By Matt Hanley email@example.com April 16, 2012
Connor Vlakancic is a prolific, Quixotic candidate. The Aurora-born technology expert ran for
California’s 17th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995, 1998, 2000 and 2004.
He didn’t win.
Or come close.
He ran as an independent write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2006 and, according to his website,
finished last. With 11 votes, he finished just 5,076,278 votes behind winner Dianne Feinstein.
“I was never elected, but I have never been defeated,” Vlakancic, 68, says proudly.
That Senate race has led Vlakancic almost to his newest political venture: running for president of the
United States. Yes, president of the United States.
““It’s almost impossible to be taken seriously as a candidate for Senate in California,” he told The
Beacon-News Monday, during his first media interview of the campaign. “If you’re not going to be
elected senator, why not run for president and not be elected?”
“I don’t know how this is going to turn out, but I couldn’t sit on my fanny in front of the TV and
complain,” he said.
Other than the fact that he’s not yet on the ballot, can’t raise hundreds of millions of dollars and has no
easy mechanism to get on the ballots, it just might work.
Vlakancic was born at St. Joseph Hospital in Aurora. After a year in Batavia, the family moved to a
dairy farm on Somonauk Road between DeKalb and Hinckley. As a student at Hinckley-Big Rock High
School, he says he had little interest in politics. But after college, Vlakancic wanted to see the rest of
the world and in the 1960s moved to what would become Silicon Valley.
He says he founded his own computer sales company in 1984 and then helped design software for
various teleconferencing companies. Vlakancic is now a partner in AdriaComm LLC, a San Jose
software company producing “weapons-grade encrypted collaborative conferencing Internet
communication solution,” according to Vlakancic’s campaign materials.
Although he did not pinpoint the exact turning point, he eventually became disillusioned with the
country’s two-party system.
In fact, he felt the system is designed to make sure he was unsuccessful and the result is voter apathy.
That frustration planted the seeds for his presidential run. The biggest obstacle he’s facing is collecting
the 25,000 signatures he needs to get on the Illinois ballot for the November general election. He hopes
to return to Illinois in May — he’s an experienced pilot so he’ll be flying himself in — and collect half
those signatures in DeKalb County and the other half in the Croatian community. (His grandfather
immigrated from Croatia in 1917).
He also plans to submit his name to the AmericansElect organization, which is helping to centralize
support for third-party candidates.
V for visionary?
Vlakancic’s stances on various issues are outlined in lengthy position papers on his Senate website
(connorvlakancic.com), but his main stance seems to be disrupting the Republican-Democrat
“I cannot and did not imagine government would deteriorate to the point it has,” he said.
Vlakancic is not without some big ideas. He wants to have three vice presidents who would handle the
day-to-day business of the White House while he is out greeting families of veterans. And Vlakancic,
who is a widower, would also like to have a publicized competition to become the “Mistress of the
White House”. This woman would not be his wife or girlfriend, but would carry out the social
functions normally done by the First Lady. Sharon Stone might be a good choice, he suggested.
Vlakancic said his son does not yet know of his plans to run for president and his friends have been
“They’ve been cautious in their support knowing I’m kind out on the edge of reality sometimes — as
visionaries are,” he said. “But after they listen over my shoulder they say: ‘This guy’s right on.’”
A winning strategy?
To be very clear: Vlakancic does not expect to win the November general election. He’s not running for
that purpose. He wants to give more voice to third-party candidates and raise profile for another
senatorial run. But he isn’t totally counting himself out, either.
“People will say: you cannot possibly be elected,” he said. “I don’t necessarily disagree.”
Here’s the scenario he’s mapped out. Perhaps at the end of a difficult campaign, Obama and Romney
both end up just short of the 270 electoral votes needed to be elected. Now — and here’s the tough part
— Vlakancic has to win either Illinois, Pennsylvania or Ohio. Then he’ll have the remaining electoral
With both major party candidates short of 270 votes, the election will be thrown to the House of
Representatives. And since we all know that Congress is hopelessly deadlocked, they’ll never agree:
Democrats will never support Romney, Republicans won’t get behind Obama. And so, of course, the
gaze will turn to some neutral third party contender.
“There I am, the non-partisan candidate, balancing things,” he said.
Vlakancic will be ready to serve with his three vice presidents and First Mistress chosen by ballot.
Stranger things have happened, Vlakancic contends.
If it does, remember you heard it here first.