Why Run for Public Office?
There are a number of great reasons Libertarians run for office, even in races where the odds of victory are long.
- Every candidate receives invitations for media exposure and opportunities to spread the Libertarian message that we otherwise would have to struggle to get.
- As a candidate for public office, you have an easy way to walk up to anyone and start a positive conversation about liberty.
- Libertarian candidates have the ability to raise issues not currently being discussed and make them part of the local or statewide political agenda.
- Any campaign volunteers recruited can easily be turned into more active Party members after the election.
For many, the best reason to run for office is that it’s fun! It feels great to be constantly asked for your opinion on the issues that mean the most to you, and to be invited to meet new people to spread the good news of liberty.
How Else Will You Make an Impact?
The biggest piece of media in any election is the ballot itself. When voters see that Libertarians are running for office at every level of government, they are impressed by a party that is a grassroots movement and ready to lead. Even if you only receive a small percentage of the vote, opinion makers and opposing politicians take notice and realize they have to answer to our portion of the electorate.
Quite often our candidates form relationships by campaigning that last well beyond the election and sometimes bring unexpectedly pleasant results. Ballot Access News noted a few years back that the majority of positive ballot access bills introduced in state legislatures over the previous decade had been sponsored by people who had faced a Libertarian opponent in the previous election.
Politics is about far more than ideology and platforms. We need to put a human face on Libertarianism and being a candidate is easily the best way to do that. Quite often, people form their opinions about our party based on how they feel about the first Libertarian they met. You have that opportunity to be that first contact for the voters in your district.
Which Office to Choose?
If you are interested in running for office, first consider your goals. If you wish to be an ambassador of the Libertarian Party and increase your political or professional network, you may prefer to run for a larger office and maximize your media exposure. However, if your goal is to win, look for local offices, like school board or township trustee, for a race that makes winning possible.
Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in running for office as a Libertarian or even if you are just thinking about it and want to find out more.