Elect The Beard: Westerville man enters presidential race

WESTERVILLE, OH (WCMH) – You have another option for President.

Westerville resident Ben Hartnell is throwing his hat in the ring. One of his campaign slogans vows to “Make America Bearded Again.”

The bearded candidate is an American History teacher at Westerville North and holds an Educational Doctorate in Teacher/Educational Leadership. He believes in a solid education for America’s students and in lower taxes.

“We are a legit candidate and now we’re going after all the other states,” says Hartnell.

Hartnell started the campaign as a lesson in the electoral process.

“How does someone like me run for president without a political machine backing you?” he says.

He routinely wears era-appropriate attire to help get his lessons across, so the red, white, and blue ensemble you see in his pictures was a natural choice. Last week, he was verified by the Ohio Secretary of State as a write-in candidate.

“Any vote for Ben Hartnell in the fall is actually gonna show up in the official election results,” says Hartnell.

Hartnell’s stance on the issues is pretty simple. He’s letting you decide what’s important via his ElectTheBeard.com website. But he says his 6’4” stature will make sure world leaders literally look up to the US President.

Hartnell’s six-year-old, Fraser, says his dad’s the perfect choice.

“Because he’s a good friend and he has big muscles and he’s a very good friend,” Fraser says.

His running mate and cousin Dave Marshall lives in Lansing, Michigan, so we spoke to him via Skype. He says his 20 years in the medical field mean he’s equipped to solve the nation’s healthcare crisis.

“We are definitely the best option available. No question,” says Marshall.

Even Hartnell’s neighbors are on board.

“I certainly love him as a neighbor, so I think it’s pretty neat,” says Westerville resident Kristen Hankins.

So, when you go to the polls this November, you have a local choice.

“2016 you’ve got yourself write-in candidate right here, right now Ben Hartnell,” he says.

The pair is waging a write-in candidate attack on the establishment.

You can meet them at the Fourth Friday Celebrations in Uptown Westerville through September.


Friday, July 22nd
Friday, August 26th
Friday, September 23rd

Or you can tune into NBC4 tonight at 5pm to make your choice.

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