The first Mormon to seek the White House was also the first Mormon -- Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of the Mormon Church, whose 1844 presidential campaign is historically notable not only because it was the first one in which the candidate was assassinated.
Smith's campaign 163 years ago was quite a bit different than Romney's, of course. In Romney's highly anticipated address Thursday about the role of faith in America, he only mentioned Mormonism by name once, and he invoked Abraham Lincoln's concept of "America's 'political religion' -- the commitment to defend the rule of law and the Constitution."
Smith directly pushed what he called "theodemocracy," the blending of religious belief and democracy. And his campaign was rooted entirely within the church that he founded; at the April 1844 Latter Day Saint's general conference, 244 church elders heeded the call to volunteer for Smith's campaign.