Talk About Getting an Early Start!

This Libertarian candidate for governor of Louisana (the election is in 2007) has been campaigning since 2003!

A Louisiana man who helped many evacuees from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Louisiana coast on Aug. 29, 2005, is running for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for governor.

T. Lee Horne is a resident of Franklin, La., the community to which many Libertarians sent money and relief materials after the townsfolk made it clear they would not seek or accept government assistance for hurricane refugees.

In fact, when volunteers with the Red Cross got lost on their way to New Orleans, they were sheltered by Franklin volunteers. The Red Cross workers said the town was doing a fantastic job, and that the Red Cross wouldn’t be needed there.

It was Horne who initially called Louisiana LP Chair Vinson Mouser and told him about Franklin’s relief efforts, and Mouser passed the word along to national LP headquarters.

Horne said he saw results from the LP’s call for assistance via LP.org and a mass e-mail, and reports that the effort made a big difference for those helping people evacuate from the New Orleans area.

“A lot of materials and a good bit of money came in that we didn’t know where it came from, so it’s hard to say what came because of the LP’s involvement and what didn’t,” Horne said. “But I do know that several hundred dollars at least came directly from the party’s help.

“And it was needed. People were coming in to Franklin from New Orleans, having broken radiator hoses or fan belts, or tires that didn’t hold up on the trip, and we were able to help them. So in addition to the shelter and material goods, we were able to get a number of cars back on the road.”

As it happens, Horne’s campaign activity helped a number of people get out of the deluged Gulf area.

Horne has been driving around the countryside in Louisiana for almost two years now — he started campaigning for the 2007 gubernatorial election in 2003, he reports — and has memorized many of the backroads.

People in Franklin know of this, and when they started getting calls from friends and family who couldn’t leave New Orleans because the major roads were blocked, they started calling Horne for directions.

It’s not every candidate whose campaign peregrination actually contributes to saving lives.

At 55 years of age, Horne has time to drive around the state because of the nature of his business: He manages trust funds for families and is on the board of directors for a few small corporations, and his business is done primarily via computer.

When he’s not working in Franklin or New Orleans — where he keeps an apartment — he has been spending a great deal of time driving his old camper van around the state, handing out magnetic business cards announcing his candidacy. And he said people are starting to recognize him and tell him about where they’ve seen his card posted — including on newspaper boxes and in public restrooms.

How did a small-town man with no political experience get interested in running for governor?

The same way many others do: by realizing that something had to be done.

“I was talking with some friends over drinks and supper one night, looking at the state of affairs in the state, and I was disgusted,” Horne recounts. “I remember being in college and talking about taking care of the stupid social problems here at home before we even thought about fixing other countries’ problems, and I started thinking about what a mess we’ve made of it.

“I kept looking for somebody to do something, and finally decided it was time to do something myself.

“Before, I was busy running my business. But after the last election — and due to the War on Drugs and the PATRIOT Act — I started thinking, ‘what the hell are they doing?’ This is my generation. We were going to fix our country’s problems, and we’ve made it so much worse.

“Well, somebody needs to do something to stop it.”

In Louisiana, Horne thinks he’s the man for the job.

And he’s putting his own money into the campaign. So far he has spent close to $25,000 on the race, and the election’s almost two years away. He has produced a television commercial and was getting prepared to start fundraising when Hurricane Katrina hit.

“It seemed tacky to be fundraising while the state was dealing with a huge disaster like that, so I held off on asking people for money,” Horne said.

Until he starts getting his commercials on the air, and presumably after, Horne will keep touring the state and meeting people, so that people will know who he is when they hear his name.

“I can take care of my business anywhere there’s an Internet signal, whether it’s New Orleans or Shreveport or Cut Off,” he said. “So I’ve been going to fairs and festivals all over the state — the Seafood Festival, the Duck Festival. At the Festival of Lights in Nacogdoches, they really welcomed me. They let me walk down the parade route with the parade, handing out my magnetic business cards and introducing myself. That was a good day.”

It’s safe to say T. Lee Horne doesn’t intend to be merely a paper candidate when the polls open in late 2007.

4 Responses to “Talk About Getting an Early Start!”

  1. George Whitfield Says:

    Does T. Lee Horne have a website?

  2. The Girondin Says:

    I have started blogging on Libertarian Party politics and issues from a moderate perspective. See http://thegirondin.blogspot.com

  3. Patrick Sumner Says:

    T. Lee Horne’s website is at http://www.governor.ws/index.html Keep in mind that there’s still some work to be done on it though, so some things may change slightly and additions will definitely be made.

  4. T Lee Horne III Says:

    Yes I have a web site. You can track my travels and appearances there as well as veiw issues and make comments.

Leave a Reply