Donald Trump may be making the early waves in the US 2016 presidential election race, but he is set to be joined by an equally eccentric figure: technology veteran John McAfee.
The founder of antivirus software firm McAfee filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to enter the race, and launched an official McAfee 2016 website, with plans to launch his own party to support the bid.
Political site The Hill broke the news of the paperwork filing, and secured confirmation from one of McAfee’s advisers that he would be “founding a new party yet to be announced”.
McAfee himself had initially told tech site Wired that he was hoping to find someone “smarter and more charismatic” to run for president with his backing, while strongly hinting that he would take the plunge instead.
“My advisors are pressing me to run. I have many thousands of emails saying please run for President. It’s not something I would just choose to do on my own,” he said.
McAfee certainly has the most colourful history of all the presidential candidates for 2016. In 2012 he fled his home in Belize after being sought for questioning by police over the murder of a businessman, going on the run in Guatemala before being jailed then deported to the US.
Since then he has worked on an “NSA proof” peer-to-peer networking tool; beenevicted from his Oregon apartment and hit with a civil stalking complaint; andclaimed in an interview earlier this year that “bad people are still after me” as he continued his focus on developing privacy-related software.
McAfee’s chances of becoming president are slim, to say the least – although he may take heart from similar views on Trump until recently – but he is likely to make technology the centre of his campaign.
“It’s clear that the leadership of our country is illiterate on the fundamental technology that supports everything in life for us now, that is cyberscience, our smartphones, our military hardware, our communications,” he said.