The Libertarian Party of Michigan ran 37 candidates in partisan races in yesterday’s 2014 midterm elections. Not unexpectedly, LPM candidates were unable to beat any of the Republican and Democratic Party candidates they faced. While this is the fewest number of candidates run since 1992, Libertarians had much better than average election returns, even setting a couple of “minor” or “third” party records in the process. Libertarian candidates beat all other minor party candidates for Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and US Senator. (These are all unofficial results and should not change significantly when the official results are certified.)
Mary Buzuma earned 35,570 votes (1.13%) for Governor, the best showing ever for the Libertarian Party of Michigan and second highest result for a third party since at least 1972 when the Libertarian Party was founded (and the starting point of my election results spreadsheet).
James Lewis earned 60,874 votes (1.98%) for Secretary of State, the most votes ever for a Libertarian and the largest percentage for any minor party candidate since at least 1972.
Jim Fulner earned 62,623 votes (2.01%) for US Senator, the only minor party candidate besides Jon Coon in 1994 (4.22%) to earn more than 2% of the vote.
In the State Board of Education and three University Board races, the two Libertarians in each race all finished among the top three minor party candidates. Libertarian Kimberly Moore was the top vote getter among minor party candidates earning 114,120 (2.05%) of the vote.
While the number of LPM candidates for the State Legislature was an all time low, the average percentage for State House (4.96%) and State Senate (4.47%) were an all time high. These races included a couple of notable outcomes. In the race for State House District 61, Libertarian Michael Stampfler earned 2,941 (8.88%) which is the second strongest showing in a State House race for a Libertarian Party candidate since Jon Coon earned 5,042 (15.74%) in 1996. In State Senate District 20, Lorence Wenke earned 7,263 votes (9.03%), the strongest showing ever for a minor party candidate for the State Senate since at least 1972.
The LPM ran 12 candidates for US Congress, averaging 2.03% and beating other minor party and independent candidates in 10 of these races. This is the second consecutive election that the LPM has averaged more than 2% for US Congress, just short of 2012’s record of 2.31%.