Sarah Palin declared her candidacy for Alaska’s lone House seat earlier this month, joining a field of dozens of other contenders. She adds a lot of name recognition to the competition, but another competitor may have her beat in that category.
Santa Claus is his name.
CAMPAIGN: I am enjoying conversing on podcasts and discussing my campaign with reporters/journalists, especially those who appreciate what progressives offer. I'm very grateful for the coverage and engaging questions :-)} https://t.co/Q5rnxv26Bb
— SANTA CLAUS FOR ALASKA (@SantaClausforAK) April 27, 2022
Of course, he lives in North Pole, Alaska, a hamlet of roughly 2,000 people. Santa Claus is his legal name, and he has a huge white beard and a friendly demeanor, yet as a Bernie Sanders supporter, he does not exploit elf labor. In 2015, he was elected to the municipal council, much to the delight of watchers all over the world. He’s now ready to move forward in his political career.
He’s running to finish the term of Don Young, a long-serving Republican congressman who died last month at the age of 88. On June 11th, a special primary will be held.
48 morons wanting to be our Representative. From Sarah Palin to Santa Claus. 🤡🤡🤡🤡 and we have that stupid rank voting where they get to move our votes to add to other candidates. pic.twitter.com/LK4GPwUUhH
— Woody. (@woodysalaskan) May 2, 2022
Claus’ politics have earned him the moniker a bastion of blue on a city council as red as Rudolph’s nose.” He claims that people may get a decent notion of his own policy agenda by looking at Sanders’, which includes support for Medicare for All, racial justice, corporate accountability, and free and fair elections. This includes ranked-choice voting, which will be used in the election’s second round. He explained, “That’s what’s given me the opportunity here,” he said. Ranked-choice voting “gives people with name recognition such as yours truly, and even Sarah, for that matter, a slight advantage.”
Claus, however, was not always known by that name. But Claus hasn’t always had that name. “Seventy-four years ago, I didn’t pop out with a beard,” he says. Claus changed his name from Tom O’Connor to Claus in 2005. In a 2015 Guardian profile, Julia O’Malley stated that he was living in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, at the time, and considering what he should do with his life. In 2020. He shares that he had previously worked in law enforcement and had watched children going “through the holes” of the foster care system, and he wanted to do all he could to help them. Someone in a nearby automobile exclaimed, “Santa, I love you!”
Santa Claus of North Pole, Alaska is running for Congress on a progressive platform. Can the true Christmas spirit of love and solidarity triumph against the right-wing politics of Sarah Palin? https://t.co/E6y0Cxm1Ld
— BenN (@BrilliantBenN) April 25, 2022
“That’s about as fast an answer to your prayer as I’d probably ever get,” Claus tells the Guardian. “So next day, I called up the county clerk to change my name legally.” It caused a few headaches, including some brief suspicion at airport security, where he got “the once-over”. “Somebody about a month later sent out an email, I guess, letting people know, yeah, there’s this guy Santa who’s gonna be flying around. Not necessarily in my sleigh, but using regular transportation.”
Despite his name, he isn’t fond of welcoming children over the holidays. He says, “I’m not particularly interested in it.” “I’m not really interested in that,” he says. “There are plenty of my beloved helpers throughout the world who sort of stand-in for me with their in-person visits.” Instead, he says, “I tend to interact more with adults with respect to legislation.”
I love this!
Sarah Palin faces formidable opponent in Congress run: Santa Claus https://t.co/MZuxmCI0kF
— Donna Avocado 💉💉💉💉Anti-Fascist #DemCastAZ (@ladalavara) April 28, 2022
As a result, he began on a tour of every state shortly after changing his identity, meeting with governors, their staffers, and legislators to push for child safety, as he told the Daily News. On this tour, he met his future congressional opponent, and despite their political differences, she made a positive impact.
“Sarah Palin was one of the governors I visited,” he says. “We met very briefly, but she had set up a meeting with six of her different department heads, which was quite unusual for a governor to do. So I was appreciative,” he says, saying Palin was “very nice, very helpful to me.”
If there's any shred of decency left in this weird crazy world of ours, Santa Claus has to beat Sarah Palin in this race… https://t.co/iO8xAWxw0R
— Mr. BDI (@spicytard) April 27, 2022
Claus, who has not established a political party allegiance, is courteous when it comes to their differences. “Now that she’s been endorsed by Trump,” he says, chuckling, “let me put it this way: being a Bernie supporter, we have disparate views on a variety of subjects.”
“I don’t plan to get pushed around by her or by Trump. So, it may have some interesting moments during the race,” for which he says he is not soliciting or accepting donations. “As a candidate, as a legislator, I tend to look for common ground. There are people I disagree with and people who disagree with me. But there’s always common ground and one’s willing to make the effort to find it and then legislate for the greater good,” he adds.
I know literally no one cares about Alaskan politics, but Santa Claus is running for a seat in congress https://t.co/VnHn8NIjIY
— the curse of lettuce boy (@grossmotorbaby) April 27, 2022
Don Young’s term, which ends in January, will be decided by the congressional election. If Santa Claus wins, he has no intention of seeking re-election.
“I think there should be people a decade two or three younger than I am stepping up and doing their best to help their communities and their states. For some positive change, I’d like to do my little part.
— Lincoln Report (@newsbreakreport) May 2, 2022
“Plus I think it’d be kind of fun. Alaska is known for kind of having characters up here. I would certainly be well within that tradition.”