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Rocky De La Fuente

Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente Guerra[1] (born October 10, 1954)[2] is an American businessman and perennial candidate.[3][4][5]

Rocky De La Fuente
Personal details
Roque De La Fuente Guerra

(1954-10-10) October 10, 1954 (age 65)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (since 2017)
Other political
Reform (2016)
American Delta (2016)
Democratic (2016–2017)
Spouse(s)Katayoun Yazdani (divorced)

De La Fuente was the nominee of both the Reform Party and his self-created American Delta Party for President of the United States in the 2016 election. He was also an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination in Florida's 2016 election for United States Senator and for the Democratic presidential nomination.

During the 2018 elections, De La Fuente filed as a candidate for United States Senate in nine state primaries, all of which he lost. He campaigned as a critic of President Donald Trump's immigration policies.[6]

For the 2020 Presidential election, he has filed to run as a Republican.

Early life and education

De La Fuente was born on October 10, 1954 at Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California,[7] the son of Roque Antonio De La Fuente Alexander[8] and Bertha Guerra Yzaguirre. His parents raised him in Mexico (Mexico City, Tijuana, Baja California), and in the United States (San Diego, and Anaheim, California). He was educated by his parents and the Legionaries of Christ, the Marist Brothers, the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart, Daughters of the Holy Spirit and the Jesuits. As a youth, De La Fuente attended Saint Catherine's Military Academy in Anaheim, California and then earned a B.S. in physics and mathematics from the Instituto Patria National Autonomous University of Mexico, and studied accounting and business administration at Anahuac University near Mexico City.[7][9]


Between 1976 and 1990, De La Fuente acquired 28 automobile franchises for Alfa Romeo, American Motors Corporation, Audi, Cadillac, Chrysler, Daihatsu, Dodge, GMC, Honda, and other brands.[7] He also opened three banks (one being a national bank approved by the OCC and two state charter banks approved by the California Banking Commission and the FDIC), assisted living facilities in Los Angeles and Lemon Grove and eleven currency exchange locations in the United States and Mexico.[10]

In 2004, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued an order barring De La Fuente from participating in an FDIC-insured institution. De La Fuente appealed and the 9th Circuit reversed half the order and advised the FDIC to reconsider its sentence, stating that "De La Fuente's use of [First International Bank] as his personal piggy bank was in shocking disregard of sound banking practices and the law to the detriment of depositors, shareholders, and the public.  Nevertheless, we remand this matter to the Board for it to consider, in light of this disposition, whether this extraordinary sanction remains deserved."[9][11]

In November 2015, De La Fuente and the city of San Diego reached settlement in a decades-long legal dispute over land-use issues regarding a 312-acre area that De La Fuente is developing in Otay Mesa.[12]

De La Fuente owns businesses and properties in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the United States, and Uruguay.[7]

Political campaigns

2016 presidential campaign

Logo of the American Delta Party
De La Fuente at the Lesser-Known Candidates Forum during his campaign for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination, January 2016

De La Fuente ran a presidential campaign in the 2016 election. He sought the Democratic Party's nomination during their presidential primaries. His campaign did not win a single primary or a single delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

De La Fuente founded the American Delta Party[13] and ran as that party's nominee with his running mate Michael Steinberg and was nominated as the presidential candidate of the Reform Party, which had ballot access in Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Mississippi.[14] De La Fuente received 33,136 votes in the general election, 0.02% of the total popular vote. He failed to win any electoral votes. In the popular vote De La Fuente placed eighth overall, behind the Democratic Party's Hillary Clinton, Republican Party's Donald Trump, Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson, Green Party's Jill Stein, independent Evan McMullin, Constitution Party's Darrell Castle, and Party for Socialism and Liberation's Gloria LaRiva.[15]

On May 9, 2017, De La Fuente and Stein dismissed their lawsuit against the State of Oklahoma. The focus of the lawsuit was the state's high requirement for petitions, but it was dismissed after Oklahoma eased their requirements.[16] In February 2018, De La Fuente won two court cases slightly easing ballot access requirements in Virginia and Washington.[17][18]

2016 Senate campaign

On June 20, 2016, De La Fuente paid the $10,440 qualifying fee to run for the Democratic nomination of the 2016 Senate election in Florida to decide the Democratic nominee for the Senate seat occupied by Republican Marco Rubio. He competed with Patrick Murphy, Alan Grayson, Pam Keith, and Reginald Luster for the nomination.[19][20] Murphy won the nomination; De La Fuente came in fourth-place out of five candidates, receiving 60,606 votes (5.38% of the overall vote).

2017 New York City mayoral campaign

Excerpt from De La Fuente's mayoral campaign material

De La Fuente ran for Mayor of New York City in the 2017 election. Upon announcing his intention to enter the race, De La Fuente claimed that private polling data showed him defeating Republican candidates Paul Massey and Michel Faulkner.[21]

De La Fuente's candidacy ran into problems with his lack of residency. City law requires candidates to be residents of the city prior to election. De La Fuente's campaign said that he had attempted to purchase an apartment, that the building's management refused to interview him because he was Hispanic, and that they might make a federal court case out of this matter.[22]

On March 28, De La Fuente participated in a debate hosted by the Reform Party of New York State (which is not affiliated with the Reform Party of the United States of America) alongside five other mayoral contenders (Kevin Coenen, Mike Tolkin, independent Bo Dietl, Democratic challenger Sal Albanese and Republican Faulkner).[23]

After the suspension of both Michel Faulkner's and Paul Massey's campaigns, De La Fuente was the only remaining opponent to Nicole Malliotakis in the Republican primary. However, Malliotakis supporters Bryan Jung and James Thompson, with the blessing of her campaign, filed objections to De La Fuente's ballot petition signatures. They argued that hundreds of De La Fuente's signatures were forged. On August 1, the New York City Board of Elections ruled against De La Fuente, effectively ending De La Fuente's candidacy and leaving Malliotakis unopposed for the nomination.[24][25]

2018 Senate campaigns

Rocky launched campaigns for US Senate in 9 states in 2018, stating that he chose to run in so many places "to prove just how ludicrous the election process has become."[26] On February 26, 2018 De La Fuente filed to run for the 2018 Senate election in California under the Republican Party to unseat incumbent Dianne Feinstein,[27] but failed in the June 5 primary. He came ninth place out of a field of 35, garnering 135,109 votes for 2% of the total.[28] In a primary system where only the top two make it to the final ballot, this ended his candidacy. On August 8, his candidacy for Senate in Washington state[29] came to an end in the open primary where he was one of the 32 candidates.[30] In Florida, De La Fuente lost the Republican primary[31] to his only challenger, Governor Rick Scott.[32] He also lost primaries in Wyoming,[33] Hawaii, Minnesota, Vermont, Delaware, and Rhode Island.

Some commentators have criticized De La Fuente's campaign efforts.[34] The Washington Post noted that in both Hawaii and Vermont, he drew enough votes that he theoretically may have changed the election, as had those same votes had been redirected to the second place candidate instead, that candidate would have won.[35] Jim Camden, a columnist for The Columbian, wrote that "for this year's primaries [...] it's clear the biggest loser was Rocky De La Fuente."[36]

2020 presidential campaign

In January 2017, De La Fuente stated in a court filing that he intended to again seek the Democratic Party nomination in the 2020 presidential election.[37] He again asserted plans to seek the presidency in the wake of his 2018 election failures.[35] He has filed to run as a Republican.[38] As of June 30, 2019, he had raised $1300 from outside sources and had loaned his own campaign $5.7 million.[39][40] As of October 25, 2019, he had qualified as a candidate in Alabama, Delaware, and Vermont.[41][42] He has also filed his candidacy in Arkansas[43] and New Hampshire.[44]

In 2019 De La Fuente filed one of five lawsuits that arose against a California law requiring candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the state's primary ballots. That law, which was seen as targeted against the incumbent Donald Trump, was blocked by a federal judge.[45] He also filed for the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Ninth Circuit court decision which approved California's requirements for ballot access by independent candidates.[46]

Electoral history

Presidential elections

2016 Democratic presidential primaries[47]
Candidate Votes %
Hillary Clinton 16,917,853 55.23
Bernie Sanders 13,210,550 43.13
Martin O'Malley 110,423 0.36
Rocky De La Fuente 67,468 0.22
Willie Wilson 25,796 0.08
Paul T. Farrell, Jr. 21,694 0.07
Keith Russell Judd 20,305 0.07
Michael Steinberg 20,126 0.07
Henry Hewes 11,062 0.04
John Wolfe Jr. 7,369 0.02
Star Locke 5,202 0.02
Steve Burke 4,893 0.02
Lawrence "Larry Joe" Cohen 2,407 0.01
Calvis L. Hawes 2,017 0.01
James Valentine 1,726 0.01
Jon Adams 486 0.00
Vermin Supreme 268 0.00
Mark Stewart 236 0.00
David John Thistle 226 0.00
Graham Schwass 143 0.00
Lloyd Thomas Kelso 46 0.00
Mark Stewart Greenstein 41 0.00
Eric Elbot 36 0.00
William D. French 29 0.00
Edward T. O'Donnell, Jr. 26 0.00
David Formhals (write-in) 25 0.00
Robert Lovitt 22 0.00
William H. McGaughey, Jr. 19 0.00
Edward Sonnino 17 0.00
Steven Roy Lipscomb 15 0.00
Sam Sloan 15 0.00
Brock C. Hutton 14 0.00
Andrew Daniel "Andy" Basiago (write-in) 13 0.00
Raymond Michael Moroz 8 0.00
Richard Lyons Weil 8 0.00
Ignació León Nuñez (write-in) 6 0.00
Willie Felix Carter (write-in) 3 0.00
Brian James O'Neill, II (write-in) 2 0.00
Doug Terry (write-in) 1 0.00
Kevin Michael Moreau (write-in) 0 0.00
Uncommitted 101,481 0.33
No Preference 50,990 0.17
scattering 48,576 0.16
Uninstructed Delegation 1,488 0.00
Total 30,633,131 100.00
2016 United States presidential election[48][49]
Presidential candidate Party Popular vote Electoral vote Vice-presidential candidate
Count Percentage Projected Actual
Donald Trump Republican 62,984,828 45.93 306 304 Mike Pence
Hillary Clinton Democratic 65,853,514 48.02 232 227 Tim Kaine
Gary Johnson Libertarian 4,489,235 3.27 0 0 Bill Weld
Jill Stein Green 1,457,226 1.06% 0 0 Ajamu Baraka
Evan McMullin (Independent) 732,273 0.53% 0 0 Mindy Finn
Darrell Castle Constitution Party 203,091 0.15%' 0 0 Scott Bradley
Gloria La Riva Socialism and Liberation 74,405 0.05% 0 0 Eugene Puryear
Rocky De La Fuente American Delta and Reform 33,136 0.02 0 0 Michael Steinberg
Other 1,297,332 0.93 0 7 Other
Total 137,125,040 100.00 538 538 Total

U.S. Senate elections

2016 Florida Democratic Senate Primary election results[50]
Candidate Votes %
Patrick Murphy 665,985 58.9
Alan Grayson 199,929 17.7
Pam Keith 173,919 15.5
Rocky De La Fuente 60,810 5.4
Reginald Luster 29,138 2.6
Total 1,129,781 100.00
2018 Senate primaries
State Primary type Date Votes % Winner(s)
California Nonpartisan blanket June 5 135,279 2.1 Dianne Feinstein, Kevin de León
Washington[30] Nonpartisan blanket Aug 8 5,724 0.34 Maria Cantwell, Susan Hutchison
Hawaii[51] Republican Aug 11 3,075 9.4 Ron Curtis
Minnesota Republican Aug 14 17,051 5.9 Jim Newberger
Vermont Republican Aug 14 1,057 2.9 Brooke Paige
Wyoming[52] Republican Aug 21 1,280 1.1 John Barrasso
Florida[53] Republican Aug 28 187,209 11.4 Rick Scott
Delaware Republican Sep 6 1,998 5.3 Robert Arlett
Rhode Island Republican Sep 12 3,722 12.3%[54] Robert Flanders[55]


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  4. ^ Nardolillo Drops Out, National Journal (July 2, 2018): "Perennial candidate Rocky de la Fuente..."
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External links