By Jamie Lewis, Political Director
The 2020 elections are quickly approaching! If you have not given thought to being a candidate as of yet, I hope you will consider it. There will literally be thousands of positions up for election and the more people we have on the ballot the more visible our party will be to voters.
The answer to that will depend on the amount of time, effort and money you want to put into a campaign as well as what your individual goals for running are.
If your goal is to win the 2020 election, Great! I would suggest looking at the past couple of results for the office you are interested in. The more votes it takes to win, the more of that time, effort and money that will take to win that seat. For most people, they may mean Township or County offices may be your best bet, although for some, State Representative may be where you want to look. The small number of votes needed make these races very doable on a limited budget and the small geographical areas makes it much easier to personally reach out to voters.
If your goal is to bring the message of liberty and self ownership to the voters, larger geographical areas are good choices for this. Decide if you want to focus on state issues or Federal and that will point you to either running for State Representative or US Congress. Having many members running strong, active campaigns is something the party certainly wants to encourage. If there is someone in your area that is planning to run a competitive campaign in your area, it may be better to volunteer to help them, but if there is no one running one in your area, and you are not in the position to do so yourself, a message campaign is still a great help to the party.
If you are not able to put much or any time into a campaign, I would still encourage you to consider putting your name on the ballot for an office that no one else if running for. Just seeing many Libertarian candidates on the ballot may encourage a voter to take a closer look what the Libertarian Party!
Note that for all of these offices Candidates that have any outstanding notices of Failure to File or outstanding late filing fees with any filing official in the State are ineligible to appear on the ballot.
US Senate: To be eligible for the office of U.S. Senator, a person must be a citizen of the United States for seven years, at least 30 years of age and when elected, an inhabitant of the State of Michigan. This nominee will be selected at our July 2020 state convention. As this is the highest position selected by our state party, it would be ideal to have a great spokesperson for the party in this position. Someone comfortable speaking to the media and in debates. If this is a position you are interested in, I would encourage you to make that known to members well before that convention.
US Representative in Congress: To be eligible for the office of U.S. Representative in Congress, a person must be a citizen of the United States for seven years, at least 25 years of age and when elected, an inhabitant of the State of Michigan. As most congressional districts cross affiliate boundaries, these nominees will generally be selected in Caucus at the July convention. You should at least let members of your affiliate know ahead of time and if the district is shared with a neighboring affiliate, it would be a good idea to let them know as well.
State Representative: To be eligible for the office of State Representative a person must be a citizen of the United States, at least 21 years of age and a registered and qualified elector of the district he or she wishes to represent by the filing deadline. Most of these nominees will be selected at local caucuses, but affiliates will be encouraged to hold their nominations open until the state convention as you have a limited amount of time to turn your filings in which starts when you close your nominations.
County and Township offices: To be eligible for a Township or County office, a person must be a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years of age and a registered and qualified elector of the district he or she wishes to represent for at least 30 days. These will all be chosen at your local conventions and will need to be turned in at your county clerk’s office. If you hold your convention open, we can help you go over your paperwork at the state convention before you turn it in.
Education Boards: To be eligible for the office of State Board of Education, University of Michigan Regent, Michigan State University Trustee, or Wayne State University Governor, a person must be a registered and qualified elector of the State of Michigan at least 18 years of age on the date he or she is nominated for the office. These nominees will all be selected at the July state convention.
Michigan Supreme Court Justice: To be eligible for the office of Supreme Court Justice a person must be a registered and qualified elector of the State of Michigan by the filing deadline; licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan; and less than 70 years of age on November 3, 2020. In addition, as of January 1, 2021, the individual must have been admitted to the practice of law for at least 5 years. There will be at least two seats to nominate for. If there is a vacancy before the election, there could be a partial term seat for nomination as well. These will be selected at the July state convention.
Presidential Electors: The Libertarian party of Michigan will be nominating 16 people to be Presidential Electors. These nominees will be selected at the July state convention. Out of all the offices, this is the only one that we are required to nominate and it is the one where you have the least to do. No person shall be eligible to be an elector of president and vice president who shall not have been a citizen of the United States for at least 10 years and a resident and registered elector of the congressional district for an elector representing a congressional district, or of the state, for an elector representing the state at large for at least 1 year prior to the election. No senator or representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector, as provided in section 1 of article 2 of the United States constitution. The one requirement of this position is that if the Libertarian candidate wins a plurality of the votes in November, the Presidential electors we nominated will travel to Lansing in November to cast the votes for our candidate in the Electoral College.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I hope to see your name on the ballot in 2020!