By Mark Wachtler
November 28, 2014. Naperville, IL (ONN) It’s been an exciting election year for the Libertarian Party of Illinois. They gained national headlines when armed GOP thugs went to their homes, forcing them to sign affidavits saying they weren’t Libertarians. The Party then found itself in a three-way race with the two establishment Parties. And even though Libertarian candidates didn’t hit the all-important 5 percent threshold to qualify as a major party, they doubled their membership, voter base and vote totals.
Illinois Libertarian Party voters gather on Election night. Image courtesy of DuPageLibertarians.org.
‘Despite falling just short of our 5% goal, 2014 was a historic year for Illinois Libertarians,’ an Illinois Libertarian Party post-Election announcement explained, ‘We shattered our previous election records even as voter turnout fell to all-time lows.’ Compared to Election totals in Illinois four years ago, when a larger number of citizens voted than this year, the LP’s candidate for Illinois Lt. Governor increased his vote total by 278%. The Libertarian candidate for Illinois Treasurer increased by 121%. And the LP candidates for Attorney General, US Senate and Illinois Comptroller increased their vote totals over 2012 by 87%, 58% and 45% respectively.
“This is a historic Election for the Libertarian Party of Illinois,” Illinois LP State Chairman Lex Green told supporters, “Although our goal of becoming an established party remains elusive, we have achieved dramatic increases in the votes our candidates have received in all the races for statewide office. This happened even as we faced never before seen challenges to our existence by the old parties. When you take into account the phenomenal surge in new members over the last weeks, it speaks loudly that we are a force to be reckoned with. Our time is now and we will leverage this success to even greater achievement in the coming years.”
Local leaders organizing
Local Illinois Libertarian leaders didn’t waste any time capitalizing on their influx of new members, voters and supporters. Only days after this month’s Election, the Party issued a public call for volunteers, leaders and even staffers and assistants. ‘Nov 4th has come and gone, but our sights are already set on the future,’ a Party announcement said last week, ‘As we work to organize those who are answering last week’s call for volunteers, we return this week with a different appeal.’
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The call to action goes on to encourage Illinois libertarians to become candidates in the coming 2015 local Elections, as well as the 2016 national Election. ‘In order to really put our Party’s efforts in gear, we need candidates to put our weight behind,’ the statement read, ‘If you want to take Liberty’s banner and see how far you can run, then this is your time. Running for office is perhaps the single greatest way to make a difference.’
2016 Election strategy
The statement goes on to give a glimpse of the elective offices the Libertarian Party of Illinois will be setting its sights on in 2016, ‘This year, we came 0.2% short of securing future ballot access. With the ever-growing popularity of Libertarianism and the ongoing exodus from the establishment, 2016 is set to be our year. Mark Kirk’s Senate seat will be up, and we’re looking for someone who is determined to take it. We are also in search for those looking to be the first Libertarians elected to Illinois’ General Assembly.’
Currently, Libertarians are traversing the state of Illinois recruiting and organizing new members. As they put it, they’re, ‘looking to touch base with as many of Illinois’ citizens as possible, from Shawnee to Chicago.’ The message they’re bringing to voters is, “Enough of the establishment’s robbing Peter to pay Paul. We need to get the government out of the business of playing one group of people against another. It is time for policies of peace that protect every individual’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
For more information, visit the Libertarian Party of Illinois website at LPIllinois.org.
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