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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] The existence of perennial candidates 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] Others have names similar to known candidates, and hope that the confusion will lead to success.

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








Atiku Abubakar ran for president in 1993, 2007, 2015, 2019 and 2023.






Hong Kong







Main article: Nuisance candidate






Czech Republic




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










United Kingdom



New Zealand


  1. ^ Zeitz, Josh (February 8, 2015). "The Death of the Three-Time Candidate". Politico Magazine. Retrieved August 27, 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 (September 29, 2015). "Canada election 2015: Perennial candidates make running and losing a full-time job". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved August 28, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Weeks, Linton (September 23, 2011). "Also-Rans: What Drives The Perennial Candidates?". NPR. Retrieved August 28, 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. May 28, 2021. Retrieved August 28, 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 (June 9, 2021). "Most Candidates Take The Hint After Two Losses. Why Won't Beto O'Rourke and Charlie Crist?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved August 28, 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 (February 8, 2015). "The Death of the Three-Time Candidate". Politico Magazine. Retrieved August 27, 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 (May 31, 2021). "Iran's Presidential Candidate Slate Leans Heavily Toward Hard-Liners". NPR. Retrieved August 29, 2021. ...a former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was rejected again. He's becoming known as a perennial candidate.
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