Monday, November 19, 2018

WY Libertarian loses statehouse race by 53 votes

Libertarian Bethany Baldes Gets Within 60 Votes of Victory in Wyoming State House Race Against Incumbent GOP Majority Leader - Hit & Run : - Bryan Doherty:

November 7, 2018 - "Bethany Baldes, a Libertarian Party state House candidate in Wyoming's District 55, got so close to defeating incumbent Republican David Miller, who is the House majority leader and has held the seat ever since 2000, that until the absentee ballots were counted local news outlet County 10 was reporting a 54–46 percent win for her....

"Alas, after the absentee votes were counted, what had been a raw vote total of 1,306 to 1,112 for Baldes became a 1,645-1,592 win for incumbent Miller.

"The near-win was the fruit of a strategy pushed by Apollo Pazell, a campaign adviser with the national Libertarian Party. 'We need to create a narrative of wins,' he said in a phone interview last month. To begin that narrative, he thought the L.P. should find races where the total number of votes needed to win was small and there was only one major party opponent, then find a good candidate with strong local roots, and dig in with retail campaigning.

"'Baldes, a fifth-generation Wyoming woman, was someone who was 'part of the day-to-day life of this small town, and they didn't ever see David Miller,' Pazell said. Miller didn't even spend all year in the state, Pazell said, and returned only late in the game to do any campaigning.

"Pazell led a team of six volunteers working full-time for four weeks to hit each and every door in her district, centered on the city of Riverton, three times. Baldes sought and received endorsements from the majority of the Riverton City Council, the county attorney, and more than one former mayor.....

"While Pazell says they did not necessarily fly the Libertarian label all the time, neither did they shy away from it.... Pazell says it was often a benefit in this race, as having been a Democrat might have gotten doors slammed in their face in the current political climate. Hearing Baldes was a Libertarian was actually 'often incredibly disarming' to voters, Pazell says....

"Pazell detailed in last month's phone interview a multi-layered campaign starting with overall voter data, followed by a generic first round of door-knocks to learn more about specific voters' concerns and attitudes. That resulted in six separate mailers for six distinct groups and get out the vote reminders. The campaign raised around $6,000, which is a big deal for a Wyoming state race, he says."

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