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Operation ELECT-US

Run for office as a Libertarian!

Win or lose, every vote for a Libertarian makes a difference.

Summary of steps:

1. Fill out this form to send your contact information to your state party.
2. Contact your state party and local organizations by email or phone.
3. Find out the process from your state party for filing.

One of the most exciting and helpful things you can do for the Libertarian Party is run for office. Below are two categories of races:

Winnable races

Libertarians hold numerous elected offices nationwide. Most of these offices are in small jurisdictions like small city councils and school boards where it’s practical for a candidate to campaign door-to-door and meet lots of voters face to face. While Libertarians have won some partisan races (races where they are listed on the ballot as a Libertarian), a majority of the elected Libertarians were elected to non-partisan offices. If you think you have a chance of winning an election, or if you would at least enjoy trying, please do that. Elected Libertarians get to directly implement public policy.

Campaigns to build the party and influence public policy

Without the big budgets and big special interest dollars that Democrats and Republicans receive, it’s just not likely for a Libertarian Party candidate to win something big like a presidential race or governor’s race unless the candidate is extraordinarily rich or something else extraordinary happens.

Win or lose, every vote for a Libertarian makes a difference.

The biggest advantage of being a political party is that we can do something no other organization can do: in most states, we can nominate candidates and put their names directly on the ballot. That’s a substantial power, and we want to take full advantage of it.

Here are a few of the ways your candidacy can make a difference:

1. Give voters a choice. Many Republicans and Democrats run for Congress unopposed! How disgusting! Whether or not your incumbent runs unopposed, if you run for Congress as a Libertarian, you guarantee that voters will have a better option— and many voters will take advantage of that option.

2. Get free media coverage. There is no simpler way to get media attention than filing as a candidate. Some news outlets cover Libertarians more than others, but you’d be surprised—if you answer their calls, they are often happy to give you some attention. Reporters get tired of hearing the same old Democrapublican nonsense, just like everyone else.

3. Get other free publicity. The League of Women Voters provides most areas of the United States with free voter guides. These guides generally give comments from all candidates, so it’s an excellent opportunity to express Libertarian positions. You can also attend candidate forums. Many Libertarian candidates have expressed surprise when people walk up to them after a forum and say, "I really enjoyed hearing your point of view!"

4. Help our party organization. It’s very valuable to our party when we have a lot of candidates. It increases our media coverage, it excites our members, it increases our vote totals, and it increases our chances of getting Libertarians elected.

5. Influence close races. In close elections, Libertarian candidates often control enough votes to decide who the winner will be. In those situations, the Democrat and Republican are both pressured to "move Libertarian" in order to court Libertarian voters.

6. Satisfy your conscience. Running for office can make you feel less angry and hopeless about politics, because you know that you have stepped up to make a change. Ultimately, it’s up to the voters whether they choose to vote for you—but it’s up to you whether to offer them a Libertarian choice.

Becoming a candidate for Congress is especially easy, because you don’t have to fill out campaign finance paperwork if you spend under $5,000 on your campaign. You also don’t technically have to live in the district you’re running for, which can be important in states where several good candidates happen to live in the same district.

If you want to be a candidate for Congress, or if you just want more information, send an email to campaigns@lp.org, or call 1-800-ELECT-US. Win or lose, every vote for a Libertarian candidate makes a difference.

Whether you can run or not, please make a contribution to Operation ELECT-US.  We want to provide as much support as we can to the many Libertarians running for office in 2013 and 2014.