By Greg Stempfle
The Libertarian Party of Michigan ran 60 candidates for Federal, State, and local public office in this unusual election season marked by a global pandemic, a large percentage of absentee votes, and a hyper partisan political climate.
Libertarian Presidential Candidate Jo Jorgensen came in third place with 60,286 votes, or 1.09%. While this is less than a third of Gary Johnson’s record 3.59% of the vote in 2016, it was still the second best showing in party history.
In Antrim County, Donna Gundle-Krieg was one of two candidates elected to the Mancelona Township Board of Trustees. Gundle-Krieg, owner of a well known real estate agency, came in second place by defeating a Democrat by just under 100 votes. Donna became only the second Libertarian in Michigan, and first since 1988, to be elected to office by defeating a major party opponent.
In Fruitport Township, Richard Riekse was one of three candidates elected to the Township Parks Commission. Richard, along with a Democrat and Republican will serve on the commission.
In Detroit, Scotty Boman was elected to the 4th District Detroit Community Advisory Council. Boman, a community college professor, helped to create this commission via petition gathering in 2019. A second Libertarian, Gregory Creswell, filed as a write in candidate and is expected to be elected after the results are certified.
The nine Libertarian candidates for US Congress averaged 1.68% or 6,644 votes. The best showing was Jeff DePoy running in District 6 who received 2.75% (10,396 votes). The nine Libertarian candidates for State House averaged 1.91% or 963 votes. The best showing was Norm Peterson running in District 64 who received 2.61% (1,071 votes). The six Libertarian candidates running for the various statewide education boards averaged 1.14% or 112,699 votes. The best showing was Jon Elgas running for Wayne State Board of Governors who received 1.30% (125,792 votes).
For Michigan Supreme Court the Libertarian Party nominated two candidates who appear on the ballot as nonpartisan. Kerry Morgan received 339,195 votes (4.61%) and Katherine Nepton received 289,844 votes (3.94%).
The top vote Libertarian vote getter in a partisan race was Dan Ziemba who received 125,944 votes for Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney in a two way race against Democrat Kym Worthy. This is the best showing for a countywide candidate in party history. It’s also the first time the top Libertarian vote getter was not a statewide candidate. Ziemba currently has 152 votes more than Jon Elgas received for WSU Board of Governors.
Ziemba’s result will create an unusual election law interpretation for the Bureau of Elections. Retaining ballot status is based on the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes for that party in the preceding election. The top vote getting has always been a statewide candidate and county results are not even reported to the state. Will the Bureau report that the retention of the LPM ballot status is based on Elgas or Ziemba’s vote?
Thanks again to all of our candidates!