Archives On The Air 212: The Perennial Political Candidate—Merrill K. Riddick Papers

Aug 12, 2020

Merrill Riddick campaigning for president in Laramie, Wyoming. The photo appeared in the Laramie Daily Boomerang on February 13, 1975. Box 1, Merrill K. Riddick papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.
Credit American Heritage Center

Merrill Riddick was a seasoned political campaigner. He ran unsuccessfully for the Montana Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1960 and 68. He then switched parties to run for the U.S. Senate in 1972. Again, no success. Undeterred, he ran for president.

In 1976, 80 and 84 Riddick ran for president under a political party he created, the Puritan Ethic and Epic, Prohibition and Magnetohydrodynamics Party.

Puritan Ethic and Epic stood for moral values. Magnetohydrodynamics is a process for clean electricity generation. Prohibition meant barring illegal campaign contributions.

He campaigned by traveling across the country on Greyhound buses. He refused campaign donations over one dollar. But six hundred dollars that appeared anonymously in his bank account funded at least one of his campaigns.

Learn more about Merrill Riddick at UW's American Heritage Center.

Flyer for Merrill K. Riddick's run for a U.S. Senate seat flyer, 1972. Box 1, Merrill K. Riddick papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.
Credit American Heritage Center