You may not know that near the top of the New Hampshire Republican Presidential primary ballot is a Philadelphia-based candidate.
Bear Betzler is actually among more than a dozen Philadelphia area presidential hopefuls or possible candidates with their eyes on the White House.
Among Republicans, former Pa. Sen. Rick Santorum is the most prominent contender with ‘local’ ties. But the New Hampshire ballot lists Santorum from Great Falls, Va. He also drew the bottom spot on a list of 30 Republicans.
Betzler, from Philadelphia, has the number six spot on that GOP ballot. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Huntingdon Valley, Pa.) and Edward O’Donnell, Jr. (D-Wilmington, Del.) also have N.H. ballot positions. The first in the nation primary is Jan. 10.
On Dec. 19, Betzler took part in the “Lesser Known Candidates’ Forum” at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. Invitations went out to those not offered a spot at any nationally televised debate.
“As an underdog candidate one of the benefits you have is that you can offer unpopular, but realistic and effective solutions without worrying about losing your front-runner status,” said Betzler. “And without being part of a larger party process of endorsements and donations you can be free to evaluate the problems uniquely and specifically and offer the best solution, as opposed to needing to pander to lobbyists or other interest groups.”
After the debate, the Associated Press incorrectly identified him as Betzler Bear.
The “Bear” facts:
Hometown: Audubon, Pa.
Political Views (via Facebook): Moderate
Occupation: Management Consultant, who began his own independent firm in 2001.
Education: Carnegie Mellon University, with a degree in Industrial Management and Economics.
Current Residence: Philadelphia.
Campaign platform (via campaign website): Immediate elimination of the federal budget deficit.
“Because our Budget Deficit is at its heart a spending problem – 2/3 of the solution should come from spending cuts and another third from tax increases.”
Personal Mission Statement: “Live boldly! . . . and declare victory over fear and regret.”
Notable: First campaign for public office.
Follow the 2012 Presidential race online with NBC Politics here.