'Average Joe' for prez?

By Van Rose, Staff Writer

Is there any room in Washington for a president who is a common man with uncommon solutions to the world's problems?

Joe Schriner thinks so.

The self-proclaimed "Average Joe," a Cleveland resident, has been campaigning throughout the country with his wife and children for the past seven years with hopes of becoming the next U.S. president.

He's gearing up for 2008 and made Waverly one of his most recent campaign stops, visiting the Agape Family Worship Center on May 7, and then spending time the next day talking with locals about his campaign, which he is taking very seriously.

"It's not a publicity stunt," said the 51-year-old Schriner.

His journey began in 1999, after nine years of study and contemplation on running for U.S. president. Years later, Schriner and family — wife, Liz, 39; daughter, Sarah, 10; and sons, Joseph, 8, and Jonathan, 3 — are still traveling the country via motor home on what he calls the "Back Road to the White House Tour."

Waverly was a stop in 2000, but Schriner didn't appear on the Pike County ballot at all. He failed to garner enough votes in other areas of the nation to be a threat to candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore.

The next race four years later failed to show promise either. Pike County Board of Elections records show his name on the general election ballot in 2004, but he got no local votes.

In the next presidential election, Schriner, a Catholic, hopes to find favor with the "silent majority" of conservative Christians whose votes helped President Bush get reelected in 2004.

For more of this story, click on the link to read the News Watchman online or pick up a copy of Sunday's print edition.

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