CENTERBURG — Mike Vargo teaches social studies (history and government) at Centerburg High School. And he’s running for president of the United States as an Independent. Vargo has been teaching social studies for 15 years so he has a good idea of how government functions, he has opinions, and now he’s learning what it takes to get on the ballot.
“I’m not happy with either candidate and I think much of America isn’t either,” he said. “When you’re voting for president of the United States, you should be voting for who you want to lead this country” [not being forced to choose between parties].
“If I get elected what I’m going to owe is to do my best job for the country, not any special interest that has bank-rolled me,” he continued. “You don’t have to be 100 percent Democrat or 100 percent Republican to be president. We used to have statesmen; now we have politicians.”
His favorite historical statesman is Teddy Roosevelt and Vargo observed, “He was such a go-getter; so intense. He’s been one of my heroes since I read about him in junior high.”
Vargo is currently working on the necessary, fairly routine, paperwork to file with election officials. The push right now is to gather enough signatures to put his name on the Ohio ballot. He also needs a slate of 18 electors and then a candidate for vice president.
The Centerburg businesses that currently have petitions are Kristi’s Bakery, Foster’s Pharmacy, the library, Webb’s Marathon, Picture Perfect Photos and Imaging, and Derf’s Pizza & Wings. Picture Perfect is creating business cards for Vargo and they will also have their business advertised on the card. He also plans to set up at Kroger or Walmart in Mount Vernon to collect signatures at one of those locations.
As for a running mate, Vargo said he would ideally like to have Bill O’Reilly because “his opinions are based on facts, not party ideology.” Vargo has emailed the commentator but has not heard back from him and rather doubts O’Reilly would want to leave his job. “He was my first choice because I don’t believe he’s for either party.”