Former Congressman and Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer, who sought the 2012 presidential nominations of Americans Elect and the Reform Party died today at the age of 77. The cause of death has not yet been disclosed but Roemer had been in declining health in recent years, suffering a stroke in 2015.
“I knew this day would eventually come, but still hits hard,” writes Roemer’s 2012 campaign manager Carlos Sierra on Facebook. “So many Buddy Roemer stories to share, but for now I will just say thank you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to be your campaign manager. The Roemers will forever be family to me.”
Roemer served in Congress from 1981–1988 and was elected Governor of Louisiana in 1988 as a Democrat. He joined the Republican Party in 1991 and ran for re-election but lost out in the jungle primary to white nationalist David Duke.
In 2011, Roemer launched a bid for the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nomination. He based his campaign on the issue of money in politics and refused to accept PAC funds or individual donations over $100. After a media blackout of the campaign with Roemer not included in most opinion polls and not invited to any Republican debates, Roemer focused on the nomination of Americans Elect, a centrist group intent on attaining full ballot access. Out of the offical candidates for the nomination, Roemer had the largest number of supporters on the group’s site. No candidate reached the required threshold of support and so it chose not to field a candidate. Roemer concurrently sought the Reform Party’s presidential nomination after a draft effort from some party members. He ended that campaign after the Americans Elect decision, citing the Reform Party’s lack of sufficient ballot access.
The Reform Party commented on Roemer’s passing on its offical Facebook page, referring to him as a “long time Reform Party ally” and adding “he will be missed.”