June 30, 2012. Springfield. The deadline for independents and opposition party candidates to file ballot access petitions in Illinois came and went this week. Provided none of the Presidential candidates have their petitions successfully challenged, Illinois voters will have a wide range of candidates to choose from. Showing their strength, and in an attempt to insulate their candidates from challenges, Illinois Libertarians submitted close to double the number of signatures needed to guarantee their Presidential candidate is on the ballot here.
According to a summary by Ballot Access News, all the major opposition parties submitted petition signatures for their respective Presidential candidates. Among them are former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party, Jill Stein and the Green Party, Virgil Goode for the Constitution Party, Stewart Alexander and the Socialist Party, Rocky Anderson as an independent and Michael Hawkins with the party name, ‘Together Enhancing America’.
Unlike Democrats and Republicans, the above candidates were required to file at least 25,000 ballot access petitions in Illinois. To be safe in case of a challenge, the Libertarians filed an impressive 47,000 signatures on behalf of their candidate Gary Johnson. Almost as impressive, the Green Party filed 30,000 on behalf of its Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein.
Illinois Libertarian Candidates
Illinois Libertarians didn’t just submit ballot access signatures for President and Vice President. Their efforts also included a handful of Party hopefuls on the county level and for seats in the State Legislature. Illinois election law requires that opposition parties like the Libertarians submit a minimum of 5,000 valid signatures to run for Congress, while establishment parties (Democrats and Republicans) need only submit 600 signatures. That is just one way the establishment parties, or the powers that be, manipulate the law to insure they stay the powers that be.
Doug Marks – IL State Senate
Running for Illinois State Senate in the 33rd District is the Libertarian Party’s Doug Marks. The candidate announced that he submitted 3,400 petition signatures to comply with the required 3,000. The 33rd District encompasses Crystal Lake, West Dundee and St. Charles.
According to Marks, “Libertarians believe in, and pursue, personal freedom while maintaining personal responsibility. The Libertarian Party itself serves a much larger pro-liberty community with the specific mission of electing Libertarians to public office.” The candidate goes on to say, “Libertarians strongly oppose any government interfering in their personal, family and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another.” Concluding, Marks explains, “In a nutshell, we are advocates for a smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.”
According to the Northwest Herald, the Libertarian Party’s Doug Marks is challenging Kane County Board Chairwoman and the Republican nominee Karen McConnaughay. McConnaughay defeated Cliff Surges in the March GOP primary 11,415 to 7,313.
For more information on Doug Marks’ Illinois Senate campaign, visit the candidate’s website.
Chad Grimm – Illinois State Representative
According to many independent observers, this race gives the Illinois Libertarian Party its best shot at gaining ‘established party’ status for future elections. As detailed in a May issue of Ballot Access News, there most-likely won’t be a Republican candidate running in the Illinois 92nd State Representative District. If the choices are limited to a Democrat and a Libertarian, Chad Grimm could be extremely successful if he can entice Republicans and independent Democrats to his side. At the time of this writing, it wasn’t confirmed if the Illinois Republican Party Central Committee appointed a candidate to fill their ballot line in November.
The Libertarian Party’s Chad Grimm appears to be in a good spot for his challenge of Democratic incumbent State Rep. Jehan Gordon (D-Peoria). Area Republicans may already be familiar with Grimm, as the Peoria Journal-Star calls him “a Republican-turned-Libertarian”. The candidate reinforces that image explaining that he has been a past Republican precinct committeeman.
Among Chad Grimm’s main issues is a very popular one these days – opposition to the heavy-handed influence of Chicago Machine Democrats over the rest of the state. The 31 year-old Libertarian also voices concern over an ever-growing net of firearm regulations and the state’s out of control deficit spending. One point of his campaign will be to make Illinois a more business-friendly environment.
For more information on Chad Grimm’s Illinois State Representative campaign, visit the candidate’s Facebook page.
Julie Fox – Kane County Auditor
Running on the Libertarian Party ticket for Kane County Auditor is West Dundee’s Julie Fox. An active Libertarian since 1993, Fox looks to use her professional experience and political credibility to win the County’s race for Auditor. Unlike many independents and opposition party candidates, the Libertarian Party’s Julie Fox has actual experience. “As the Libertarian candidate for Kane County Auditor,” Fox explains, “I bring three things to the table.” According to the candidate, those three things are, “Experience in the private sector, experience in the public sector, and I’m not a career politician from a major party.”
Fox’s resume includes over 20 years of accounting experience in the private sector. For public service, she worked as Treasurer of the Dundee Township Library District Board from 2003-2005 and as a member of that Board’s budget committee from 2001 to 2005.
“I’m an ordinary citizen like you,” the Libertarian Fox campaigns, “When I see that things need fixing, I don’t wait for someone else to do it. If we want real change, we need to make it happen. I’m not from one of the political parties that brought you the likes of Rod Blagojevich or George Ryan.” Julie Fox’s theme should resonate with frustrated Kane County voters. Illinois’ last two Governors – the Democrat Blagojevich and the Republican Ryan – are both currently sitting in prison for corruption.
For more information on Julie Fox’s campaign for Kane County Auditor, visit the candidate’s website.
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