By Bill Hall, Chair
So what does major party “primary” status mean for Libertarian candidates? So far, a lot.
As I told Rick Pluta of Michigan Public Radio a few days ago, the fact that the Libertarian Party will be participating in the August 7 primary, just like the Republicans and Democrats, has resulted in unprecedented voter and media attention for Libertarians this early in an election year.
Earlier this month, Libertarian State Senate candidate Tim Coon posted on Facebook “11 candidate questionnaires in the mailbox today……… Unreal.” And that isn’t an isolated instance. Many of our 42 candidates on the primary ballot are receiving mailings and questionnaires from a wide variety of community organizations and public interest groups. We had wondered how much not being in the primary affected attention to Libertarian campaigns. Now we know.
And it’s not just the questionnaires. Both our governor candidates have received coverage in The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press, Bridge Magazine, and on Mlive.com, Gongwer, and Michigan Public Radio. They participated in a candidate debate at Baker College in Flint. One or both have also appeared on television, talk radio and in other newspaper reports, and been invited to and spoken at a variety of public forums.
Political Director Greg Stempfle and I have issued news releases regarding our candidates and responded to inquiries that resulted in articles in the Lansing State Journal, Detroit Metro-Times and Holland Sentinel, and radio interviews.
It’s evident that our status as one of only three parties participating in the August 7 primary gives our candidates a persuasive argument for why they should be treated by the media and community groups the same as Democrats and Republicans. Why our candidates are entitled to participate in candidate forums and debates. And why our candidates should be covered in the media.
The fact that we have a contested governor primary adds an exciting element to the campaign. The votes of Libertarians will make a difference on August 7.
We have made a good start to the primary campaign season, but there is much more to be done. Here are a few ways you can help.
Working together, we can take advantage of this very real benefit of being a “primary” party. Don’t waste this opportunity!