Dwight French spent over three decades working as a mathematical statistician for the federal government before he retired—experience that the Silver Spring resident wants to bring to the nation's top position.
French, 64, of the Colesville neighborhood, is running as a write-in, unaffiliated candidate for president of the United States.
Having spent only about $1,000 of his own money to campaign, French told Patch that he doesn’t have any delusions of grandeur—he’s confident he won’t garner more than a few hundred votes.
So, why is he running? We asked, and he answered.
Patch: Why did you decide to run for president? What is that process since you’re not affiliated with a party?
Dwight French: I just submitted a certificate of candidacy to the Maryland Board of Elections as a write-in candidate, unaffiliated. To be allowed to be a candidate for president of the United States, that’s all you really have to do.
As to why I decided to run, I’ve had this in mind, and in one way or another have been working on it for about a year. I frankly am not at all happy with the way that either of the major political parties have conducted themselves, are addressing major issues of the day.
They spend entirely too much time raising money and they are too much beholden to the interests of those that provide them the money.
Quite frankly, both of our major parties have been complicit in bringing us to a point where this country is getting itself into significant financial difficulty. It is about time we realized that we have been doing, particularly the last 12 years, has to stop and it has to stop sooner rather than later.
Patch: You said that you were a life-long Independent—do you typically vote for Independent candidates?
French: I tend to look at candidates as best I can and vote for whomever I think is best along the choices I have. I have voted for political independents in the past, I have also voted for Republicans and Democrats as best as my judgment strikes me to. In 1980, I voted for John Anderson who was an independent candidate in that election.
When I am able to find out about independent candidates, a lot of independent candidates, myself included, a lot of people don’t know about and they’re not going to vote for someone they don’t know about, obviously.
The campaign is going about as you would expect a campaign to go that has no financial input. There’s an icon on it that says “do not donate” and if you click on it you will find a statement that I made that I am neither soliciting nor do I want contributions from any individuals or corporate entities. The reason being I want all of my own positions and opinions to be recognized as mine and not influenced by anything from outside. I have spent a very limited amount of money for certain things for myself, it’s less than $1,000, so far, of my own money.
To be honest, obviously a candidacy like this is a billion to one shot. The only way that one would run a candidacy like this and have any hope of even possibly being competitive is, in this electronic day and age, you put yourself out on the web and it caught fire. People looked at it and said, “this is great and I’ll pass it out” and so on. tTat was my whole take on the candidacy that I decided to undertake, that people would notice it and whoever noticed it would pass it on and it would sort of accelerate on its own merits or it wouldn’t and to be honest, so far, it hasn’t.
I’ve put myself out there, I’ve talked to people one-on-one and in small groups, and so forth and in those types of situations I feel that people have received me positively, but there’s no indication that, as a result of that, knowledge of me has spread by leaps and bounds beyond those people that I have interacted with directly.
Patch: What types of people have you been talking to and what do people say they are concerned about?
It’s mostly private citizens, it’s not like I’ve been talking to big organized groups. People I’ve been talking to have the same big three concerns you hear about in general. One is our economic situation and our debt, number two is jobs and number three is entitlements, especially Medicare. There’s a lot of concern about Medicare and what’s going to happen to it out there.
I speak to people when I have an opportunity to speak to people—people that I encounter informally. I’m not trying to push myself onto particular groups per se. What I was figuring was I was going to touch basis with the population in general and either those people that I interacted with would take what I say to heart and pass it on to others or they wouldn’t and my electronic communication with the country would either grow or it wouldn’t and so far it hasn’t and I accept that.
If people aren’t enthused enough or motivated enough by what I have to say, then fine. They can vote from among the choices that they have—and they can still vote for me.