'Lesser-known' from Ross ready to shake things up in New Hampshire
Talk about a propulsive political storyline.
The Iowa caucuses were intriguing but provided no definitive answer to the question destined to make Tuesday's New Hampshire primary riveting, even to the presidential campaign's most casual observers.
Do Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio stand a chance against Matt Drozd?
The Republican front-runners didn't have to worry about the former Allegheny County councilman in the Hawkeye State. You can bet their bleary-eyed campaign strategists have been spending late nights devising ways to attempt to neutralize him.
Drozd brings to the race the locomotive-force momentum that comes with paying $1,000 to call oneself a presidential candidate, even if only momentarily. That's the amount 58 White House aspirants each spent to get their names on the crowded New Hampshire ballot.
The majority of them are referred to by locals as “lesser-knowns.” Most of them have as much chance of winning the primary as (Spoiler Alert!) Cinderella's pumpkin had of remaining a stagecoach after midnight.
Drozd, 71, of Ross realizes the glass Florsheims in which he'll traipse around New Hampshire this weekend could have a limited lifespan.
“I know I'm going to get blown away,” he said cheerfully when asked to predict where he'll finish. “But I still think I'm more qualified than most of the candidates to be president.”
Drozd hopes his platform of a stricter immigration policy, overhauling Obamacare and focusing the nation's counterterrorism efforts on biological threats will resonate with voters. The odds are against it.
Lesser-knowns traditionally get vote percentages so small they can't be seen, even with the world's most powerful microscope — a state-of-the-art Hitachi with a resolution of 43 picometers, which is less than half the radius of most atoms. Drozd at least appears to be poised to finish ahead of other lesser-knowns, given his resources in:
• Money: “I've spent about $400 so far,” he said. If the ballot fee is included, that impressive total jumps to a staggering $1,400.
• Advertising: “I have about 2,400 pamphlets I plan on distributing,” he said.
• Ground support: “A friend of mine is going up to New Hampshire with me,” he said. “We're going to hit the Starbucks and Paneras and get the message out to people.”
Drozd likely instills more fear in the front-runners than lesser-knowns such as Walter Iwachiw, a New York City registered nurse; Chomi Prag, a Wisconsin attorney and author of the courtroom thriller “Cult of Mirrors”; and Kevin Huey, a Denver real estate agent who has proposed combating oil spills with an invention he dubs “The Sucking Bubble.”
Having purchased their political vanity plates, those candidates probably will drop out after Tuesday. But in a move that should greatly concern Cruz, Trump and Rubio, Western Pennsylvania's lesser-known revealed his campaign's ambitious post-New Hampshire plan.
Said Drozd: “I might leave my website up for a while.”
Eric Heyl is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.