Stewart Greenleaf, a longtime Republican Pennsylvania state Senator (1979–2019), died today, of unknown causes. He was 81.
I never would have known of Mr. Greenleaf if not for his decision to run for President of the United States in first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary in 2012. It was a puzzling decision and few actually reported on it. I tried to contact Senator Greenleaf about it, at the time, but I did not receive any response. He did eventually put out a lengthy statement highlighting his reasons for entering the race:
I wrote an article for Wikinews about Greenleaf’s candidacy on November 1, 2011:
State Senator Stewart Greenleaf of Pennsylvania registered on Friday to appear on the ballot for the U.S. Republican Party’s New Hampshire primary. He released a statement yesterday explaining that his goal was not to win the presidency, but “to enter ideas into the great debate that is the 2012 Presidential Election.”
Greenleaf, 72, has represented the 12th district in the Pennsylvania Senate since 1979. His district includes parts of Bucks County and Montgomery County, populated with approximately 240,000 people. He serves as the chairman of the Judicial Committee and as Vice-chairman of the Intergovernmental Operations Committee. Two weeks ago, he helped pass legislation to reform state prisons.
Terry Madonna, director of the Franklin & Marshall College Poll remarked that “Stewart [Greenleaf] is a very smart guy…with a good reputation in Harrisburg.” However, he added that Greenleaf is “certainly not even on the radar of anyone for the presidency and is clearly not going to be the nominee.”
As a presidential candidate, Greenleaf lists two primary objectives for the nation: balance the federal budget by reducing debt; and improve competitiveness in the global economy through “tariff tweaking”, protection of intellectual property, relaxation of regulation, and prevention of the employment of illegal immigrants.
Greenleaf is one of 44 candidates that will appear on the New Hampshire primary ballot. He filed in person on the deadline along with fellow candidates: former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson and Texas governor Rick Perry. The filing fee was $1,000.
Ultimately, Greenleaf received only 24 votes in the 2012 New Hampshire Republican primary. He received four write-in votes in the Democratic primary.