This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Perennial candidate" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Mike The Mover has run for various offices under various political affiliations on 17 occasions to promote his furniture moving business.
Mike The Mover has run for various offices under various political affiliations on 17 occasions to promote his furniture moving business.

A perennial candidate is a political candidate who frequently runs for elected office and rarely, if ever, wins.[1] Perennial candidates' existence lies in the fact that in some countries, there are no laws that limit a number of times a person can run for office, or laws that impose a non-negligible financial penalty on registering to run for election.[2]


A number of modern articles related to electoral politics or elections have identified those who have run for elected office and lost two to three times, and then decide to mount a campaign again as perennial candidates.[3][4][5] However, some articles have listed a number of notable exceptions.[2][6]

Some who have had their campaign applications rejected by their country's electoral authority multiple times have also been labelled as perennial candidates.[7]

Reason for running

It has been noted that some perennial candidates take part in an election with the aim of winning,[3][8] and some do have ideas to convey on the campaign trail, regardless of their chance for winning.[2][9]

Some perennial candidates may mount a run as a way to help strengthen his or her party's standing in a parliamentary body, in an effort to become kingmaker in the event of a political stalemate.[10]

Some perennial candidates have been accused of running for office continuously as a way to get public election funding.[11] Some have also been accused of being backed by the government of their country, in an effort to make the government appear more rational in comparison.[12]




Due to the complex and intricate political system in Brazil concerning political parties, there are more than 30 political parties. In this scenario, it is very useful to have hopeless candidates who can make a good number of votes and increase the overall votes count of a party (or coalition). As a consequence, there are thousands of small perennial candidates for local elections around the country, whose sole purpose is helping others get elected, then ask for a job in the elected government cabinet.[original research?]




Costa Rica




United States

Main article: Perennial candidates in the United States











Asia and Oceania



Hong Kong






New Zealand


Main article: Nuisance candidate





Czech Republic




Helmut Palmer's house in Geradstetten boasted some of his German election percentages.
Helmut Palmer's house in Geradstetten boasted some of his German election percentages.








United Kingdom


  1. ^ Zeitz, Josh (8 February 2015). "The Death of the Three-Time Candidate". Politico Magazine. Retrieved 27 August 2021. ...Harold Stassen is remembered as the “Grand Old Party’s Grand Old Loser”—the onetime “Boy Governor” who ran for president 10 times between 1948 and 1992—a “perennial, never-say-die candidate” whose quixotic, lifetime quest for the White House obscured an otherwise brilliant public career.
  2. ^ a b c Brown, Chris (29 September 2015). "Canada election 2015: Perennial candidates make running and losing a full-time job". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b Weeks, Linton (23 September 2011). "Also-Rans: What Drives The Perennial Candidates?". NPR. Retrieved 28 August 2021. For the purposes of this story, we are defining the perennial presidential candidate as someone who runs for — and loses — the race to the White House at least twice. And then runs again.
  4. ^ "Iran's presidential election: Who the candidates are". BBC News. 28 May 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021. [Mohsen Rezai] has stood three times as president, and never held public office, having also failed in a bid to be elected to parliament in 2000. He is commonly referred to as a "perennial candidate".
  5. ^ Samuels, Alex; Radcliffe, Mary (9 June 2021). "Most Candidates Take The Hint After Two Losses. Why Won't Beto O'Rourke and Charlie Crist?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 28 August 2021. ...both O’Rourke and Crist are risking their political credibility if they run again and lose, as they’ve already failed to win two consecutive runs for office. Even worse, they could be marked as perennial candidates.
  6. ^ Zeitz, Josh (8 February 2015). "The Death of the Three-Time Candidate". Politico Magazine. Retrieved 27 August 2021. Henry Clay, whom Abraham Lincoln called his “beau ideal of a statesman,” ran for president four times. No one remembers him as a joke. William Jennings Bryan was a three-time Democratic presidential nominee. Also not a joke. Adlai Stevenson, twice nominated. Hubert Humphrey, Stassen’s fellow Minnesotan, ran three times. Ronald Reagan lost the GOP nomination in 1968 and 1976 before his victory in 1980. Definitely not a joke.
  7. ^ Kenyon, Peter (31 May 2021). "Iran's Presidential Candidate Slate Leans Heavily Toward Hard-Liners". NPR. Retrieved 29 August 2021. ...a former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was rejected again. He's becoming known as a perennial candidate.
  8. ^ Bor, Jonathan (2 October 2005). "Perennial candidate 'always ran to win'". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  9. ^ Gardner, Steven (20 May 2008). "Perennial Candidate Says It's Not About Winning". Kitsap Sun. Bremerton, Washington: Gannett. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  10. ^ "港报社评:宋楚瑜明知会输一定要赢" [Hong Kong Newspaper Editorial: James Soong knows he will lost, but he must win]. Hong Kong Economic Journal (in Simplified Chinese). Reuters. Retrieved 28 August 2021. 宋楚瑜这位人所称颂的「政治精算师」胜算渺茫,他自己肯定比谁都清楚,那他为什么还要明知不可为而为之?最合理的推测是宋楚瑜企图成为足以左右大局的关键少数派,选总统第四次落败不重要,重要的是利用曝光机会拉抬他一手创立的亲民党,争取最多的立委席位,假如下届立法院选举一如预料蓝营绿营皆不过半,高举非蓝非绿旗帜的第三势力有望荣膺造王者。(The winning odds of James Soong, a man praised by people as a 'political calculator,' are slim, and he certainly knows that better than any other person, but why is he doing what he knows cannot happen? The most reasonable assumption is he is trying to be a key minority. Losing the presidency four times is not important. The most important thing is he uses his exposure to lift the election results of the People First Party he founded, and win more parliamentary seats. If the next Legislative Yuan election does, as predicted, create a situation with neither the pan-blue and pan-green camps have a majority, the non-blue, non-green camp can become the kingmaker)
  11. ^ "宋楚瑜選不停為補助款? 施明德:難免會聯想到" [James Song is running non-stop for public election money? Shih Ming-teh: it's hard not to imagine]. NOWNews (in Traditional Chinese). Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan). 7 September 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  12. ^ Ludwig, Jonathan Z. (14 March 2018). "The Illusion of Russian Elections and Russian Power" (PDF). SAGE International Australia. p. 2. Retrieved 29 August 2021. Perennial candidate and leader of the LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky, long thought to be funded by the Kremlin to make them look rational by comparison, is once again on the ballot.
  13. ^ Moro, Teviah (June 10, 2016). "Michael Baldasaro, Hamilton's high priest of pot, dead at 67". The Hamilton Spectator.
  14. ^ Caggs, Samantha (June 9, 2016). "Michael Baldasaro, marijuana activist and mayoral candidate, dies at 67". CBC Hamilton.
  15. ^ "Popescu charged for comments on gays". Sudbury Star, March 6, 2009.
  16. ^ "Candidate wants apology, NDP to dump Pat Martin for 'son of a bitch' comment". CBC News. Winnipeg. 2015-09-18. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  17. ^ "Nominated Candidates - Election 2018 - City of Winnipeg". City of Winnipeg. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  18. ^ Antony Green (2014). 2014 Vasse By-Election – ABC News. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  19. ^ (3 August 2015).Voulez-vous vote for me: van Lieshout[permanent dead link] – Yahoo!7 News. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  20. ^ POLL-POURRI[Usurped!] The Hindu - May 03, 2004
  21. ^ "Infographic: Dr K Padmarajan: The man who contested 199 elections | India News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  22. ^ 3 Kali Kalah, Jejak Prabowo Subianto di Pilpres 2009, 2014, dan 2019, (in Indonesian), 21 May 2019
  23. ^ Robert Tait (15 June 2013). "Iran election: Mohsen Rezaei profile". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  24. ^ Henry Johnson (1 July 2016), Iranians Are Mocking Tehran's Mayor for Installing Anti-American Billboards, Foreign Policy, retrieved 26 March 2015
  25. ^ "Unknown joins Likud leadership race". Archived from the original on 2012-01-18.
  26. ^ Hongo, Jun Mac who would be governor says: Smile Jan 4, 2013 Japan Times Retrieved July 31, and 2016
  27. ^ a b Osaki, Tomohiro Lesser-known candidates in the Tokyo gubernatorial race make their case July 29, 2016 Japan Times Retrieved July 31, 2016,
  28. ^ Johnston, Eric Lack of interest in Osaka mayoral race threatens to damage Ishin brand March 20, 2014 Retrieved July 31, 2016,
  29. ^ Chiyoda City Mayoral Candidate Wants You to Know He Loves Japan, War Criminals Jan 30, 2013 Archived 2016-07-10 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved July 31, 2016,
  30. ^ Nationalist Teruki Goto appears in a Japanese election campaign in just his birthday suit April 24, 2015 South China Morning Post Retrieved July 31, 2016,
  31. ^ Ozawa, Harumi. "Cabbie, dilettante and prolific inventor in fray to lead Tokyo". New York Times. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  32. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Rachel MacGregor files lawsuit against Colin Craig". NZ Herald. Retrieved 2021-09-07.
  33. ^ Conway, Glenn (3 September 2013). "Who is Peter Wakeman?". The Press.
  34. ^ Conchie, Sandra (17 March 2022). "Tauranga byelection candidates step forward to fill Simon Bridges' shoes". Bay of Plenty Times. The New Zealand Herald.
  35. ^ Umali, Justin. "A Look into the Most Consequential Election in our History: the 1935 Presidential Elections". Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  36. ^ Lalu, Gabriel Pabico (2021-10-01). "Netizens ask: Did Elly Pamatong file his COC? Spox: No. He's dead". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  37. ^ "Věčný kandidát Petr Hannig". (in Czech). 7 November 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  38. ^ "Hannig může kandidovat na Hrad. Pomohli mu i noví poslanci". (in Czech). Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  39. ^ "Kandidovat na prezidenta může i hudebník Hannig, získal podporu poslanců". 26 October 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  40. ^ "Miroslav Sládek jde do prezidentské kandidatury". Parlamentní Listy. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  41. ^ "Z prezidentské volby odstoupil známý kandidát. S ohledem na volby nemá smysl kandidovat, tvrdí". EuroZprá Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  42. ^ "O Hrad se opět hlásí Švejnar. Ale není o něj zájem". (in Czech). Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  43. ^ Jan Knauer: Bürgerengagement und Protestpolitik. Das politische Wirken des „Remstalrebellen“ Helmut Palmer und die Reaktionen seiner Mitmenschen. Dissertation. Tübingen 2012
  44. ^ " Seán Loftus".
  45. ^ Кандидатом в президенты стал депутат, которого отвергли в Смоленске
  46. ^ Булаев Олег Александрович
  47. ^ "Tom Mendelsohn: Howling Laud Hope - a profile". Independent Minds. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  48. ^ "Ashburton | Charity Shop Tourism". 14 September 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2014-07-12.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  49. ^ "BBC News | UK Politics | Loony tradition continues at by-election". Archived from the original on 2015-04-16. Retrieved 2014-07-12.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  50. ^ Nottingham Post, 13 May 2010