by Jamie Lewis
The election is quickly approaching and this is the time when we usually ask if you would be willing to run for office as a Libertarian. This time I am asking a different question. Would you be willing to serve as an elected Libertarian?
We all like seeing Libertarian candidates running for high profile positions that get media attention. The reality is however those positions require spending quite a bit of money just to be competitive. I have identified over 40 partisan winnable positions just in the West Michigan where Libertarians can get elected without spending any money!
There are more positions on the ballot than some people realize, and there are more than what actually end up getting filed for. A lot of these are in townships. Besides Supervisor, Clerk, Treasurer and (usually 1-4) Trustees; some townships have Road Commissions, Parks Commissions, Constables and others. Township offices are partisan and if there are not enough people who file to run for these in the Democratic and Republican primaries, the boards will just fill the vacancies after the election. Parks commission is a common one for this. Not all townships have them, but the ones that do must have between 5 to 9 seats on the commission. I have seen some jurisdictions where there are only three people running between the Democratic and Republican primaries. These bodies have the power to condemn property for public use, so they really need to have a libertarian voice on them.
Before local affiliates close their nominations, get a list of who is running in your county in the Democratic and Republican Primaries from your county clerk (you can usually find this on the county website). See if there are any positions where no one is running and make sure to nominate someone if you have anyone living there. We have a real opportunity this year to put a record number of Libertarians in office in Michigan. We just need to find people who live in the right places that would be willing to actually serve in office.