Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore takes part in an interview on with The Young Turks, a popular youtube political channel, at the Radisson Hotel's Radio Row in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Mon., Feb. 8, 2016. Many television and radio stations set up in the hotel for their coverage of the primary in the final days of the campaign. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore takes part in an interview on with The Young Turks, a popular youtube political channel, at the Radisson Hotel's Radio Row in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Mon., Feb. 8, 2016. Many television and radio stations set up in the hotel for their coverage of the primary in the final days of the campaign. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 133 votes.M. Scott Brauer for TIME
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore takes part in an interview on with The Young Turks, a popular youtube political channel, at the Radisson Hotel's Radio Row in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Mon., Feb. 8, 2016. Many television and radio stations set up in the hotel for their coverage of the primary in the final days of the campaign. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore poses for a picture with general manager Jayme Lemay, of Nashua, NH, at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Mon., Feb. 8, 2016. The Red Arrow Diner is a frequent stop of political candidates. Sirius XM was broadcasting live from the diner Monday and Tuesday. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore greets people outside the polling station at Londonderry High School in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on the day of primary voting, Feb. 9, 2016. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Lloyd Gatling, (left) of Suffolk, Virginia, brother-in-law of former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore holds campaign signs for the candidate outside the polling location for Manchester Ward 2 at Hillside Middle School in Manchester, New Hampshire, on the day of primary voting, Feb. 9, 2016. Also pictured is Jack Cohen, of Manchester, New Hampshire, a volunteer with the Trump campaign. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Wearing new boots purchased the day before, Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore greets people outside the polling station at Londonderry High School in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on the day of primary voting, Feb. 9, 2016. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore (left), NH state director Anne Smith, and Gilmore's brother-in-law Lloyd Gatling, of Suffolk, Virginia, get in their car to travel to a polling location outside the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire, on the day of primary voting, Feb. 9, 2016. Most television and radio organizations set up at the Radisson to broadcast their campaign coverage during the final days of the primary. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore waits for an interview with TheRealNews.com at the Radisson Hotel's Radio Row in Manchester, New Hampshire,on Mon., Feb. 8, 2016. Also pictured is Gilmore's NH state director Anne Smith, of Bedford, NH. Many television and radio stations set up in the hotel for their coverage of the primary in the final days of the campaign. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore waits for an interview with TheRealNews.com at the Radisson Hotel's Radio Row in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Mon., Feb. 8, 2016. Also pictured is Gilmore's NH state director Anne Smith, of Bedford, NH, (blond, center) and Gilmore's brother-in-law, Lloyd Gatling, of Suffolk, Virginia (left). Many television and radio stations set up in the hotel for their coverage of the primary in the final days of the campaign. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore takes part in an interview on the Tom Brown Show on WEZS, a talk radio station broadcasting from Laconia, New Hampshire, at the Radisson Hotel's Radio Row in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Mon., Feb. 8, 2016. Many television and radio stations set up in the hotel for their coverage of the primary in the final days of the campaign. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore walks through the snow with brother-in-law Lloyd Gatling, of Suffolk, Virginia, after visit the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Mon., Feb. 8, 2016. The Red Arrow Diner is a frequent stop of political candidates. Sirius XM was broadcasting live from the diner Monday and Tuesday. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
BBC 5 reporter Rhod Sharp interviews former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore before he gets lunch at the Puritan Backroom on the day of primary voting, Feb. 9, 2016. Sharp's radio program is called "Up All Night." The Puritan Backroom is a long-time favorite stop of political candidates in the state and place where journalists and political junkies hang out on election days hoping to meet candidates. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore gets lunch with brother-in-law Lloyd Gatling, of Suffolk, Virginia, and NH state campaign director Anne Smith, at the Puritan Backroom on the day of primary voting, Feb. 9, 2016. The Puritan Backroom is a long-time favorite stop of political candidates in the state and place where journalists and political junkies hang out on election days hoping to meet candidates. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore greets people outside the polling station at Bedford High School in Bedford New Hampshire, on the day of primary voting, Feb. 9, 2016. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore speaks with Daily Caller reporter Alex Pfeiffer (left) and senior editor Jamie Weinstein (in blue) on the day of primary voting, Feb. 9, 2016. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore speaks with Gary LaBella, of Arlington, Virginia, (checkered shirt) and Lauren Green, of Silver Spring, Maryland, a Master's student in Political Communications at American University, at the Gilmore primary watch party at Fratello's in Manchester, New Hampshire on the day of primary voting, Feb. 9, 2016. LaBella came to the party because he said Gilmore was a good governor in Virginia. He was in the state for the primary acting as a chaperone for American University students visiting to watch the process. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
A campaign sign for former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore stands in the snow among those of other Republican presidential candidates on Granite Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Mon., Feb. 8, 2016. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Lloyd Gatling, of Suffolk, Virginia, brother-in-law of former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore holds campaign signs for the candidate outside the polling location for Manchester Ward 2 at Hillside Middle School in Manchester, New Hampshire, on the day of primary voting, Feb. 9, 2016. Gilmore finished in last place among major Republican candidates still in the race with a total of 150 votes.
Former Virginia governor and Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore takes part in an interview on with The Young
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M. Scott Brauer for TIME
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Finishing Last: A Day in the Life of Presidential Candidate Jim Gilmore

Feb 11, 2016

For photographer M. Scott Brauer, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore's campaign was a welcome relief to the circus that can be the campaign trail during a presidential election.

While the odds are against Gilmore—a long-shot Republican candidate who managed to capture 133 votes in the New Hampshire primary—Brauer says the campaign has a sense of perseverance that keeps him in the race.

"He is so optimistic," says Brauer. "He seemed to really enjoy doing the campaign stuff. I've photographed all of the candidates, starting in July of last year, and some of the candidates seem to just kind of put up with some of the nitty gritty of doing campaigns, you know shaking hands and all that—Jim Gilmore, that was his element and he enjoys it."

The images Brauer captured during the day he spent campaigning with Gilmore in Manchester, N.H. highlight the oddity of Gilmore's campaign, which does not attract the mega-crowds of opponents like Republican front-runner Donald Trump. Brauer decided to make use of heavy flash when taking pictures, much like old-school film cameras, giving the pictures a "really strange" look. Brauer chose this particular approach to highlight the strangeness of the campaign itself. "It doesn't look like the world that you see when you walk out down the street and that's what I kind of like about it, because politics is so far removed from ordinary life anyway," he says.

Even in the face of adversity, Brauer says that Gilmore remains optimistic and greets voters with a sense of enthusiasm. Brauer noted how Gilmore handles the rigors of the campaign, meeting with constituents into the late hours of the night only to be up and at it early in the morning.

"Even though he's got no traction, he ran it like a normal campaign," says Brauer. "It was dogged determination to campaign the way that a campaign should be done–it was just fascinating to see."

After New Hampshire, Gilmore heads to South Carolina, even after some more popular opponents dropped out of the race Wednesday—namely New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

M. Scott Brauer is an American photographer born in Germany and based in Boston.

Paul Moakley, who edited this photo essay, is TIME's deputy director of photography.

Daniel White is a writer for TIME. He is based in Washington.

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