Traverse City News and Events

The Libertarians Are Coming

By Beth Milligan | Aug. 10, 2020

Something in the ether, maybe, brought together a bunch of people who over the last year or so declared themselves Libertarians and got nominated to run for local, statewide, and federal office.

As Patrick Sullivan writes in this week's Northern Express — sister publication of The Ticker — they’re not an easily organized group of individuals, but they are united in their conviction that something is not working in this country under a government that is controlled by two parties.

(Quick brush-up for those unfamiliar: Like Democrats and Republicans, Libertarians don’t share a singular opinion on all societal and economic issues, but if you had to distill their guiding philosophy to a singular commonality, you might say they believe first and foremost in the liberty of the individual and that government should take a smaller role in the activities of the state. Some believe it should limit its reach to providing only police, courts, and military, while others believe that more — or less — is necessary.)

Donna Gundle-Krieg, a real estate agent, candidate for Mancelona Township trustee, and a Northern Express guest columnist, helped organize the Northwest Michigan Libertarian Party affiliate to help get candidates on the ballot across nine counties in northwestern Lower Michigan this year. She says that there were plenty of folks who wanted to sign up; they just needed a little organization to help them along.

“In the past, people have inquired, and they get sent to the head of the state party,” Gundle-Krieg says. “They never get to meet that person or have that comradery…You need likeminded people to get excited about this. It’s hard to be excited when you’re all alone.”

At the statewide convention in Gaylord July 18, the Libertarian Party nominated 61 candidates for the 2020 general election, including nine candidates for U.S. Congress, 10 candidates for the Michigan State House, eight candidates for statewide offices, and 32 for county and township races. Many of the local candidates are running for office in Northern Michigan, thanks primarily to the local Libertarian organizations that have formed in the last couple of years.

To learn more about who's running and why they decided to throw their hat in the ring, check out this week's Northern Express — available to read online or at newsstand locations in 14 counties across northern Michigan.

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