While most of the country will be focused on the winner of the presidential election, there’s one place that will have its eyes on the runner up. Norton, Kansas could be like any other small town in America. Except for the unique attraction inside the First State Bank that makes it unlike any place in the world.
The “They Also Ran” gallery is dedicated to those who ran for president of the United States and lost.
Lee Ann Shearer is the gallery curator and tour guide. She says people come from all across the world to see the gallery started by the bank's founder in the 1960’s. And she takes them along a journey of what could have been.
“Over our shoulders we look down the long political vista of our past,” Shearer says. “Was ours a good choice?”
The wall showcases most of the first runner-ups.
“Yes Thomas Jefferson,” Shearer says. “You're thinking how could he be a loser but he lost to Adams. So these guys kind of flip flopped they're both winners.”
Shearer says there’s a story behind each picture.
“John Fremont is one of my favorite guys,” Shearer says. “His life was kind of like a soap opera it had its ups and downs.”
Many have been forgotten, but Shearer tries to bring them back to life.
“We have Henry Clay and he's our most consistent loser,” Shearer says. “He ran for 24 years six different election cycles he changed his political affiliation three different times.”
And as the country turns its attention to the swearing in ceremony, here there will be a ceremony of a different kind; a reception commemorating the addition of the gallery’s latest picture of Hillary Clinton.
Having a woman in the gallery will be new for Shearer and visitors here. But she believes it adds to the experience.
“How our world has changed and the rights that we have acquired through time,” Shearer says. “That a little girl can now imagine than she can be president of our United States. So people can dream the biggest dream there is to dream to be the ultimate commander in chief.”
Hillary Clinton’s picture will be the 61st in the gallery.