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Boot-headed candidate can bring ponies to Clinton event

December 4, 2017

FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 file photo Democratic presidential candidate Vermin Supreme smiles while holding a giant toothbrush with a boot on his head while visiting a polling station on primary day during a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H. Supreme, a humorous performance artist who is perennially on the ballot as a presidential candidate supporting laws mandating that people brush their teeth and in past presidential campaigns a promise to a free pony for every American. Supreme is suing the state capital, saying its denial of his request to bring two ponies to his planned protest of Hillary Clinton's book signing, scheduled for Tuesday, violates the First Amendment. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A performance artist and perennial candidate in New Hampshire’s presidential primary settled a lawsuit with the state capital on Monday and will be allowed to bring two ponies to his planned protest of Hillary Clinton’s book signing.

Vermin Supreme, who ran as a Democrat in 2016, wears a rubber boot on his head and once threw glitter at another lesser-known candidate during a debate. He asked a federal judge Friday to compel Concord to issue him a permit allowing him to bring the ponies to Clinton’s event, scheduled for Tuesday at a bookstore in the city.

The licensing officer who denied the permit request citied police coordination with the Secret Service for Clinton’s event, the lawsuit says. Supreme had claimed that refusing to issue him a permit violated the First Amendment.

But on Monday, city attorney Jim Kennedy said the two sides had reached a settlement allowing Supreme to bring his ponies to the event. He will be given a parking spot across from the bookstore.

Supreme said Clinton’s book, “What Happened,” attacks his political platform to provide everyone in the country a pony. The book makes references to a satirical Facebook post about the main candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, and their positions on giving people ponies. The post inferred that Clinton was against it.

Supreme’s name isn’t mentioned in the post; he said it’s implicit.

“In terms of politics, I think I’ve got a lock on the free pony thing,” he said. “I firmly believe and claim that it is a slam at my policies.”

Supreme has run in New Hampshire’s presidential primaries going back at least to 2004. In 2016, he was banned from a traditional debate for lesser-known presidential candidates at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics because four years earlier, he threw glitter at another candidate in the middle of the forum.

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This story has been corrected to show that Supreme ran as a Democrat, not as a Libertarian.

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