Although there is still more than a year before Illinoisans begin casting ballots for governor, US Senate, and other offices, Illinois Libertarian Party Candidate Lupe Diaz will be making his case for Illinois’ highest office.
A former Libertarian Party (LP) chairman, Diaz used his announcement to target both major parties. Saying that the state is “in a helpless morass of debt due to fiscal mismanagement,” Diaz began making his case that more electoral choices are needed:
“We need a true alternative for governor in the State of Illinois. . . . the last time I checked, all of our state-wide elected officials were either Democrats or Republicans, and where has that left us? It is time to get rid of career politicians and elect hard working citizens who will have the interests of the people of Illinois at heart.”
This summer, the Illinois LP filed a brief with a US District Court to obtain ballot access for the party. This challenged the state requirement that the party must put forward a full slate of candidates in order to be eligible. It is still ongoing.
It would also not be the first time Diaz had to fight for ballot access. In 2010, the LP under Diaz had to go to court, but its signatures were deemed valid. Diaz said at the time, “This vindicates our efforts.” Under his leadership as his party’s chairman, the party placed seven candidates on statewide ballots in 2010.
In the 2010 elections, onerous ballot access restrictions forced another minor party, the Constitution Party, to withdraw from some of the races. Many of its signatures were ruled ineligible.
In 2010, Republicans thought they had a good opportunity to unseat Governor Quinn while the state’s Democratic Party was still reeling from the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich.
When the ballots were cast that year, Quinn prevailed with 46.7% over Republican challenger Bill Brady’s 45.9%. The LP’s Lex Green pulled 34,681 votes and just short of 1%.
The presence of a Libertarian candidate could cause some consternation to the major parties. This could be true for the state’s Republican Party, fueling the popular notion that a Libertarian candidate siphons votes from the GOP. Although not all Libertarian votes hurt the GOP, Green’s total was more than the margin of difference between Quinn and Brady.
So far, a number of Republicans have already declared for the race. The most prominent, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, leads early polling among Republicans.
Democratic Governor Pat Quinn has declared for re-election. He is seeking his second full term after succeeding the impeached Blagojevich in 2009. Quinn’s most serious competition to date is Bill Daley, a former chief of staff in the Obama White House and brother of former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley. Attorney General Lisa Madigan, whom many thought would challenge Quinn in the primary, decided to run for another term in her current position.
Illinois’ largest city, Chicago, is often featured as one of the worst for “nanny state” laws and regulations. If Diaz, or any other Libertarian, makes it to the final ballot and can receive media access, he will likely have ample targets for his campaign. However, significant hurdles still remain for any non-major party candidate.
Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.
I voted for Libertarian Lex Green in 2010. Matter of fact, I voted for many Libertarian Candidates.
That having been said, I voted Republican Dan Rutherford for Treasurer in 2010, and I will vote Rutherford for Governor in 2014. For me, it has nothing to do with the Party and everything to do with the individual. No feelings against Lupe, but I trust Dan Rutherford with 100% confidence.
No Libertarians have never run so much as a large village successfully. They are all gas and no effective action.
We need alternatives, but we also need electoral systems that put these alternatives on a level playing field and gives voters an equal voice because that is the best way for candidates like Diaz to make a bigger impact on these elections.
It's always good to highlight alternative voices that contribute to a better political discussion. However, on a broad notion, I'm not sure if Illinois as a whole is going to go for a Libertarian candidate. But I'd definitely like to see Diaz make an impact.
I support third parties and independent being allowed on the ballot. I prefer Greens to Librrtarians though
what is stance on illegal immigration/ what about about illinois being a safe haven for thugs and drug cartels? what is his stance on taxes? is he a True Libertarian???
I think it's a smart move for Diaz to start early. He'll need to build a big base well before other candidates get into full campaign mode if he wants to have a shot.
A lot of people nationwide agree with this sentiment... it will be interesting to see if their actions follow their thought process/dissatisfaction with the two party system.
The U.S. Supreme Court said in Jenness v Fortson, in 1971, "Sometimes the grossest discrimination can lie in treating things that are different as though they were exactly alike." The reality is that a majority of voters in the U.S., in each state, are emotionally or intellectually supportive of one of the two major parties. When a minor party runs a campaign in an election with party labels on the ballot, the minor party candidate is at a disadvantage. This disadvantage can be overcome, but in the vast majority of cases in which minor party candidates have won, it has been because something was terribly wrong with one or both of the major party candidates. If Illinois had a top-two primary system, Lupe would not come in first or second in the March 2014 primary and his campaign would then be over with. Even though Illinois ballot access laws right now are terribly restrictive, Lupe will probably be on the November ballot in 2014 because the Illinois Libertarian Party is strong enough to get 25,000 valid signatures. He is better off with the current Illinois law, despite its huge flaws, than he would be if Illinois had its own Prop. 14 in effect.