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‘Buddy’ Roemer announces end to GOP presidential campaign

Republican presidential contender Charles “Buddy” Roemer is no more.

The former congressman and Louisiana governor plans to announce tomorrow that he is abandoning his GOP campaign after being excluded from a string of 20 debates.

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Instead, he is employing a scattershot approach, seeking both the nomination of the Reform Party and the direct nomination of Americans Elect, which will produce a ticket through an online vote in June.

“I have decided to take my campaign directly to the American people,” Roemer said in a statement. “It is time to heal our nation and build a coalition of Americans who are fed up with the status quo and the partisan gridlock that infects Washington. Together, we will take on the special-interests that control our leaders and end the corruptive influence of money in politics so we can focus on America’s top priority – jobs.”

Roemer’s campaign has focused on a platform of campaign finance reform and getting special interest money out of politics.

As a Republican, Roemer got little attention and was not included in a single debate.

He refuses to accept contributions greater than $100, and raised only $340,000 as of Jan. 31. He put enormous effort into retail campaigning before the New Hampshire primary, but got less than 1,000 votes there.

He did not appear on the South Carolina or Florida ballots.

Roemer announced in December that he would seek the Americans Elect nomination.

The Reform Party was founded by Ross Perot in 1995. Its previous candidates included Perot in 1996, Pat Buchanan in 2000, and Ralph Nader in 2004.

Among other issues, the party supports limiting the influence of special interests in government and moving to public financing of campaigns.

Roemer served four terms as a US Representative in the 1980s, followed by four years as Louisiana governor. He is founder and CEO of a community bank in Louisiana. He was a Democrat in Congress and switched to the Republican Party as governor.

Roemer is the second candidate this election cycle to drop a Republican bid and seek another party’s nomination.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson left the GOP race to seek the Libertarian Party nomination.

Glen Johnson can be reached at johnson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen. Shira Schoenberg can be reached at sschoenberg@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shiraschoenberg.
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