Monday, March 21, 2016

Libertarian Dunlap running for Montana governor

Libertarian from Conner running for governor | Montana Politics | - Perry Backus, Helena Independent Record:

March 20, 2015 - "Along a slow-moving stretch of the East Fork of the Bitterroot, there’s a rock that Ted Dunlap likes quite a lot....  He calls it his thinking rock. Over the course of the next year, Dunlap plans to get to know this particular stone even better as he ponders the message he wants to spread as part of his campaign for the highest post in Montana politics.

"Dunlap filed as the Libertarian candidate for governor ... the third time he’s run for governor of a state. The first two tries came in Idaho, where he managed to spread the Libertarian message by participating in several debates broadcast statewide.

"'I didn’t win, of course, but I did influence the debate,' Dunlap said. 'The other candidates had to consider what I was saying. People told me later that what I said made sense.'

"When people ask Dunlap to define a Libertarian’s perspective on the world, he hearkens back to his years in junior high when someone told him: 'Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.' His wife prefers: 'Whatever floats your boat, as long as it doesn’t sink mine.'

'We don’t feel like anyone should have the right to tell you how to live your life,' Dunlap said.... “I grew up with a strong dislike for bullies,” he said. “I didn’t like seeing anyone get pushed around. In my mind, that’s what the Democrats and Republicans are. It’s their own way or the highway. They are bullies.... Who gave them the right to tell me how to use my money or how I should live my life?' ...

"Dunlap was living in California when he first realized that he didn’t fit. It was just after Dianne Feinstein was elected to the U.S. Senate.... So, he sold his mowing/hazardous fuels control business and moved to a small town just outside of Boise.... In Idaho, he went searching for members of the Libertarian Party.... 'I took over leadership, which required a bit of a battle at the time.'

"After putting on a convention that raised about $8,500 for the cause and creating some party unity, Dunlap spent the next few years adding his name to the ballot, twice for governor and once as sheriff.... 'It was the closest election the sheriff had ever suffered,' Dunlap said. 'He didn’t even see it coming. I didn’t really want the job of sheriff, but I would have done it better than him.

“'I feel the same way about the Montana governor’s job,' he said. 'I don’t really want the job, but I’ll do it, and do it better than what the governor has done.'

"Dunlap said he doesn’t really plan to travel much to campaign.... 'But I will do my best to spread the word about the Libertarian Party. Once you get involved in it, your mind will get stretched and it will never go back to its previous shape. We call it the party of principle.'

"Dunlap said he’s been heartened by the like minds that he’s found since moving northward.

"'I thought I would find more and more individualism if I went north,' he said. 'When I went to Idaho, it felt like there was about one in 10 people who thought like me. Here in Montana, it’s closer to 50/50. I’m making progress.'"

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