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Who is Rocky De La Fuente, and why is he on the presidential primary ballot?


If you’re voting in Michigan’s Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, your choices on the ballot are Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley (who suspended his campaign) … and a guy named Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente.

So, who is that last guy?

De La Fuente, according to his campaign website, is a San Diego businessman and car dealership owner.

And he got on Michigan’s primary ballot the old fashioned way: gathering signatures.

See, when Michigan’s Secretary of State’s office decides which names to print on the primary ballot, they first look to see which candidates are being widely reported in the media. Then, state party chairs can submit candidates. After that, any additional candidates have to submit 12,000 valid signatures to get themselves on the primary ballot.

Credit Rocky2016.com
A picture of the De La Fuente family from the Rocky 2016 campaign website, feature Rocky, his wife, and their five children.

Until now, that had never actually happened, according to Fred Woodhams of the Secretary of State’s office.

But De La Fuente submitted more than 20,000 valid signatures.

His campaign didn't respond to multiple request for an interview from Michigan Radio. But you can check out his YouTube channel here. 


Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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