In my (many) years at The Bee, we've always said there's a local angle to every story. So here's a local angle on Tuesday's presidential primary in California: There's a local man in the race. Seriously.
Jeremy Hannon of Manteca is one of 11 certified write-in candidates for president.
Why didn't I tell you about Hannon earlier? Because he just decided to run, right after Ron Paul announced he would no longer actively campaign. With Rick Santorum out of the race as well, Hannon decided there needed to be another choice for Republicans. So he jumped in.
"I am hoping to influence the direction of the election ... maybe improve turnout, get some discussion going," Hannon told me in a phone conversation last week.
But why president? Why not a local position where he might have a better chance? "In a lot of races, I saw good people," Hannon said. He's excited about Elizabeth Emken, who is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, and thinks there is a better crop of candidates for Assembly and state Senate than for president.
He's been a Republican all his life and a regular voter. He thinks his generation is giving up, and he's not ready to do that. "I am not saying I am the choice," Hannon said, "I want to give people another choice."
I asked him where he'd put himself on the left-to-right spectrum. Toward the right, he answered, but not the extreme right. He doesn't agree with some Republicans' anti-environment sentiments. As we talked, he was en route home from work via BART, the bus and the ACE train.
In our phone conversation, Hannon came across as articulate, concerned and better informed than some people who actually get their names on the ballot.
He was a 1995 graduate of East Union who went to Delta College, got bored, went to work and eventually landed in the Silicon Valley during the dot-com era. Today he works full time in Concord in the computer field. Unlike some candidates, he isn't just looking for a job.
Running as a write-in candidate for president requires some paperwork, but not a lot else. You have to be a natural-born citizen and a resident of the U.S. for 14 years. And you must be 35 years old. (Hannon is 34, but has a birthday before the November election.) There is no filing fee for write-in candidates.
Many voters think that being a write-in candidate just means encouraging your family and friends to write your name on the ballot. But those write-in votes are never counted, which is why Mickey Mouse and his pal Donald Duck never show up on the official results. You have to be a certified as a write-in to have your name counted.
So at some point two or three weeks after the primary, Hannon will know how many people admired his gumption or his ideas, which he spelled out on a blog http://jeremyhannon.blogspot.com under the heading "How Hannon sees the world."
Of course Hannon won't win this race. Write-in candidates almost never win, even in small local contests. But he'll add a little local flavor to what has turned into a ho-hum presidential primary in California.
Sly is editor of the Opinions pages. Contact her at (209) 578-2317, or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @judysly.