A 7th grade math teacher and army veteran changed his name to ‘Literally Anybody Else’ and announced his run for U.S. president

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A 35-year-old Texas man has made headlines by legally changing his name to "Literally Anybody Else" in a unique bid for the 2024 U.S. presidential election. Formerly known as Dustin Ebey, he is an Army veteran and teaches seventh-grade math at Watauga Middle School in Tarrant County, Texas. This week, he chose to give more than just a math lesson by announcing his run for the presidency, a move driven by his frustration with the recurring candidacies of Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

The idea of changing his name began as a jest last year, but it morphed into a serious consideration as Else became increasingly disillusioned with what he describes as "the constant power grab between two parties that just has no benefit for the common person." He legally changed his name at a courthouse in Tarrant County on January 12, and his new identity is even reflected on his driver's license.

To appear on the presidential ballot, Else needs to gather 113,000 signatures from non-primary voters in Texas. Given the challenging nature of this task, he's pushing for voters to write in his name, acknowledging the unlikelihood of meeting the signature threshold. In an interview with WFAA, he emphasized that his candidacy is less about personal ambition and more about the concept of needing better leadership options: "It's about literally anyone else as an idea... We can do better out of 300 million people for president."

Else is critical of the current political choices, both a billionaire and a lifelong politician, questioning whether they truly understand or represent the average American's experiences. He expressed concerns that many people end up voting against a candidate rather than for one they genuinely support, hoping that his candidacy could offer an alternative for those who feel disenfranchised.

His campaign taps into a broader sentiment reflected in national surveys, such as a Gallup poll from October showing that 63% of U.S. adults believe the major parties do such a poor job that a third major party is needed. While third-party candidates historically face significant obstacles and rarely succeed due to the U.S.'s entrenched two-party system, figures like Ross Perot and Ralph Nader have demonstrated that significant portions of the electorate are open to alternatives.

Else's decision to run under the name "Literally Anybody Else" aims to serve as a beacon for those frustrated with the status quo, offering a symbolic choice for voters seeking to express their desire for change. His campaign reflects ongoing debates about the viability and impact of third-party candidates in a system dominated by two major parties.

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