Former Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska, a 2008 candidate for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, has died at the age of 91, his namesake Gravel Institute reports:
We are sad to announce that Senator Mike Gravel passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at his home in Seaside, California. He was 91, and had lived the fullest live anyone could have ever wanted. We will miss him every day. pic.twitter.com/wLXLzMbgZT
— Gravel Institute (@GravelInstitute) June 27, 2021
A two term Democratic Senator, prior to his Libertarian candidacy, Gravel ran for the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential nomination. Although he was able to appear in a few presidential debates, his campaign was largely ignored. While still in the race he endorsed Green Party presidential candidate Jesse Johnson. Johnson went on to lose the nomination to former Representative Cynthia McKinney. Eventually, Gravel withdrew from the Democratic race and began his Libertarian campaign. He lost this bid to former Congressman Bob Barr at the National Convention. Upon his defeat, Gravel lamented the end of his political career. However, he would run again. Gravel remained with the Libertarian Party until 2010 when he rejoined the Democrats.
Gravel sought the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination at the age of 88, and was shut out of the process even more so than in 2008. He was not invited to any debates and received scant media coverage. After his withdrawal in August 2019 he endorsed the presidential campaigns of Representative Tulsi Gabbard and Senator Bernie Sanders.
On Twitter, independent Senator Sanders reflected on Gravel:
Jane and I are saddened by the passing of Sen. Mike Gravel. He was dedicated to ending forever wars and bringing more Americans into the political process. His courage will be deeply missed. Our thoughts are with his loved ones.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 27, 2021
The official Twitter accounts for the Texas and North Carolina Libertarian parties added their remarks on the passing:
"You know what's worse than soldiers dying in vain? More soldiers dying in vain."
– Mike Gravel.
Rest in peace Mike, and may we all strive to live up to our own principles as well as you lived up to yours.pic.twitter.com/z99aejs8Gg
— Libertarian Party of Texas (@LPTexas) June 27, 2021
Sad news this Sunday morning. Mike Gravel was one of the strongest antiwar voices of his time and found a home in the Libertarian Party. Our deepest condolences go out to all who loved Mike. #RIPMikeGravel https://t.co/NE4bqQmlKg
— LPNC (@LPNC) June 27, 2021