Software pioneer McAfee files paperwork to run for president

John McAfee, 2016, President
Getty Images

The antivirus software pioneer John McAfee on Tuesday filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for president. 

The paperwork was confirmed as authentic by Kyle Sandler, who is identified as one of the campaign’s directors and responded to a request for comment from a contact form on McAfee’s personal website. The filing lists an Alabama address, and noted that McAfee would be “founding a new party yet to be announced.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Questions were initially raised whether the eccentric founder of the eponymous named anti-virus software company — who describes himself as a “eccentric millionaire & still alive” on his Twitter profile — would be eligible to run since many profiles about him note that he was born in the United Kingdom. 

But McAfee is eligible to run because he was born on a U.S. Army base in the United Kingdom to an American serviceman, according to Sandler. His mother was of British decent. Sen. John McCainJohn McCainTrump should apologize to heroic POWs McCain urges sports leagues to return 'paid patriotism' money Senators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels MORE (R-Ariz.), who won the Republican nomination in 2008, has a similar story. 

McAfee had teased the run earlier this week in a series of tweets and retweets. He told Wired on Tuesday that his advisers were “pressing me to run.”

McAfee told the tech website he has received “thousands” of emails from people encouraging him to run. But just hours before the FEC filing went up, he said he was “still in a quandary about whether to run myself or find someone else for my party.”

“It's not something I would just choose to do on my own,” he said. 

In terms of policy issues, he told Wired that the federal government is “illiterate” on the underlying technology that supports everyday life, from smartphones to military hardware to communications. 

McAfee founded his antivirus software in the late 1980s but is no longer affiliated with it. The company was purchased by Intel in 2010. 

The biggest focus of McAfee in the news in recent years surrounded his fleeing of his home in Belize after authorities looked to question him about the murder of his neighbor. He was described as a person of interest but not a suspect. 

Reports from that time described him as “increasingly erratic." He said his reaction came out of fear of the authorities there. But Belize’s prime minister had described his reaction to the situation as paranoid. 

A USA Today profile of him from earlier this year noted that McAfee settled in Tennessee after being on the run for most of 2014. The profile noted he was attempting to raise his profile with a new incubator on the Alabama-Georgia border, and he occasionally spoke at tech conferences.