Amarillo, Texas - He's competing against fellow Texans Rick Perry and Ron Paul, but Jared Blankenship, an unknown in the political scene, is making strides in the race that are surprising even himself.
He's a farmer, a rancher, and a preacher who calls Hereford his home.
With no political background and a limited budget, he's an unlikely presidential candidate. However, Jared Blankenship threw his cowboy hat into the race back in March and has been moving forward ever since.
He stands for a "common sense conservatism" in a campaign he calls "Reclaiming America.
Blankenship says, "We went out with a simple straight forward message with some core convictions and convinced people to come to Ames (Iowa) on their own, to buy their own ticket, to fund their own way. We had individuals drive two and three hours one way, to vote for us."
Being barred from buying space for voters and having his name on the ballot didn't stop Blankenship. He became a write-in.
Blankenship adds, "I don't know whether the party expected we would go ahead and follow through, but that's exactly what we did and we surprised a few people."
With his unexpected success in the straw poll, Blankenship now looks to the Iowa caucus in February, but he says getting there will be a challenge.
He explains, "We set a budget initially of two million dollars to compete in the caucus. Whether we can achieve that or not, I don't know."
Blankenship says that's the beauty of his campaign, "If I'm not elected this time or if I'm never elected, that's not necessarily the greater issue here. The greater issue is that we have the conservative perspective of everyday average citizens being heard in the debate, in the conversation."