information contact Jim Nintzel at 520-360-9364 or e-mail