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Tonight's Democratic Caucus: Choose Between Hillary, Bernie and... Rocky?

California businessman Rocky De La Fuente will be on the Idaho Democratic Caucus ballot alongside Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. (Rocky2016)
California businessman Rocky De La Fuente will be on the Idaho Democratic Caucus ballot alongside Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. (Rocky2016)
March 22, 2016

BOISE, Idaho - Tonight at Idaho's Democratic caucuses, voters could be forgiven for asking, 'Who is Rocky De La Fuente?'

The third candidate is a California businessman who has made it onto the ballot alongside Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in almost two dozen states.

De La Fuente is running as a Democrat, but announced on Monday he'll run as an Independent in the general election should he fail to get the nomination.

He blames his relative obscurity on the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which excluded him from the debates. And he thinks all states should have a primary system instead of caucuses.

"That caucus system is broken; that caucus system is corrupt," says De La Fuente. "That caucus system does not give equal opportunity to the participants. It's being manipulated by the DNC."

One notable aspect of De La Fuente's campaign is his strong pro-immigration stance. He argues the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants are an asset to the country and should be embraced as potential taxpayers.

He says he was motivated to run by the divisive messages coming from the Republican candidates, especially Donald Trump.

Dean Ferguson, communications director for the Idaho Democratic Party, says people will be able to caucus for De La Fuente tonight, even if his campaign hasn't made a big splash in the Gem State thus far.

"Both the Clinton campaign and the Sanders campaign have contacted our office, and we've made our resources available to those campaigns," says Ferguson. "De La Fuente, if he has campaigned in Idaho, they have certainly not made themselves known to us."

The 61-year-old De La Fuente made his fortune in car sales, finance and real estate. He is best known in California for waging a successful multi-year legal battle to erect a 22-story flagpole on his one of his properties to fly a 3,000-square-foot American flag.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - ID