Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Libertarians get major party status in New Mexico

With easy ballot access, Libertarian Party seeks N.M. candidates; Dunn eyes bid for governor | Local News | santafenewmexican.com - Morgan Lee, Associated Press:

November 13, 2017 - "A new political avenue toward statewide elected office and Congress may be opening in New Mexico as the Libertarian Party achieves major party status, giving its candidates ready access to the ballot in 2018.

"Failed presidential candidate Gary Johnson in 2016 won a historic consolation prize for the Libertarian Party by surpassing 5 percent of the popular vote in his home state of New Mexico, thereby lowering daunting signature requirements for Libertarian candidates.

"Strong showings at 2016 elections in Iowa, Kentucky and Massachusetts also are making it easier for the Libertarians to get on next year’s ballot.

"New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, elected in 2014 as a Republican, is giving 'heavy consideration' to a run for governor under the Libertarian Party, his son and campaign adviser Blair Dunn said Monday.

"State Libertarian Party Chairwoman Elizabeth Hanes says at least five people have expressed interest in the Libertarian nomination for governor, though she declined to name them....

"A year ahead of the general election, the Libertarian Party in New Mexico has about 7,100 registered voters and just one declared candidate in a major race — who has yet to file a nominating petition. The filing deadline for federal and statewide candidates is Feb. 6.

"Grady Owens, a 32-year-old undergraduate astrophysics student in the tiny crossroads community of Mayhill, has begun collecting signatures for what he acknowledges as a longshot campaign to win New Mexico’s southern congressional district, where Pearce will not run for re-election. He has high hopes for the party that espouses minimal government and maximum personal freedom, but also said it has not been easy to track down signatures from registered Libertarians in rural Otero and Lincoln counties....

"Independent candidates have to gather about 15,000 signatures to run for governor in New Mexico, and about 6,800 for the state’s southern Congressional district. Minor-party candidates have to gather one-third of that amount. Under major-party status, Libertarian candidates would need just 230 signatures to enter the primary for governor, and as few as 77 for congress. They also need approval at a pre-primary Libertarian convention."

Read more: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/with-easy-ballot-access-libertarian-party-seeks-n-m-candidates/article_d07c2d59-8e80-52dc-9036-2ef6adb66c88.html
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