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Michael Badnarik, Former Libertarian Presidential Nominee, Dies at 68

Michael Badnarik, the 2004 presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, passed away shortly after celebrating his 68th birthday at his San Antonio home.

In a post on his official website before his death, Badnarik discussed his vibrant life and displayed an awareness of his inevitable passing. Badnarik had experienced health issues for several years. Services have not been announced but an additional post with more information is expected to be released.

Badnarik was born in Hammond, Indiana. He attended college at Indiana University. He was a passionate advocate for liberty and involved himself in several projects, including organizing a mentoring service and being an early endorser of the Free State Project. Badnarik also wrote a series of books.

Badnarik was a state and national candidate for office, running for Texas House Districts 47 and 48 in 2000 and 2002, respectively. He would run for and win the Libertarian Party presidential nomination in 2004, defeating other candidates at the convention including Gary Nolan and Aaron Russo. Badnarik would place fourth in the general election and earn just under 400,000 votes.

Badnarik would run once more for Congress in Texas in the following election cycle, raising close to $450,000 and earning four percent of the vote. 

In his post discussing his life, Badnarik wrote to friends and supporters to “[N]ot mourn my death. Instead, celebrate the wonderful life I lived. If you are going to remember me, please remember me as a man of honor and integrity.” You can read the original post here.

About Post Author

Jordan Willow Evans

Jordan is the managing editor for Independent Political Report. She has appeared on ABC News, NBC Boston, Sky News, BNT 1, and numerous local outlets. She is a proponent of civic inclusion and awareness and was featured in Represent: The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World and the Worcester Historical Museum exhibit PRETTY POWERFUL: 100 Years of Voting & Style.


  1. George Phillies George Phillies August 12, 2022

    Indeed, his book on the Constitution and related topics was almost completely wrong. I did an analysis in Lee wrights’ now long-gone web site. However, the point here should be to honor the dead, leaving historical discussion for another time.

  2. Anastasia Beaverhausen Anastasia Beaverhausen August 12, 2022

    A lovely gentleman on the occasions I met him, but a complete disaster as a Presidential candidate. We must build a farm team of elected L’s so that when it comes time to nominate someone for President, we don’t have to veer between recent celebrity converts who jump ship the moment they lose* and stop being a big fish in our small pond (Bill Weld, Bob Barr) and the well-meaning but hopelessly out-of-their-depth local activists who for some wild reason think they can be President (Badnarik, Jo Jorgensen).

    * Say what you will about Gary Johnson, but as far as I know, he’s still a Libertarian.

  3. Joe Wendt Joe Wendt August 12, 2022

    This is sad. The last good Libertarian candidate. He will be missed.

  4. George Whitfield George Whitfield August 12, 2022

    I am sad to hear of Michael Badnarik’s passing. He was an energetic and effective advocate for liberty. I recall his inspiring speech at the Libertarian National Convention in Atlanta in 2004 when he, although not as well known or as well funded as Aaron Russo and Gary Nolan, expressed his views with such freshness and optimism that he made a surprising strong showing in the first two rounds of voting convincing many delegates that he was the right person to nominate. Gary Nolan who had placed third and not permitted to advance to the next round of voting, then endorsed Michael. I later supported Michael in his campaign for Congress in Texas and was impressed by his willingness to hold classes on the US Constitution wherever he could. I was in communication with him last in September 2021 and he told me he was planning to relocate to San Antonio. He also remembered my contributions to his Presidential campaign and I was impressed by his graciousness. May he rest in peace and be honored in our memories as a true fighter for individual freedom and peace.

  5. Tony From Long Island Tony From Long Island August 11, 2022

    I voted for Mr. Badnarik when I was still a libertarian 🙁

  6. Jeff Davidson Jeff Davidson August 11, 2022

    I’m sorry to hear this. While Badnarik did not represent my approach to libertarianism or the Constitution, I appreciated his efforts and his willingness to back up his beliefs with peaceful action.

  7. George Phillies George Phillies August 11, 2022

    This is a deep shame. He was not that old.

    George Phillies
    National Mobilization Facilitator, Badnarik 2004 Campaign

  8. George Phillies George Phillies August 11, 2022

    This is a deep shame. He was not old.

    George Phillies
    National Mobilization Facilitator, Badnarik 2004 Campaign

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