The Libertarian Party in South Dakota is planning a convention next month, with hopes of showing it can be a major political player in the state.
Democrats did not nominate candidates for three statewide offices – attorney general, auditor and public lands commissioner. Libertarians have the opportunity to be the only opposition to Republican candidates for those offices.
“If this is played right, (Libertarians) can show they’re just as relevant as the Democrat Party in South Dakota,” Libertarian activist Ken Santema told the Argus Leader newspaper (http://argusne.ws/1p7gTVD ).
Augustana College political science professor Emily Wanless said she thinks Libertarian candidates could get a lot of Democratic votes in the three races, though Libertarian candidates will need to overcome a lack of name recognition.
“It definitely helps that South Dakota is a relatively cheap media market,” she said. “If third-party candidates are going to fare well, it’s typically in states where it’s less expensive to campaign and get their name out there, which is a hurdle they have to overcome.”
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