Coolidge Years (2027-30)
Tony Ellis joined IMG under the character Calvin Coolidge on March 26th, 2017, 2027 in IMG. He immediately endorsed his close IRL friend David Lombard for President and joined the Republican Party, of which he is still a member. Coolidge was elected Governor of his home state of Texas in a special election as the position was not filled at the time. He also joined several other state legislatures.
Governor of Texas
As Governor of Texas, Coolidge appointed Edward Snowden Lt. Governor and ratified a state Constitution. He and the state legislature passed reforms in eminent domain and education.
Election of 2028
Coolidge decided not to run for reelection as Governor and instead to run for House District 6 against Democrat Jason Kander and Freedom candidate Winston Churchill. Despite performing well in a debate between the three, Coolidge received just one vote out of thirteen in a post-debate poll. Churchill and Snowden, Churchill's friend and supporter, asked that Coolidge drop out to not split the right wing vote. Coolidge refused. On the day of the election, Coolidge continued to campaign hard and outperformed Churchill by a large margin, but midway through the day trailed Kander by a few votes. He convinced Churchill to drop out and endorse him. In the end, the election was tied at 21 raw votes for Coolidge and Kander, though the final count was 20-16 in favor of Kander due to inactive and new accounts. In the Presidential election, Coolidge cast his vote for Lombard and changed it the Democrat Robert Kennedy after Lombard dropped out and endorsed him.
Coolidge was devastated that he had lost the election and held no office except a few positions in inactive state legislatures. He did not give up though, and called for a special election for the Texas Governorship after its general election winner Isai Diaz failed to claim the state. Coolidge handily defeated Diaz and John Kasich in the special election. As Governor Coolidge drafted and ratified a state Constitution, though his Governorship was eventually inactive due to other IMG responsibilities. Coolidge also started a foreign nation, the Commonwealth of Poland, which quickly became the most active FNs on IMG. In addition to this, he worked as a field corespondent for Free Domain Radio, a short-lived news service run by David Lombard.
Cruz Years & Rise to Prominence (2031-2032)
Elected to Congress
In late 2030, Coolidge decided to change his character to Ted Cruz, due to the higher availability of pictures of Cruz making speeches and campaigning. Cruz decided that he would put forth a strong effort in the next special election in the House or Senate. Fortunately he did not have to wait long. The very next day Jason Kander, who had defeated Cruz in 2028, resigned from his House seat and announced he was quitting IMG. In the special election for House District 6, Cruz edged opponent Francois Filion by one vote 12-11, with Democrat Chris Jutras coming in at a distant third.
Anti-Freedom Party Coalition
In 2031, Cruz was offered several opportunities to join the Freedom party, and almost accepted, but decided against it due to the hyper-partisanship of some members, particularly Snowden. Cruz decided that if he wasn't leaving the Republican party, he needed to get it out of its inactive state. He convinced Republican Party Chairman David Lombard to resign so that Cruz could run for the position. Cruz defeated Kevin Spacey in a Party Chairman election, and appointed Spacey as his Vice-Chairman due to his enthusiasm and activity. Cruz inherited a party that was a shell of its former self, composed of just nine members. Just two Republicans, Cruz and John Locke, held seats in Congress. With the 2032 election soon approaching, Cruz realized that the party was in peril and could possibly die out completely if they couldn't make a major election splash.
The increased partisan divide between the Freedom party and other parties over President Kennedy's cabinet appointments gave Cruz his opportunity, and he approached Democrat Party Chairman Ethan Bernstein about supporting each other's parties in the general election so that the Freedom Party would not defeat them piecemeal. After it was leaked that some in the Freedom party wanted to run a candidate against Democrat Speaker of the House John F. Kennedy, the coalition greatly increased in popularity. The Republican, Democrat, and Confederate parties all agreed to hold a convention together and not run candidates against each other. Through the work of Cruz, JFK, Bernstein, Andrew Steele, Emmanuel Macron, and others, the coalition ran a person for every seat in Congress, but agreed to not include the presidential race in the coalition due to the tremendous popularity of the Freedom Party's candidate Marco Rubio among Republicans, including Cruz, who had personally endorsed Rubio.
As the 2032 election drew near, Snowden, the coalition's main target to unseat, was challenged in a Freedom primary for his senate seat by Benito Mussolini. He was caught rigging the election in his favor by deleting votes. The fallout was tremendous. All Freedom party members quit and the Freedom party dissolved. Snowden was impeached and quit IMG before he could be convicted. The coalition was no longer necessary as the large voting bloc of the Freedom Party was now split up. Cruz cancelled the Coalition National Convention in Los Angeles and released the final coalition endorsement list, before dissolving the coalition.
Cruz ran for reelection for House District 6. He was challenged by fellow Republican Lamar. Cruz didn't take Lamar seriously at first and ran a rather lackluster campaign, focusing more on the coalition. On election night, Lamar took an early lead, causing Cruz to campaign more than he had previously. In the end, Cruz won in a landslide 28-9 vote. The election was also a resounding success for the Republican Party, which increased its number of seats in the House from two to five.
Contemporary Ellis (2033-Present)
Shortly before the 2032 election, Cruz posted a face reveal and announced his intention to change his name after the election in order to avoid confusion during voting. After the election, he changed his name to Tony Ellis, a combination of his real first name and another family name as his last name. He would also use himself along with Ted Cruz as his character.
Renaissance in the Republican Party
In the wake of the Freedom Party's collapse and the 2032 election, many new parties started. The Libertarian, Tea, Classical Liberal, Progressive, Nationalist, Citizen's, and others filled the giant void left by the Freedom Party. People were unsure where to go after the election, but most of the new parties died quickly. The result was that a vast majority of former Freedom Party members joined the Republican Party. The Party reached a record 22 members, becoming the largest party in IMG history.
Ellis ran for reelection as Chairman and defeated George W. Bush in a 6-4 vote. Ellis retained Spacey as his Vice Chairman and sought to quickly capitalize on the success of the Republican Party by keeping it active. In 2034, Ellis announced that the party would host the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas. CPAC was very successful, having a total of nine major speakers including sitting President Jefferson, and Vice President Vincent Chamberlain. Three Liberty awards were also awarded to Jefferson, Chamberlain, and former President Edmund Gallagher for their service to IMG, the Republican Party, and the cause of liberty. While Ellis was happy with the state of the party, he was worried that if the party was too successful, it would stamp out competition in IMG, and for the good of the sim, set a limit of 22 members in the party.
Currently Ellis is operating the Republican Party primary, which will culminate in the Republican National Convention in Boston in 2035.
Ellis' Big Break
Ellis was fortunate enough to earn the trust of many influential IMG members. Newly elected President Rubio and Vice President Thomas Jefferson selected Ellis to be the White House chief of Staff. Ellis served this position well, advising the President on many things such as the KLA revolution in Liberia, the Southern Coalition crisis, and the Southern California earthquake. Ellis was also appointed Deputy Secretary of Events by the newly elected Secretary of Events Edmund Gallagher. He was also approached by longtime Secretary of Elections Austin Petersen who asked Ellis to run as his replacement. Ellis announced that in the 2036 election he would run for Secretary of Elections and for his House seat in District 6, but not for reelection as Republican Party Chairman due to a conflict of interest with the elections position.