Casper Star-Tribune: Could Libertarians shake up Wyoming elections this year?
From the Casper Star-Tribune on October 24, 2020:
Wyoming, like the rest of the country, has a two-party problem.
Despite the libertarian streak running through the state’s strong, conservative tradition, Wyoming has never elected a third-party candidate to the Statehouse, never nominated a non-Republican or Democrat to its two seats in Congress, and never boosted one to the governorship.
It’s been a persistent doom cycle for Wyoming’s Libertarian Party, especially. The state’s third-largest political party, Wyoming Libertarians have been known more for the occasional headline-generating shtick than fielding credible candidates, focusing their efforts more on retaining access to the ballot rather than winning it.
In 1980, party activists fought tooth and nail to get presidential candidate Ed Clark on the ballot on his way to achieving less than 2% of the vote. Four years later, the party sued the state for access to the ballot and won and, two decades later, managed enough of a following to earn the major party designation it still enjoys today.
The movement has failed to catch on in a serious way, however. Despite a philosophy shared by — even touted by — prominent conservatives like House Majority Whip Tyler Lindholm and current U.S. Senate candidate Cynthia Lummis, the party has never gained a serious foothold in Wyoming politics, and even contemplated disbanding in 2015 due to a lack of members.
But that was then.
Five years later, the still-fledgling party of just under 1,600 members could be a disruptive force in this year’s election. In addition to fielding candidates for president, U.S. Senate and Congress this year, Libertarians will be on the ballot in six different Statehouse races this year, with several presenting credible chances at winning.
In House District 55, Bethany Baldes — a Riverton resident who was narrowly defeated by longtime Republican lawmaker David Miller two years ago — is running a highly competitive campaign against Republican prosecutor Ember Oakley. In House District 47, Lela Konecny will take on Republican J
Article from Libertarian Party