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How to Run for Office as a Libertarian

November 11th, 2009

running-for-office-paperwork.jpgAlthough I have not posted anything in the Politics section for a while, earlier this week Wes Benedict sent out this nice little summary article that looks like it might be useful for some of you. Currently we are drawing close to the filing deadlines for candidates to run in the 2010 elections here in Texas, and the deadlines for other states will follow shortly thereafter. This means that if you have become fed up enough with the current situation that you want to run for office, you will need to think about getting your paperwork in order pretty soon so that your name will make it onto the ballot by next November.


Dear Friend of Liberty,

I want you to run for office.

You may have already responded to my call to run for office and asked me how to go about it. Don’t take it personally if I’ve failed to respond to any of your questions. I’m getting more and more emails, so the percentage of people I can respond to personally is going down. I need to give priority to questions from Libertarian National Committee members and Libertarian state chairs. Besides me, we just have three full-time staff members and three part-time staff, and they are doing their best to help.

Although we have a small staff, we’re busy organizing and re-engineering our processes to maximize our effectiveness with the resources you contribute.

Here’s a summary of how to run for office as a Libertarian:

1. Fill out this form. The form generates an email to your state party and puts you in our national candidate prospect database.

2. Contact your state party and local organizations by email or phone. State and local parties are your first means of support. Some states are more organized than others. Our national office will monitor state progress, and we will try to help out later as much as we can where gaps exist.

3. Try to find out the process from your state party for filing an official candidate application and getting onto the ballot. The process is different in every state. Also, what may take you ten hours to figure out on your own may take only ten minutes for a former candidate, so find former candidates and talk to them.

If there’s a race you can win, run for that office. Most Libertarian wins are in small jurisdictions where it takes less than 1,000 votes to win. I’m encouraging people who live in major cities, where winning is less feasible, to run for U.S. Congress. We don’t have the resources to run major national advertising campaigns, but if we put our candidates on the ballot, they will get some publicity (often free publicity) on their own. And they are in place in case a major backlash erupts against the Republicans and Democrats.

Right now, I want to see if you can contact your state party politely and efficiently to find out the process for getting onto the ballot. Please be respectful of their time. Keep in mind, our state party leaders are unpaid volunteers, and some are already pushed to the limit. Taking up too much of their time could prevent them from getting an additional candidate onto the ballot. I want you to contact them, but please don’t take an hour of their time expressing your views on world peace or Medicare.

The earliest deadline to file for U.S. Congress is in Texas (January 4, 2010). The deadline varies by state. It is several months later in some states.

Your mission is to get your name or help get someone else’s name listed here. (The list will be prettied up at some point.)

We post names as we receive approval from state chairs, so get started on the three steps above if you’re willing to run for office. America needs you now.

Sincerely,

Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

P.S. If you have not yet become a member of the Libertarian Party and wish to do so, please click here and join the only political party dedicated to free markets and civil liberties.


Relevant articles:

How to Become a Libertarian Precinct Leader
How to Organize a Political Campaign


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