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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

C.L. Gammon, the presidential nominee for the Prohibition Party, was the guest speaker at Saturday’s June meeting of the Trousdale County Historical Society.

The Prohibition Party is the third-oldest political party in the United States behind the Democratic and Republican parties, dating back to 1869. The party’s symbol is a camel and was created by political cartoonist Thomas Nash, who noted that camels do not need to drink much.

Gammon is a native of Lafayette and a published author. He formerly served in the U.S. Army and was part of Operation Desert Storm in the 1990s.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

Gammon spoke on the party’s history, current platform and how he got involved with the Prohibition Party. The party claims the first woman mayor of a U.S. city (Argonia, Kan., 1887), the first female candidate for Vice President (1924) and a U.S. Congressman during World War I.

The party’s best performance in a presidential election was in 1904, when the party received over 250,000 votes. In 2016, the Prohibition nominee received just 5,617 votes nationally.

Aside from Tennessee, Gammon said the Prohibition Party is working to get on the ballot in 14 other states for the 2020 election.

“The party is small but growing,” Gammon said. “We expect this campaign to do better than any campaign in the last 50 years.”

Aside from prohibition of alcohol and tobacco, the party’s stated platform includes a mixture of ideas from the left and right, including fair trade, a balanced budget amendment, opposition to capital punishment, free college education and a sensible immigration policy while working to curb illegal immigration. The party has, in the past, also supported women’s suffrage and the Civil Rights Movement.

“Nowadays the Prohibition Party isn’t trying to change the Constitution,” Gammon told the gathered audience. “We’re trying to educate… we want to teach (alcohol) out of existence.”

Gammon claimed that much of the crime in America is related to alcohol abuse, as well as increased costs of goods in America.

He also expounded on the party’s immigration platform, saying, “We need to come up with a policy that works. This isn’t a Republican or Democrat kind of thing. It’s easier to preach sometimes than it is to teach.”

Gammon said he learned about the Prohibition Party after reading about the party’s history and talking with Earl Dodge, who ran for President six times.

Gammon received the Prohibition Party’s nomination via a conference call in April. His running mate is Nevada’s Phil Collins, a former candidate for mayor of Las Vegas. Gammon originally was nominated for Vice President but was moved to the top spot on the ticket after the former nominee stepped aside.

Gammon is funding his campaign through the sale of buttons and bumper stickers. For more information on his campaign, email gammonforpresident@hotmail.com or visit his Facebook page, Gammon for President.

“Every time I’m offered an opportunity to speak, I do,” he said. “I do a podcast as well, I’m on Facebook.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.