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Libertarians are in it, but not necessarily to win it
Two central Iowa men, both members of the Libertarian Party, have filed papers to form an exploratory committee for Iowa’s 2010 gubernatorial race. And, unlike other candidates, the two readily admit their goal is not necessarily to win residence at Terrace Hill.
Eric Cooper, 43, of Ames, and Nick Weltha, 30, of Des Moines, will hold a press conference next week in Ames to formally announce their intention to seek the Libertarian Party’s 2010 nomination for governor and lieutenant governor.
“We think that our candidacy will provide an alternative to the major parties for Iowa citizens who want a smaller government,” said Cooper, who will serve as the gubernatorial candidate. “We believe we will attract support from fiscally responsible Democrats, socially liberal Republicans, and Independents who are tired of the ever-expanding size of Iowa government.
“Our goal in this election is to get at least 2 percent of the vote, which would give the Libertarian Party major party status under Iowa law. We also hope to draw enough support away from the major parties to encourage them to poach our issues in order to steal our voters.”
Cooper is an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Iowa State University, and is currently the vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of Iowa. He has previously run five times as a Libertarian for the Iowa legislature from Ames, and was the Iowa College Coordinator for the Ron Paul presidential campaign prior to the 2008 caucuses.
Welta, who will serve as the ticket’s lieutenant governor candidate, is a systems administrator for the Iowa Judicial Branch, and served as the vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of Iowa from 2006 to 2008.
Key issues in the campaign, according to the two candidates, will be encouraging the legalization of marijuana in the state of Iowa, allowing greater school choice for both primary and higher education students and repealing the Iowa fireworks ban. More information regarding the candidates’ stance on the issues can be found by visiting their website.
While 2 percent of the vote may seem like a relatively easy task, it has historically been difficult for third parties in Iowa to attain. Due to an engorged field of Republican hopefuls — the party most likely to lose voters to Libertarian candidates — it remains unlikely that a third party will reach such a goal in 2010.