The Michigan Libertarian Party held its nominating convention this past weekend in Gaylord. That’s in time to meet Monday’s deadline to turn in to the state a slate of candidates for the November ballot.
“We did nominate 10 candidates for U.S. Congress, about a dozen candidates for state House of Representatives,” said Michigan Libertarian Party Chair Greg Stempfel, “and the rest are going to be county and township, and I will not have a full accounting of those for a day or two.”
That’s because many of the nominees for those offices were chosen at breakout regional caucuses. Stempel said most, but not all, of the delegates abided by mask and distancing regulations ordered by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat. But he said the convention did adopt a resolution opposing the governor’s use of emergency powers.
The Libertarians qualify for the ballot based on the number of votes the party won in the last election. But state party chair Greg Stempfle says the Libertarians did not choose a U.S. Senate candidate because the only person running is also working to re-elect President Donald Trump.
“In our elections, we have an option called ‘none of the above," he said, “and if ‘none of the above’ wins, we don’t field a candidate, and so 'none of the above’ beat this gentleman for our U.S. Senate nomination.”
Libertarian candidates won enough votes in the last election to automatically qualify for the Michigan ballot this year. But the party did not win enough votes to hold a primary instead of a convention.
Stempfle says he does not believe Libertarians siphon votes from Democrats or Republicans.
“I like to remind people there’s an even larger voting bloc that just don’t even vote because they don’t feel that their vote matters or they just don’t like the Democrats or the Republicans,” he said.