Colorado Libertarian Party Was Only Non-Major Party to Run Nominees for a Majority of Legislative SeatsJanuary 13th, 2013
In the November 2012 election, the Colorado Libertarian Party was the only party, other than the Democratic and Republican Parties, to place its own member-nominees for the legislature on the ballot in a majority of contests. Colorado had twenty State Senate seats up and Libertarians were on the ballot in twelve of them. Colorado had all 65 State House seats up, and Libertarians were on the ballot in 39 of them.
Whenever a party, other than the two major parties, runs this many candidates for a state legislature, invariably that action pays off with unforeseen opportunity. In the case of the Colorado Libertarian Party, the 54th House district race took a surprising turn after the major party primaries were determined. The only candidates in that race were Libertarian Tim Menger and Republican Jared Wright. Several major ethical lapses on Wright’s part were revealed, and the leading newspaper in the district, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, endorsed the Libertarian nominee. Press coverage of the campaign suggested that he had a chance to win. Although he didn’t win (he polled 40.96%), his high visibility earned points for the Libertarian Party in the area. See the Daily Sentinel’s endorsement of Menger here. See this Daily Sentinel story, published on election night when it became apparent that Wright had won.
In the 2012 election, the Conservative, Working Families, and Independence Parties of New York had nominees for the New York state legislature in over half the districts, but the overwhelming majority of the nominees were not members of those parties, but were cross-endorsed major party nominees. Also the Connecticut Working Families Party cross-endorsed in over half the Connecticut State Senate races as well, but again this was a case of cross-endorsing major party nominees.