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January 12, 2012

A Supreme third-place finish

Rockport performance artist reels in 831 votes in NH primary

ROCKPORT — Rockport's Vermin Supreme did not come close to winning the New Hampshire Democratic primary.

But he did manage to gather 831 votes, enough to finish in third place, and making him the second runnerup to President Obama — rarefied air compared to the fringe candidate's last showing.

Supreme, an Edmunds Lane resident, is a performance artist who runs for office as part of his art — and finds an open door in New Hampshire, where anyone who can rustle up $1,000 can get a spot on the primary ballot.

In 2008, he ran as a Republican and garnered 42 votes. On the surface, that means his Tuesday total marked a roughly 2,000 percent gain — a clear sign of what political consultants would call momentum.

Yet there were no signs of excitement Wednesday round his Rockport home, and the candidate himself could not be reached or found.

Supreme's Edmunds Lane home is nondescript and difficult to find, resting on a tiny street in Pigeon Cove that looks more like a driveway and has no visible street sign. No one answered the door when the bell was rung Wednesday.

Rockport records show that Supreme — that's his real name, according to the town voting rolls — cast a ballot locally in the 2010 statewide election, but has not taken part in annual Town Meetings since that time and has never run for office in town.

On the New Hampshire campaign trail, Supreme's platform ranged from instituting a mandatory tooth-brushing law, to improving preparedness for a zombie attack, to giving every American a pony.

One position that is sincere beyond his performance art, however, is his support of organ donation.

Supreme often shows off his scar from the surgery he underwent to donate a kidney to his mother, and asks his supporters to get tested to see if they would be matches for those waiting for transplants.

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