Will Jeffers Run as a Republican?

It appears that Minnesota Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Sue Jeffers is seeking the GOP nomination, too. From the Albert Lea Tribune:

Jeffers was endorsed by the Libertarian Party last Saturday but delayed accepting the nomination because she said she wanted to challenge Gov. Tim Pawlenty for the Republican endorsement.

Jeffers said if she receives 41 percent of the vote at the Republican convention she can choose to run in a primary against the governor or collect 2,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot as a Libertarian candidate.

“People are really frustrated now,” Jeffers said. “The government has let them down and people are feeling disenfranchised in both parties. It’s similar to the political climate when Ventura ran.”

I haven’t looked at how she might poll within the Republican Party (or more importantly, at a state GOP convention), but this is an interesting turn of events. I’ve got several contacts on the inside of that campaign, so I’ll certainly be asking them for the inside scoop.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Not a bad strategy… one that more Libertarian’s should consider in order to get elected.

    If we can’t get elected as Libertarians, I am not so sure a bunch of Ron Pauls would be all that bad.

  2. Has she indeed historically been an active Libertarian, so that she is poaching on the Republican nomination? Or is she a Republican who made enough noises to get the Libertarian nomination? Or something completely different?

  3. George:

    She’s been a party member for a while (not sure how long)and received national media attention for fighting smoking bans.

    The people I know on her campaign staff are all staunch LP members, she links to the LP and World’s Smallest Political Quiz from her homepage.

    Considering what I know of her background and issues, she’s Libertarian and poaching on common GOP ground, not the other way around.

  4. Sue Jeffers has been a Republican all her life, but she became a Libertarian Party member two years ago, roughly. Many people told Sue that she always talked like a Libertarian. She usually says the more she learns about Libertarianism, the more she agrees with it, and is more passionate about liberty.

    Sue is well known around the Twin Cities because of the smoking ban, property rights issues, and is now campaigning on more issues like health care, education, transportation, and taxes. She’s doing a lot more traveling around the state since she wants to reach out to rural areas where she may not be as well known.

    She plans to visit all of the counties in Minnesota, and to get support from not just Libertarians, but Independents, Democrats, Republicans, and more. Sue is outspoken, passionate, and articulate. She’s a bright spot here in the state of Minnesota.

    Sue plans on being at the LP National Convention in Oregon.

  5. Since I ran out of room, I will continue…

    Will Sue run as a Republican? She simply wants the endorsement since she believes there is a lot of turmoil in the GOP… and even the DFL (Democrats).

    It’s a long shot, but I have heard Tim Pawlenty supporters will vote for her at the GOP Convention. If she was able to get the votes needed, she would make a lot news and change the election. We shall see.

  6. I was at the LPMN convention.

    The strategy of a libertarian running as a republican is a bad startegy, unless you are in a one-party district like Ron Paul is.

    Also, if you are a libertarian running as a republican, its worthless unless you have a large independent voter base behind you, again like Ron Paul. Otherwise, you have to bend or break most of your principles and your election, which rarely happens anyway, becomes worthless.

    In Wisconsin, former Assembly republican leader Scott Jensen has just been convicted of three felonies in the Caucus Scandal [www.CaucusScandal.com] which was a vast conspiracy operation operated by Jensen and a few dozen cronies over a several year period and over a wide geographic area.

    Jensen was a college libertarian 20 years ago, but chose to run as a republican so he could get elected.

    In over 10 years of elected office, he never accomplished anything libertarian, except talking about lower taxes once in a while.

  7. I hate to see people think that the GOP is some sort of option for libertarians. It is not more antifreedom than the Democrats and Libertarians should end all association with the Republicans and realize they, under das Furher, are our biggest opponents not our friends or allies.

  8. Kris,

    The role of a party is to promote the party. The role of the candidate is to win, sometimes despite the party.

    If Jeffers happens to become the next Governor of MN, the LP benefit would be enormous, no matter what party label she uses. Everyone would know she is an LP member and nominated by the party.

    Winning as a Republican would also cast additional light on the stranglehold the two-party system holds on the electoral process.

  9. “Winning as a Republican would also cast additional light on the stranglehold the two-party system holds on the electoral process.”

    Only if it results in her doing something about it. If she becomes beholden to GOP hacks, chances are nothing will be done. Same old same old. It is only a win for the LP if she gets the GOP endorsement too without compromising much of her principles and agenda….especially on the things that really matter. The 2 party stranglehold being an important one. Otherwise, the LPMN was duped and should withdraw their endorsement. In a way, it is really kind of rude (if she was actively seeking the LPMN endorsement).

  10. I believe this is a brilliant strategy; Mr. Gordon and Mr. Corey get it. They are also correct when espousing that the attention this will give to Libertarian ideas and issues. I happen to know a couple of folks on her staff as well. They think the political dynamic is close to that when Ventura won. This is a do-able race for them but the LP has got to stand with her campaign and step up to the plate to make this happen. The difference is as a candidate Jeffers is not just trying to be amusing like Jesse was – her overall experience level brings a refreshing change to MN politics and she will able to hit the ground running on day one after her victory.

    The real bonus of a win by Ms. Jeffers is she is a smart articulate woman with the persona of a for real individual that the voter like (especially those who have heard her on radio or have met her).

  11. It’s a good stratigy because she will get media (front page news in todays Star Tribune), and in the end either she gets the Republican endorsement and in essence fires Pawlenty, or she runs as a libertarian and more people are aware of her.

    I question how effective of a move this will turn out to be, but one things for certain nothing bad can come of it for her.