Jeffers Runs as a Republican

Looks like Sue Jeffers has decided to run as a Republican instead of a Libertarian in this year’s Minnesota gubernatorial race. This is probably a smart move as the Minnesota Independence Party has a strong candidate in that contest and it would be difficult for her to make much of an impact there.

My feeling is that anything over 35% of the vote for her in the September 12th primary would be a great showing and give her the credibility to be a serious player in future races.

From the Star-Tribune...

Sue Jeffers, the libertarian-minded bar owner who was denied a chance to challenge Gov. Tim Pawlenty for Republican Party endorsement at last week’s state convention, will take him on in the GOP primary election Sept. 12.
“We’re going to take it to the people and let them decide,” Jeffers said Tuesday. In opting to enter the Republican primary, she will forgo her endorsement by the state Libertarian Party, which has been a tiny force in Minnesota politics. “The system right now doesn’t favor anything but the two-party candidates,” Jeffers said.

Meanwhile, Ken Pentel, endorsed Saturday for a third run at the governor’s office by the Green Party of Minnesota, said Tuesday that he is confident of gaining the 2,000 signatures he needs next month to get on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

The Greens’ weak showing in the 2004 election cost them major-party status in Minnesota, automatic ballot access and public campaign financing. But Pentel, 45, of St. Paul, said his petition drive July 4-18 “will be a good way to get people energized and out in the field.”

He said his campaign will emphasize Minnesota’s nearly $7 billion portion of the cost of the war in Iraq as well as environmental problems. In his first run for governor, in 1998, he won 0.3 percent of the vote. In 2002 he got 2.2 percent, but he acknowledged Tuesday that Green Party focus and energy were higher then than now.

At the party convention Saturday in Duluth, about 100 delegates also endorsed Michael Cavlan for the U.S. Senate and musician and health care activist “Papa” John Kolstad, who is not a lawyer, for state attorney general.

Jeffers, 49, of New Brighton, owns Stub & Herb’s bar and restaurant in Stadium Village in Minneapolis. In the past she has crusaded against indoor smoking bans, but she took on Pawlenty chiefly over his support for a taxpayer subsidy for a new Twins ballpark.

She says that she has voted as a Republican since 1976 but that she also has been a leader of the fringe Libertarians, whose last gubernatorial candidate, Frank Germann in 1998, got 0.1 percent of the vote. Jeffers’ GOP candidacy will be a “win-win” for both parties, she said.

“The Republicans get a candidate who’s going to look out for the taxpayer,” she said. “And the Libertarians get their message out there, too.”

7 Responses to “Jeffers Runs as a Republican”

  1. Young Florida Libertarian Says:

    Although I don’t live in Minnesota, I have other Libertarian friends up there, and we were hoping she would run as a Libertarian. My friends say they still back her, though they’re not too hot about her descion to jump on the GOP band wagon. Can’t blame them.

  2. Joe Magyer Says:

    The LP has taken some high profile slaps to the face this week.

  3. Hammer of Truth » The Libertarian/Republicrat Fusion Swindle Says:

    [...] Minnesota Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Sue Jeffers was a keynote speaker at the MN LP Convention in April, but now the MN LP is left with no candidate as she says she will now run as a Republican: [...]

  4. George Phillies Says:

    People who abandon our Libertarian Party, get the obviously expected treatment namely dumped upon by their new friends, and then return, should be given the same treatment as members of the Libertarians for Bush, namely they are welcome back, and after they have spent considerable solid time carrying palm cards and phone banking for real libertarians can be given positions of greater trust.

    Losing in a primary against an incumbent is in general not a good starting point for anything.

  5. Austin Cassidy Says:

    I’d have to disagree, a better than expected showing in a race like that is certainly more valuable than 2-3% in the November election.

  6. Mike Grimes Says:

    Because the Libertarian party in Minnesota has been dead ever since the Independence Party reached major party status it would be good for them to have a media candidate and a fighting chance at the 5% major party threshold.

    I’m not at all impressed with Jeffers and question her motives, but she may have been able to get the support to get the Libertarian party on the map again as it is currently Minnesota’s 5th most succesful party on a good day. The reality may very well be that it’s best for the Libertarian party to stay out of things in Minnesota, and from my perspective it absulutly is a good thing, but we can’t let Republicans get away with spending like Democrats, and Peter Hutchinson and the Independence Party must take advantage and replace Tim Pawlenty in November.

  7. Sean Scallon Says:

    What’s wrong with running in a major party primary against Pawlenty? It will drum up name recognition for herself and the LP and allow her the time and the opportunity to bring up Libertarian issues as well. The LP should assist her during this time and they can still put her name on the LP line in November by voting her in as a write-in candidate.

    Simply running as the LP candidate would have aforded her little opportunity for media attention and public support for a few percentage points. Running in the GOP Primary opens more avenues for her candidacy and the issues she wishes to bring up. She could get support from Ron Paul’s Republican Liberty Coalition or the Club for Growth as well. She can work in colation with like-minded Republicans who are disatisfied with the Pawlenty Administration. Certainly one could see such similar coalition candidacies with CP members running in GOP primaries or Green Party persons running in Dem primaries.

    I would urge more third party candidates or such types to think about running such major party primaries in the future as I advocate in my book Beating the Powers that Be. A primary is a less expensive way to appeal to a narrower base of the general electorate and have a better opportunity to influence the debate than being a lone voice in the ghetto of a non-major party.

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