Saturday, November 06, 2010

First and Third....or Second....

Avis Rent-A-Car used to have a commercial that claimed "We're number 2, We try harder!" I don't know if they really tried any harder than the number 1 company was trying in order to stay number 1, or if they were really trying any harder than the number 3 company that was trying to make it to number 2.

In the 10 years that I have been associated with the Libertarian Party, it has always been considered a "third party". I've never considered that a bad thing. It just meant that we are operating under a two party system, and that the Democrats and Republicans were the two parties. And anybody that didn't feel like they were a Democrat or Republican, and wanted to change things by running for a political office, had to play by a different set of rules. So, being Libertarians, everybody told us we were a third party, and we accepted that we were a third party, and we even called ourselves a third party.

I live in Wayne County, and the first year the Libertarian Party of Wayne County took part in a mid-term election, we had more candidates on the ballot than the local Democratic Party. We thought that wasn't too bad for a third party.

The next year, the LPWC fielded candidates for all of the positions in the Hagerstown town election in which the Democratic Party put up one candidate. (That was the year the first Libertarian judge was elected in Indiana. In Hagerstown.)

Since then, the Libertarians have consistently finished second in many state and county legislative office races, usually due to the fact that they were one of only two parties represented in those races.

This year, we gained a little more ground. Along with multiple Libertarian candidates winning multiple precincts in Wayne and Henry counties in more of those 2-way races,the Libertarian candidate for the District 54 seat in the Indiana House of Representatives, (that would be me), came in second in a 3-way race in Wayne County. Along with a couple of township wins in Wayne and Henry counties, we also had 6 candidates finish in second in Wayne County, and a couple more each in Henry and Rush counties, and several more in counties across the state.

I'm not sure how many times you have to finish second before you're no longer considered third.

On the statewide level, our Secretary of State candidate, Mike Wherry, received over 100,000 votes, the most any Libertarian candidate has ever received in a 3-way race in Indiana. 1801 of those votes came from Wayne County, which amounts to a little over 11% of the SOS vote total here. According to Indiana election law, when we get 10% across the state, we won't be a third party anymore.

Libertarian candidates in Wayne County received over 19,000 votes this year. Our vote totals and percentages continue to increase across the county and across the state, and I strongly suspect that two more years of the current two parties running things will increase those totals and percentages even more by 2012.

Libertarians may not be considered the second party yet, but we're not as third as we used to be, either.

And we're gonna keep on tryin'.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Mike's massive vote count is tops for a 3-way race.

Steve Osborn pulled 168,820 votes in his campaign for US Senate in 2006 when no Democrat opposed Mr. Lugar.

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...,_2006

5:46 AM  
Blogger Rex Bell said...

Thanks for the correction. I'll make that change.

7:09 AM  

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