Libertarian sees success after governor election loss

The Primary election for the Iowa Secretary of State this year was quickly impending. The election was held on Tuesday November 6th, 2018. The three main parties, Democratic, Republican and Libertarian all have main candidates designated in the top running. Kim Reynolds won Iowa governor on Tuesday, Nov. 6, and Jake Porter was the main Libertarian candidate in the race. 

Though he lost the race, Porter said he feels he and his party made many strides. Porter said, “I that some of the big things that we’ve been talking about this year would be trying to include everyone in the process [of voting]. I think if we look back at the campaigns that the Democrats and Republicans have been running this year, a lot of it has been very negative and back and forth and hasn’t really been anything of any substance.”Another subject Porter targets is relevant neglected issues that he feels need to be tended to.

“I think something that really excites people is that we talk about issues that people really care about that were things that used to be often ignored. If you look at the issues we’ve had the past couple years in the state’s budget, this is something that impacts all Iowans whether it be school funding or anything else. The state has spent more money than they’ve taken in the past couple years, not this year though, and that has caused the state to do mid-year budget cuts,” Porter said. There are many things Porter would like young voters newly joining the Libertarian party to know. Porter said, “One of the key things is that there has to be a major understanding of how minor parties have won in the United States before. One of those was the Republican party that started out as the Wig party in the 1800s, so that’s always a possibility. Another way is to know that minor parties have done well enough in many elections that the Democrats and Republicans adopted our ideas and used them as theirs,” Porter said. Many people have their doubts and criticisms, and Porter is working to spread the knowledge and wider acceptance of the Libertarian party. Porter said, “Democrats tend to believe in more personal freedoms, but fewer economic freedoms. Republicans tend to believe in more economic freedoms but fewer personal freedoms. Libertarians tend to believe in maximum personal and economic freedoms. So for example, Democrats might be in favor of things like having gay rights, higher taxes and support more government intrusion into your economic life whereas Republicans tend to support less government intrusion into your economic life. As a comparison, they might be in favor of lower taxes and not support personal freedoms such as gay rights. Libertarians would support lower taxes and support personal freedoms like gay rights so as to have maximum freedom all around,” he said. In 2017, the Libertarian party gained major party status as a group and has helped it grow while also supporting Porter through the election. Porter said, “We have been a party in Iowa since 1975, so when we established in the state of Iowa, we went for decades as a non political party or organization. By gaining that major party status, it allows us to have primaries, so I had to win a primary. That gives us a lot more attention along with more media opportunities, in the past we couldn’t file to get on the ballot until mid August, and now we can file in February and March. It gives us a more even playing field with the Democrats and Republicans and it’s been a very good and helpful thing.”

Porter said he joined the state party in 2006 and said that he could remember a time where you couldn’t register to vote as a Libertarian. Now, they’ve had hundreds of media interviews, media mentions, TV interviews, radio interviews and more compared to just the handful they had in the past couple of years.

Their numbers rose from about 2,500 registered voters in 2014 to now having over 12,000 this year. By the looks of it, Porter said that the numbers may even explode to 15,000 by the end of this campaign. 

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