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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bob Ely
Personal details
Robert Moulton Ely

1958 (age 62–63)
Connecticut, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materYale University (BA)
WebsiteBob Ely for President 2012

Robert Moulton Ely (born 1958) is an American entrepreneur and former investment banker. He challenged President Barack Obama in several primaries for the Democratic Party's 2012 presidential nomination, and Donald Trump for the Republican Party's 2020 presidential nomination.

Early life

Ely was born in Connecticut in 1958 to Harriet and John Ingraham Ely. His mother, the daughter of the New Haven Register and Journal Courier owner John Day Jackson, was also a newspaper owner. Ely's father was a lawyer and partner at the firm Wiggin & Dana.[1]

Ely attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study engineering, but transferred to Yale University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1980.[2][3] He recounted that while at Yale, "my academic achievements and alcohol consumption would have embarrassed [George] W. [Bush]."[3]


After graduating from Yale, Ely moved to Chicago, Illinois. He was initially unemployed, but found work with Nuveen Investments. For an 18-year period as an investment banker, he also worked at Merrill Lynch[4] and served as managing director at Dillon, Read & Co.,[2] which was later taken over by UBS.[4]

In 2000, Ely left the banking industry and became an entrepreneur and private investor.[5] That year, he worked as a consultant and acting president for SeafoodAlliance, LLC until 2001, when he founded the M&M Investors Firm with Michael C. Morton, and became interim CEO for PayDQ Services.[2] In 2010, Ely purchased the weekly community newspaper, The Canton Press-News Journal of Canton, Missouri with partner Phil Calian. Ely remarked that he had wanted to buy such a publication for the previous three years due to the belief that "small newspapers – especially those who know how to embrace their community and provide relevant news and local information – have great futures."[6]

2012 presidential campaign

Campaign ad run by Ely in the New Hampshire Union Leader
Campaign ad run by Ely in the New Hampshire Union Leader

In 2011, Ely grew concerned about the economy and national debt. Because he was "tired of bitching and moaning",[7] he opened a campaign website titled "" and filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president as a Democrat, reasoning that "if [Congresswoman] Michele Bachmann can run for president, I can, too."[3] On his website, he expressed support for spending cuts and higher taxes and promoted a "jobs bank" to allow businesses to create new positions and hire new employees, who would then receive a minimum wage salary from the government in lieu of unemployment benefits.[5] He lists "two dozen good reasons not to vote for me" on the site,[3] and refers to himself as a "jerk", explaining that he has such an attitude "because I am angry, scared and fed up with what passes for political discourse and leadership in this country."[8] In a later interview with Wikinews, Ely remarked that the intent of the website was to combine "humor, some outrageousness and a cogent 'platform' [to] make me a safe protest vote."[5]

Ely filed for the January 2012 New Hampshire Democratic primary in 2011.[9] To spread his message, he bought space in local newspapers and sent out 145,000 mailers to homes throughout New Hampshire, asking, "Are you pissed-off enough to vote for a jerk?" For the primary, he told The Portsmouth Herald that he had spent $200,000 of his own money,[3] including the $1,000 filing fee.[10] Among the field of 14 candidates on the ballot, Ely finished seventh with 287 votes for 0.47 percent of the total.[11] In additional primaries, his numbers steadily improved. At the March 6 Oklahoma primary, for which he paid $2,500 to appear,[12] he finished in fifth place with 5,318 votes for 4.72 percent.[13] At the March 24 Louisiana primary, whose filing fee was $1,125,[14] he came in third, behind only Obama and attorney John Wolfe, Jr., and won 9,897 votes for 6.57 percent.[15] After this, his strongest showing, Ely sent out a letter, later published by Politico, which explained that in Louisiana without buying any advertisements or campaigning, he was able to win 120 voting precincts and out-paced President Obama in 457 precincts. He speculated that "most [of the votes] came from those who concluded 'I’ve never heard of this guy so he can’t be any worse than the rest of these clowns.' It seems a strange indictment of our political establishment that obscurity becomes an asset."[16]

After prison inmate Keith Judd won 41 percent against President Obama in the West Virginia Democratic primary, Ely was featured in a Politico article as "an aspiring Keith Judd".[17] He paid $2,500 to appear on the May 29 Texas primary ballot, and was listed alongside Obama, Wolfe, and historian Darcy Richardson.[18] A contributor to The Hays Free Press of Hays County, Texas speculated that some Texas Democrats may vote for Ely, "on the hopes he is kin to Joe Ely, who belts out good songs on the radio."[19] Ely won about 2.4 percent of the vote in Texas and received a plurality in King and Loving counties.[20]

2020 campaign

In November 2019, Ely got on the ballot in several states for the 2020 presidential primary, running as a Republican.[21][22] In the 2020 New Hampshire Republican primary, Ely received 65 total votes.[23]

Personal life

In 1983, Ely married freelance illustrator Alice Fairchild Moulton, and both assumed the last name Moulton-Ely.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Robert Ely Weds Alice F. Moulton". The New York Times. September 18, 1983. p. 75. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "M&M Partners – Principals Page". M&M Investors, LLC. 2006. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e Dinan, Elizabeth (January 8, 2012). "'Jerk' running for president". The Portsmouth Herald. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Two Dozen Good Reasons Not to Vote for Me". Bob Ely – Democrat for President. Bob Ely for President Committee. 2011. Archived from the original on January 28, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Wikinews interviews Bob Ely, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama". Wikinews. May 26, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  6. ^ "Canton newspaper is sold". Hannibal Courier-Post. July 14, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Well I care (2)". Bob Ely for President Committee. 2011. Archived from the original on February 2, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  8. ^ Leubsdorf, Ben (January 5, 2012). "From the fringe: Bob Ely". Concord Monitor. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  9. ^ Sadin, Steve (January 10, 2012). "Lake Forest Resident Challenges President in New Hampshire Democratic Primary". Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch. Patch Media. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  10. ^ McCord, Michael (January 8, 2012). "New Hampshire's primary ballot filled with lesser-knowns". The Portsmouth Herald. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  11. ^ "New Hampshire Democratic Delegation". The Green Papers. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  12. ^ Associated Press (December 7, 2011). "Three Democratic challengers to Obama file in Oklahoma". Tulsa World. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  13. ^ "Oklahoma Democratic Delegation 2012". The Green Papers. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  14. ^ Anderson, Ed (December 7, 2011). "Mitt Romney becomes first presidential candidate to qualify for Louisiana primary". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  15. ^ "Louisiana Democratic Delegation". The Green Papers. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  16. ^ Ely, Bob (April 2012). "Who Voted For Me". Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  17. ^ Mahtesian, Charlie (May 10, 2012). "Meet Bob Ely, an aspiring Keith Judd". Politico. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  18. ^ Winger, Richard (December 15, 2011). "Texas Democratic Presidential Primary Ballot Has Three Candidates So Far". Ballot Access News. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  19. ^ Barton, Bob (May 16, 2012). "Election predictions: Local and not-so-local". The Hays Free Press. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  20. ^ "Election Map 2012: Live Voting Results – TX". Politico. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  21. ^ Landrigan, Kevin (November 16, 2019). "2020 NH presidential candidate lineup". New Hampshire Union Leader.
  22. ^ Herman, Ken (December 2, 2019). "Herman: So far, Trump missing from Texas primary ballot". Statesman.
  23. ^ "Live Results: New Hampshire Republican Primary". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-02-17.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 January 2021, at 02:14
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