MANATEE -- The job of president of the United States brings with it enormous prestige, but also tremendous pressures and frustrations.
Just ask the nation’s 44th and current president, Barack Obama.
But that hasn’t deterred a 48-year-old Bradenton woman from announcing her candidacy for the nation’s highest office.
Karen Bellino, who lives in the historic Wares Creek neighborhood, says God has called on her to run in 2012.
She has filed paperwork to start her mission and her name is listed as a candidate on the supervisor of elections websites for Palm Beach and Brevard counties, as well as several other national websites.
The specifics of her campaign focus on ending abortion, renewing the family unit and restoring men as Godly family leaders and restoring Constitutional rights.
“A few months ago, God told me he wanted me to run for president of the United States,” Bellino said at her home Friday. “He spoke to me in the Holy Spirit and visually.”
Bellino is a Republican, but said the local Republican party has not returned her phone calls pertaining to her run for president.
“I’m a Republican because God is very conservative, and has not changed His laws,” Bellino said. “But He is also very liberal with His love.”
A call to the Manatee County Republican organization for a comment was not immediately returned.
In an age where presidential candidates’ platforms and positions can be vague, bland and nonoffensive, Bellino’s platform is etched in stone and controversial. She knows it may turn some people off, but she doesn’t care.
“My platform is that this is the day of Judgement and the Kingdom of God is at hand and God told me to go tell his people to repent,” Bellino said.
Bellino asks her fellow citizens to: “Please promote me for president across the U.S. and please pray for me.”
One local pastor applauds Bellino for her views, but says he would rather see her praying for the president than being the president.
“My thought on it is that she is exactly right but, at the end of the day, there has to be separation of church and state,” said Pastor Cory Brinson of Spiritual House of Praise in Palmetto.
“It is our responsibility as Christians to pray for those in public office. But if she feels she is called, more power to her.”
Bellino meets the basic qualifications for president: She is at least 35 years old, a natural-born U.S. citizen and has been a U.S. resident for 14 years prior to taking office.
Bellino doesn’t have money for a campaign manager or presidential exploratory committee.
If she has to run as an independent, she would need to have 112,174 registered voters sign her petition for president by July 15, 2012, in order to get her name on the general election ballot, according to Florida Statutes.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 748-0411, ext. 6686.