EFEBy Eduard Ribas i Admetlla Washington

It's still seven months until Christmas but Santa Claus is busy in the far north. He's an independent candidate with a long white beard who is vying with controversial ex-Gov. Sarah Palin to represent the citizens of Alaska in the US Congress.

Although he was born in 1975 as Tom O'Connor, this cleric officially changed his name to Santa Claus in 2004 as part of a personal project to help disadvantaged children.

Everything started one day when the man with the long beard and rosy cheeks was praying in the snow and thinking about how to help marginalized kids and someone shouted at him from a passing car, "Santa, I love you!"