James Hedges

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James Hedges
Jimhedges.jpg
Tax Assessor for Thompson Township, Fulton County, Pennsylvania
In office
2002–2010
Personal details
Born (1938-05-10) May 10, 1938 (age 82)
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.
Political partyProhibition
Spouse(s)Carolyn
MotherMargaret Ayres
FatherRobert Hedges
EducationUniversity of Iowa (B.A.)
University of Maryland (M.A.)
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Marine Corps
UnitUnited States Marine Band

James "Jim" Hedges (born May 10, 1938) is an American politician who served as the Tax Assessor for Thompson Township, Pennsylvania and as the Prohibition Party's 2016 presidential nominee. He is currently the only member of the Prohibition Party to be elected to public office in the 21st century, and the first since 1959.

Life[edit]

James Hedges was born on May 10, 1938, in Iowa City, Iowa to Robert Hedges and Margaret Ayres who were teetotallers for religious reasons.[1] He became interested in the Prohibition Party while in high school after reading an article in a newspaper.[2][3]

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Performance from the University of Iowa in 1960, then enlisted in the United States Marine Band, in Washington, D.C., where he played tuba for twenty years.[4][3] In 1972, he earned a Master’s degree in Geography from the University of Maryland and published widely on karst and on periglacial geomorphology.

From 1972 to 1983, he served as the editor of the National Speleological Society Bulletin. He later became a reporter and environmental columnist for area weekly newspapers and was appointed Fulton County’s first Recycling Coodinator.[5][6]

In 1980, he retired from the military and became more active in the Prohibition Party and rose to the position of Executive Secretary in 2003.[7][8][9] In 2005, he was selected as the Secretary of the Partisan Prohibition Historical Society.[10] Hedges also publishes the party's printed newsletter.[11]

Tax assessor[edit]

In 2001, Hedges secured the nominations of the Republican, Democratic and Prohibition parties through write-in ballots to appear as the only candidate for Tax Assessor in Thompson Township. He won the election, and was sworn-in in 2002 by District Justice Carol Jean Johnson.[12] He became the first official elected in a partisan election from the Prohibition Party since two members of the Winona Lake, Indiana, city council were elected in 1959.[8] Hedges was re-elected in 2005, and served until the end of his first term after the office was abolished by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2007.[8][13]

2004 presidential election[edit]

Prior to the 2004 presidential election, Hedges was involved in a schism within the party stemming from alleged misuse of funds and mismanagement by Earl Dodge, the party's long-time face. Notably, Hedges and others claimed that Dodge sold the party's headquarters for $119,500 in 1999 with intent to build on his own property, but that Dodge instead kept the money for himself and moved the headquarters to a tool shed. Dodge countered by saying that he placed the funds in a separate party account, and argued that Hedges and others who had put forth the allegations were simply disgruntled with their position in the party. Nevertheless, Hedges and his faction formed the Concerns of the People (Prohibition) Party to counter Dodge, and nominated Washington anti-alcohol activist and preacher Gene Amondson for President. Both Dodge and Hedges claimed their parties were the authentic Prohibition Party.[4][14] The split abruptly came to an end in 2007 after Dodge's death, and the reunified party again nominated Amondson for president for the 2008 election.[15]

2012 presidential campaign[edit]

After Gene Amondson's death in 2009, a vacancy opened for the Prohibition Party's 2012 presidential nomination. Hedges announced on February 18, 2010, that he intended to run for the nomination.[16] In preparation, he established a campaign website, sent out a series of postcards through the party's mailing list and contacted members of the nominating committee.[9] Despite such efforts, Hedges lost the nomination to retired engineer Jack Fellure at the Cullman, Alabama Prohibition Party National Convention on June 22, 2011.[17][18]

2016 presidential campaign[edit]

In the 2016 presidential election cycle, Hedges was initially the preferred running mate of Greg Seltzer, the Prohibition Party's Chairman who was seeking the party's presidential nomination. In April 2015, Seltzer withdrew his candidacy and resigned as the party's Chairman upon being appointed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to the Maryland Elections Board. Following Seltzer's departure from the race, Hedges became a candidate for the party's presidential nomination.[18][19]

Hedges received the Prohibition presidential nomination during a nominating convention held via conference call on July 31, 2015.[11] Hedges was a contestant in the American Independent Party Party primary in California where received 10.56% and carried Lake County.[20] The Prohibition Party's ballot access was increased from Fellure's in 2012 and attempts were made in other states, but in Tennessee two electors dropped out shortly before the filing deadline and floods in Louisiana prevented ballot petitioning in the state.[21]

In the general election Hedges appeared on the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, and Mississippi and received 5,617 votes, the best showing for a Prohibition nominee since Earl Dodge received 8,002 votes in 1988, and placed third in Arkansas County, Arkansas.[22] Following the election he was selected as the party's secretary.[23]

Electoral history[edit]

James Hedges electoral history
2001 Thompson Township Tax Assessor election[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Prohibition James Hedges 51 53.13%
Republican James Hedges 28 29.17%
Democratic James Hedges 17 17.71%
Total James Hedges 96 100.00%
Total votes 96 100.00%
2005 Thompson Township Tax Assessor election[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Prohibition James Hedges 92 100.00%
Total votes 92 100.00%
2012 Prohibition presidential ballot[26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Prohibition Jack Fellure 5 55.56%
Prohibition James Hedges 4 44.44%
Total votes 9 100.00%
2016 American Independent Party presidential primary[27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
American Independent Alan Spears 8,103 19.18%
American Independent Arthur Harris 7,216 17.08%
American Independent Robert Ornelas 7,164 16.96%
American Independent Wiley Drake 5,475 12.96%
American Independent J. R. Myers 5,475 12.96%
American Independent James Hedges 4,462 10.56%
American Independent Tom Hoefling 4,345 10.29%
Total votes 42,240 100.00%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "James Hedges Prohibition Party candidate for President in 2016". Prohibitionists. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020.
  2. ^ Gabbatt, Adam (May 11, 2016). "A sobering alternative? Prohibition party back on the ticket this election". The Guardian. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Outline of History". Prohibitionists. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Warner, Joel (2004). "Want real change? Vote Prohibition". Boulder Weekly. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
  5. ^ State Award for Journal Reporter: Mercersburg (Pennsylvania) Journal, 5 May 1993, p A-7.
  6. ^ Recycling Column Wins Award: Fulton County (Pennsylvania) News, 6 May 1993, p. B-5.
  7. ^ "Party". Public Opinion. August 24, 2016. p. 20. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ a b c "Prohhibition Party History...1872 to 2009". Prohibitionists.org. Partisan Prohibition Historical Society. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
  9. ^ a b Saturn, William S. (January 29, 2011). "Wikinews interviews Jim Hedges, U.S. Prohibition Party presidential candidate". Wikinews. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  10. ^ "Society". Prohibitionists.org. Partisan Prohibition Historical Society. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
  11. ^ a b Winger, Richard (August 1, 2015). "Prohibition Party Nominates National Ticket". Ballot Access News.
  12. ^ Winger, Richard (December 1, 2001). "Many Minor Parties Win Elections". Ballot Access News. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
  13. ^ Winger, Richard (November 25, 2005). "Two Additional Parties Won Partisan Elections on Nov. 8". Ballot Access News. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
  14. ^ Kelly, David (September 19, 2004). "The Worst Year for Prohibition Since 1933?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
  15. ^ Ahren, Raphael (February 19, 2008). "Prohibitionists abstain from alcohol, not elections". Columbia News Service. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
  16. ^ Winger, Richard (February 20, 2010). "James Hedges Seeks Prohibition Party Presidential Nomination in 2012". Ballot Access News. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  17. ^ "Convention". Prohibition Party. February 21, 2011. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  18. ^ a b Ziggler, Jed (April 22, 2015). "Greg Seltzer Resigns as Prohibition Party Chairman". Independent Political Report. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  19. ^ Garvin, Glenn (July 13, 2015). "Too many presidential candidates? What about the anarchist, socialist, prohibitionist — and cat". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  20. ^ "Prohibitionist Runs Strong in California" American Third Party Report. June 9th, 2016. Accessed August 6th, 2016. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-11. Retrieved 2016-08-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Major and Minor Third Party 2020 Ballot Access". Archived from the original on March 26, 2020.
  22. ^ "Third-Place Candidate, by county, 2016 Presidential Election". Nick Conway Blog. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020.
  23. ^ "The Head of the Prohibition Party Doesn't Care if You Drink". Vine Pair. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020.
  24. ^ "Thompson Township Tax Assessor 2001". May 17, 2019.
  25. ^ "Thompson Township Tax Assessor 2001". November 8, 2007.
  26. ^ "US President - PRB Convention". October 26, 2011.
  27. ^ "CA US President - AIP Primary". December 15, 2017.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Jack Fellure
Prohibition Party presidential nominee
2016
Succeeded by
Phil Collins