Kansas Libertarians Garner Impressive Vote Totals In City Elections

The following is an April 8th post on lp.org:

Michael Ogle wins 32% of vote in run for Topeka mayor

Kansas Libertarian PartyOn April 2, Libertarian Michael Ogle won an impressive 32 percent of the vote in his race for mayor of Topeka. He based his campaign on performance-based budgeting to eliminate wasteful spending, removal of barriers that make it harder for businesses to be successful, and assurance that property rights would not be infringed upon by eminent domain abuse.

In the non-partisan mayoral race, Michael Ogle was pitted against Larry Wolgast, a city council member since 2009 and former deputy mayor, and write-in candidate Betty Dunn, a former city council member.

After the election, Kansas Libertarian Party Chair Al Terwelp said, “Mike, with the guidance of his campaign manager Bob Cooper, ran a highly professional, spirited, and organized campaign. The Ogle campaign did the LPKS proud. Mike ran on a great platform of issues that expressed the positive solutions Libertarians can bring to local government. He and his campaign have advanced the Libertarian Party greatly in the Topeka area.”

Ogle is a corporate accountant and is a captain in the Kansas Army National Guard.

Ogle expressed his thanks to his family, the volunteers for his campaign, his friends, and the National Guard members he has served with. “Thank you! You truly have made this a rewarding experience,” he said.

 Clinton Coen wins 46% of vote in Wichita city council race

Libertarian Clinton Coen, a 21-year-old student at Wichita State University, won a similarly impressive 46 percent of the vote in his campaign for a place on the Wichita City Council.

“We need laws that will prohibit elected officials from voting on items that will directly enrich a campaign contributor,” Coen noted on his website. “The first step in making government an entity that helps, instead of harms, is making government more transparent.”

Information in this blog entry was adapted from an article in the LP Kansas newsletter, Free Kansas, by Sharon DuBois.

42 thoughts on “Kansas Libertarians Garner Impressive Vote Totals In City Elections

  1. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    A loss is a loss no matter how you cut it. Call me all the names you want, but there’s a reason the congressional candidate for whom I’m running the campaign of is running as a Republican. He wants to win. Not get 3%, which seems to be the average LP congressional candidates. He wants to get 51% or more. Which you can’t do as an LP candidate unless you’re running for some local, nonpartisan race.

    When I run for Congress you bet I’m not going to do it as a Libertarian, UNLESS I’m a self financed millionaire, which I won’t be.

    Understand that I’m young, and an idealist. I will work on third party campaigns in the future, for sure. You guys already know that I love the Libertarian Party. However, I don’t want EVERY SINGLE campaign I work on to have a 99.99% chance of losing. Losing really sucks.

  2. Austin Cassidy

    “Understand that I’m young, and an idealist.”

    It doesn’t sound like it… it sounds like you’re being ruthlessly pragmatic. But good luck to you, regardless.

  3. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    I just want to win along with spreading the liberty message. Believe me, I’ve poured over so many election results in my life, thanks in part to Dave Leip’s Atlas of US Presidential Elections. The LP has not fared well, at all. It doesn’t appear as though their support has grown.

    Let me put it this way: if a liberty candidate is running as a Republican, I will strongly back him. But if both the GOP and Dem candidate in a particular race are Big Government statists, I will support the LP candidate, if there is one.

  4. Richard Winger

    U.S. history shows that a minor party doesn’t need to win elections in order to influence policy. This is standard history textbook stuff. When a major party, or both major parties, sees that a minor party is attracting a fairly substantial number of votes, that motivates at least one of the major parties to consider policies that will appeal to the minor party voters.

  5. Jill Pyeatt

    With any luck at all, the Republican party will have continued its implosion and will be so weakened by the time you’re ready to run, Krzysztof, that you can run as a Libertarian and win.

  6. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    Jill, let’s hope that you are right. I’m not a supporter of the duopoly at all (read Jesse Ventura’s book, DemoCrips and ReBloodlicans BTW if you haven’t yet). But Justin Amash, Thomas Massie and others have managed to win as Republicans. That’s why I will support liberty candidates who run under that label. Principle over party.

  7. Andy

    “Krzysztof Lesiak // Apr 8, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Jill, let’s hope that you are right. I’m not a supporter of the duopoly at all (read Jesse Ventura’s book, DemoCrips and ReBloodlicans BTW if you haven’t yet). But Justin Amash, Thomas Massie and others have managed to win as Republicans.”

    A pro-liberty person running as a Republican is not some kind of magic bullet. Lots of people have tried it and most of them have lost. They usually don’t even make it through the primary.

    If you want to try it, go for it, but I’m just saying that I do not think that it is accurate to portray this strategy is some kind of guarantee for success.

  8. Jill Pyeatt

    I might have supported a Republican or two before this last campaign cycle, but their blatant cheating and rule changing throughout the campaign and their convention turned me off to the party forever. (You might be surprised to know I was a lifelong Republican until Dubya came along).

    The Republican party deserves to die a horrible death after that, IMHO.

  9. Andy

    “Krzysztof Lesiak // Apr 8, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    A loss is a loss no matter how you cut it. Call me all the names you want, but there’s a reason the congressional candidate for whom I’m running the campaign of is running as a Republican. He wants to win. Not get 3%, which seems to be the average LP congressional candidates. He wants to get 51% or more. Which you can’t do as an LP candidate unless you’re running for some local, nonpartisan race.”

    I can see where you are coming from by pointing out that a loss is a loss, however, it is better to lose by a smaller vote total than a larger vote total. Libertarian Party candidates are pretty much always underfunded compared to their opponents, so it is a good accomplishment when they lose by a smaller margin than by a larger margin.

    The Libertarian Party has elected people to partisan offices before, and not just partisan local offices, as the Libertarian Party has also elected people to seats in state legislatures. I know that it has been over a decade since the Libertarian Party has elected anyone to a seat in a state legislature, but I believe that it could happen again if better planning and strategy were used. Remember, in spite of the efforts being poorly organized, the Libertarian Party came close to electing a candidate to the state legislature in South Carolina, and one to the state legislature in Colorado in this last election.

  10. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt // Apr 8, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    I might have supported a Republican or two before this last campaign cycle, but their blatant cheating and rule changing throughout the campaign and their convention turned me off to the party forever. (You might be surprised to know I was a lifelong Republican until Dubya came along).”

    Wow, you had me fooled. I thought that you were a long time Libertarian.

  11. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt // Apr 8, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    I might have supported a Republican or two before this last campaign cycle, but their blatant cheating and rule changing throughout the campaign and their convention turned me off to the party forever. (You might be surprised to know I was a lifelong Republican until Dubya came along).”

    Also, Krzysztof isn’t really talking about supporting Republicans, he’s talking about supporting pro-liberty people running as Republicans. There is a difference.

  12. Oranje Mike

    Amash and Massie have success in the GOP because they are Republican. They are strong in many areas while lacking in others. Easily the cream of the GOP right now but I would vote for a staunch libertarian over either.

  13. Andy

    “Oranje Mike // Apr 8, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Amash and Massie have success in the GOP because they are Republican. They are strong in many areas while lacking in others. Easily the cream of the GOP right now but I would vote for a staunch libertarian over either.”

    Yeah, not all of these liberty Republicans are as good as they are purported to be.

  14. Trent Hill

    Andy–no one said running as a GOPer is a magic bullet. But what it does is to drastically increase the odds and lower the barriers to both entering the campaign and succeeding in being elected. That’s a good thing.

    As for Mr. Lesiak–“It doesn’t sound like it… it sounds like you’re being ruthlessly pragmatic. ”

    Good. We need more libertarians to be ruthlessly pragmatic. Losing with principle is cute–but it doesn’t count for much.

  15. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    I think it’s kind of dumb how a Libertarian ran against Amash in 2012. Had Amash lost his race I would have been ticked off. I mean the guy had every right to, but still. It was rather weird to me.

    I honestly think Amash and Massie are excellent. They are not Ron Pauls, but there will only be one Ron Paul. As Chuck Baldwin said, he will go down in history as being the greatest US Congressman ever.

  16. Andy

    “Trent Hill // Apr 9, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Andy–no one said running as a GOPer is a magic bullet. But what it does is to drastically increase the odds and lower the barriers to both entering the campaign and succeeding in being elected. That’s a good thing.”

    There are some negatives to it as well. It confuses a lot of the public, including some potential supporters, into thinking that the Republican Party is similar to the Libertarian Party. Sure, some of the more informed members of the public will get it, but remember, most people are not very well informed about politics. So you will leave the false perception in the minds of some of the public that Republicans have something to do with libertarians.

    Another thing that is negative is that there are a lot of people who hate Republicans, or who hate both Democrats and Republicans, and who will not pay attention to anything that a candidate has to say if they have an “R” next to their name. A lot of these people could be potential Libertarian supporters, because they’d be more likely to listen to somebody who is not from one of the major parties.

    Also, what if the pro-liberty Republican does not win the primary? If this happens, then people will not have a pro-liberty choice on their ballot unless the Libertarian Party has a candidate on the ballot. A lot of people do not pay attention to politics until AFTER the primaries are over, and there are a lot of potential Libertarian supporters among these people.

  17. Andy

    “Trent Hill // Apr 9, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Andy–no one said running as a GOPer is a magic bullet. But what it does is to drastically increase the odds and lower the barriers to both entering the campaign and succeeding in being elected. That’s a good thing.”

    Why all this focus from libertarians on the Republican Party? Why not run as a Democrat? A few libertarians have tried it, but not nearly as many as have tried the Republican route. One libertarian that ran as a Democrat for US House in Florida got over 40% of the vote a few years back.

  18. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    Yeah I support LP candidates running if the Republican is not a pro-liberty person. I will not vote for the lesser of two evils, ever. I’d rather not vote if it comes to that.

  19. Austin Cassidy

    Krzysztof, I am extremely familiar with how Libertarian candidates have fared historically. I did not suggest building an alternative party was, in any way, an easy task.

    I wasted 10 years of my life as a Republican. These days I sleep much better at night with the “L” on my voter registration. But as I said, I wish you the best in whatever path you decide to follow.

  20. Trent Hill

    “Also, what if the pro-liberty Republican does not win the primary?”

    I have no problem voting for a lesser, paper, unqualified candidate form an alternative party then. But if there is a libertarian with enough money/fame/notoriety to actually run and win, then he ought to be running Republican/Democrat in order to give him the best chance of winning. That’s a simple decision. Remove the roadblocks in front of you as much as is possible.

    If he loses, sure, vote for the Independent, Libertarian, or stay home. I’m cool with that.

    I will vote for the Democrat if he’s a libertarian. I have no problem with libertarians who want to take that route either–there is a NH Free State member, I believe, who is a Democratic State Rep. The same should be attempted in Vermont and elsewhere, if it is found to be successful. We need to put pressure on both parties.

  21. George Whitfield

    Congratulations to Michael Ogle and Clinton Coen for some very positive vote percentages. I appreciate their activism for liberty.

  22. Andy

    “Trent Hill // Apr 9, 2013 at 4:33 am

    ‘Also, what if the pro-liberty Republican does not win the primary?’

    I have no problem voting for a lesser, paper, unqualified candidate form an alternative party then.”

    Why do you automatically assume that a Libertarian Party or other minor party candidate is unqualified? What exactly qualifies one to be a candidate anyway? If one fulfills the constitutional qualifications to run for office (age, residency, etc…), and if one can read the US and/or state constitution, and understand what it says, then one is qualified to be a candidate.

    “But if there is a libertarian with enough money/fame/notoriety to actually run and win, then he ought to be running Republican/Democrat in order to give him the best chance of winning.”

    If these type of candidates were to always run a R’s or D’s then it will never grow the Libertarian Party, so you’ll be looking at a self fulfilling prophecy, just like the people who say things like, “The Libertarian Party never wins.” (which is not true, but this is beside the point), and who have never donated even one penny to the party. If everyone who has complained that “Libertarians never win.” and who’ve never donated any money to the party actually donated money to the party, the party would have a lot more money, and could win more often.

  23. NewFederalist

    I totally agree with the comment above about libertarians running as Democrats. Let’s face it, it has been the Democrats who have always been on the cutting edge of political change (at least since the Civil War/War Between the States). It was the Democrats who co-opted the Socialist platform under FDR and plunged us onto the road we are now on. The Republicans have always been the “me, too” party. The last original philosophical thought they had was to oppose slavery. That was a long time ago. They now stand for nothing. If libertarianism took over the Democratic Party like socialism did over 80 years ago there might still be hope. The GOP is just a turd floating in the punch bowl.

  24. Erik Viker

    KL @ 25 is incorrect. I have twice been elected in local partisan races as a Libertarian Party candidate. Absolutes such as “never” are usually fallacies except in math and physics, and even those sciences get squirrely when you look closely enough.

  25. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    Ok I forgot about local partisan races. Other than that though, they lose everything. When was the last time they had a state legislator, for example? 2000?

    I won’t use absolutes then but it doesn’t take away from the fact the LP has a very dismal record electing candidates. It’s not even the party’s fault really, it’s just how our political system is structured with the two duopoly parties holding a stranglehold over everything.

  26. Andy

    “Krzysztof Lesiak // Apr 9, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Andy, the Libertarian Party never wins. Unless it is a local nonpartisan race.”

    This is NOT true. The Libertarian Party has elected people to both partisan local offices and to SEATS IN STATE LEGISLATURES. Yes, the Libertarian Party has elected candidates to seats in the state legislatures of Alaska, Vermont, and New Hampshire. It has been over a decade since the last time a Libertarian Party candidate was elected to a seat in a state legislature, but I believe it can happen again with some smart planning.

    So it is not an accurate statement to say that Libertarians can’t get elected to partisan offices.

  27. Erik Viker

    KS @ 28, your use of the phrase “local nonpartisan races” suggests you had not forgotten about the existence of “local partisan races,” but whatevs.

    As a community, voters get the government they deserve.

  28. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    Yeah but that was a decade ago. But I will bet anyone $100 a Libertarian will never get elected governor, congressman, or senator UNLESS they are self financed millionaires (the last super rich guy I remember being in the LP was WAR).

    I’ve poured over many, many election results and seen trends. It’s just not a feasible thing that’s gonna happen.

    Of course, I’d like to be wrong.

  29. Andy

    Krzysztof Lesiak: “It’s not even the party’s fault really, it’s just how our political system is structured with the two duopoly parties holding a stranglehold over everything.”

    It is mostly the fault of a bad system, however, I think that the party is partially to blame for this as well. I really haven’t seen any real effort to even attempt to elect somebody to a seat in a state legislature in a long time. Some of these are winnable races. If better planning had been utilized in 2012, the Libertarian Party could have elected at least one or two candidates to seats in state legislatures.

  30. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    Yes Jeremy Walters got 47% for a state house race in South Carolina. If the party had backed him, given him way more funds, he could’ve won. It will truly be sad if America’s third largest party can’t elect a single state legislator in 2014.

    On that note, good luck to Gigi Bowman in New York. Given she’s known across the country, and has many contacts, I wonder if that will at least put her with arm’s reach of victory.

  31. Andy

    “Krzysztof Lesiak // Apr 9, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Yeah but that was a decade ago. But I will bet anyone $100 a Libertarian will never get elected governor, congressman, or senator”

    We have a long way to go for those offices. US House is the most winnable of those offices that you mentioned, but even to win that a candidate would probably have to raise at least $1 million to $2 million to run a competitive race. This is why I say use the candidates for those offices to spread the Libertarian message, but for actually having a shot at getting elected, focus on seats in state legislatures and county or city offices.

    “UNLESS they are self financed millionaires (the last super rich guy I remember being in the LP was WAR).”

    It looks like you’ve bought into the propaganda about how rich Wayne Root is. Wayne Root is not, and has never been, super-rich. This was exposed a while ago. I suppose you were not around back then, so you missed it. He was worth maybe $1 million, or $2 million, or something like that, and this included his house and vehicles. Sure, that’s rich, but it is nowhere near being super-rich. I don’t think that Wayne Root was even the richest person in the Libertarian Party while he was a member. Gary Johnson is probably richer than Wayne Root.

  32. Andy

    “Krzysztof Lesiak // Apr 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Yes Jeremy Walters got 47% for a state house race in South Carolina. If the party had backed him, given him way more funds, he could’ve won.”

    This is an example of lack of intelligent strategy. This is something that I’ve been harping on for years. Libertarians around the country need to target winnable state legislative races, and once those races are identified, they need to flood donations and volunteers into those districts. If this had been done, Jimmy Walters may be sitting in the South Carolina state legislature right now, and the party could have probably elected a candidate to the legislature in Colorado as well.

    “It will truly be sad if America’s third largest party can’t elect a single state legislator in 2014.”

    It depends on how intelligent a game plan the party comes up with and how hard the party works to implement it between now and November of 2014. This is something which should be being worked on right now.

  33. Andy

    “I don’t think that Wayne Root was even the richest person in the Libertarian Party while he was a member. Gary Johnson is probably richer than Wayne Root.”

    And Gary Johnson is probably not the only LP member during Wayne Root’s time in the party that has as much or more money than he has.

    Wayne Root was more of a guy who liked to talk big and flash his wealth around, so this made him seem richer than he actually is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *