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Who are the Republican no hopers daring to take on Donald Trump?

Trump has won 833 of the 834 delegates up for grabs.

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump will be the Republican nominee for president this year.

That much is a forgone conclusion. It is not however automatically the case despite his position in the White House.

No, the party with an incumbent in the White House still goes through a primary process to select their nominee. Even if it is usually nothing more than a rubber-stamping exercise. 

Sometimes incumbent presidents do face significant challenges from within their own party, such as when future president Ronald Reagan almost deposed sitting president Gerald Ford in 1976.

But this is not one of those times. As of the latest vote, Donald Trump has won 833 of the 834 delegates up for grabs.

The race is barely being covered by US media because it is, in all seriousness, not a genuine race at all.  But there are real people challenging to Trump, so here’s a quick guide to who they were/are. 

Bill Weld

republican-bill-weld-campaigns-in-sioux-city-iowa Republican presidential hopeful Bill Weld Source: Jerry Mennenga/PA Images

Bill Weld is the only other candidate who’s won a delegate in the race. Weld picked up one delegate when he won 1.3% of the vote in Iowa. Trump won 97.1% of the vote and took the other 39 delegates. 

Weld is a former Republican governor of Massachusetts who was once nominated by Bill Clinton to be Ambassador to Mexico. 

He left the Republican Party to become the running mate of Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson in the 2016 presidential election.

Together, the pair were the most successful third-party ticket for 20 years and were blamed by some for handing the 2016 election to Trump

Weld rejoined the Republicans in 2019 in an effort to unseat Trump. He has run on a platform of economic conservatism and has pushed for “moderation on social issues”

In his first campaign video released last year, Weld also pointed to Trump’s unsettling sexist comments about women, his mockery of a reporter with disabilities, and his unfulfilled pledge to have Mexico pay for a wall on the southern US border.

He has failed to build on the single delegate he picked up in the Iowa race but this week said he would not be dropping out. 

After the Super Tuesday whitewash for Trump, Weld said he would continue to “offer Republicans and independents a credible, honest alternative to Donald Trump.”

“The need for such an alternative doesn’t end tonight, regardless of outcomes,” the 74-year-old told his supporters

Joe Walsh

ia-republican-presidential-candidate-joe-walsh Former Republican presidential candidate Joe Walsh. Source: PA Images

Joe Walsh is a former Illinois congressman but is perhaps best-known as a controversial talk show host.  

Walsh previously made an Islamophobic attack on Barack Obama, falsely saying that the former president was a Muslim. Walsh subsequently said he regretted the tweet, saying it was meant as an “ugly cheap shot”. 

Walsh has admitted tweeting other racists things in the past but has told Buzzfeed that he is not a racist.

With roots in the Tea Party movement, Walsh launched a bid to topple Trump last August saying: “The country is sick of this guy’s tantrums.” 

“He’s erratic. He’s cruel. He stokes bigotry. He’s incompetent… He’s a narcissist,” he had said of Trump. 

In the Iowa caucus he won 1.1% of the vote but dropped out soon afterwards. 

“I am ending my candidacy for president of the United States,” he said on CNN after his dismal showing in Iowa.

Walsh went on to say that the Republican Party had become a “cult” around Trump and that he would vote for the Democratic nominee in the November election.

“I want to stop Trump. I believe he’s a threat to this country,” Walsh said.

“Any Democrat would be better than Trump in the White House.”

Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente

The longest of the long-shot campaigns is from Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente II.

The 65-year-old is a millionaire property developer from San Diego who is on the ballot in 17 states.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that he ran as a Democrat in 2016 and that his son is currently running in the Democratic primary. 

“He has owned car dealerships and currency exchanges, and currently focuses on real estate development. He said he owns more than 2,000 acres of land in cities and states across the country. De La Fuente also has won tens of millions of dollars through litigation with the city and county of San Diego,” the newspaper reports.

Unsurprisingly, he has not had much of an impact on the race.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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