On the campaign trail: Libertarians put their names on the ballot

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They come out of the woodwork every two years, put their names on the ballot for a few elective offices, and then sink back into obscurity after they get their handful of votes and are defeated.

These are the candidates of Georgia’s Libertarian Party, which is entitled to a listing on the state’s general election ballot despite a long history of the party losing every statewide, congressional, and legislative race where it has ever fielded a candidate.

That long losing streak seems destined to continue this year with the qualifying of the latest batch of candidates who are unknown to most of the state’s voters and won’t be able to raise much money to address that name identification issue.

The qualifiers include:

Governor: Andrew Hunt of Atlanta, who professes to be a “nanotechnologist.”

U.S. Senate: Amanda Swafford, a paralegal from Flowery Branch.

Insurance Commissioner: Edward “Ted” Metz, an independent insurance agent with an academic background that includes risk management and organic chemistry.

State House District 21: Jeffrey N. Amason, an Atlanta attorney and engineer — he’ll be running against Rep. Scot Turner (R-Canton).

Libertarians running statewide typically end up with 2 to 5 percent of the vote, which is the major reason they’ve never been a serious contender to win a race.

However, that small percentage of the vote can sometimes be just enough to force a general election runoff because neither the Democrat nor the Republican gets the required 50 percent of the vote.

That happened most recently in 2008 when Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley drew just enough votes to force Sen. Saxby Chambliss into a runoff with Democrat Jim Martin. That same year, Brandon Givens forced Republican Bubba McDonald into a runoff with Democrat Jim Powell for the Public Service Commission.

This is also the week for independent candidates to declare their intent to run in the general election, and there is at least one independent who can say he has actually won an election.

State Rep. Rusty Kidd of Milledgeville, the sole independent in the General Assembly, qualified to run again for his House District 145 seat. No Democrat or Republican qualified in this district, which means Kidd is assured of winning his fourth term in the House.

Other independent qualifiers –

House District 39: Mary Ward Cater, a court bailiff and insurance agent.

House District 55: Alvelyn Sanders of Atlanta, a minister and adjunct professor.

House District 102: Gina Jimenez Callicotte, a Lawrenceville consultant.

House District 156: Jeffery M. “Sonny” Sapp, a Vidalia firefighter.

House District 159: Denise G. Collins, a Guyton homemaker.

Carter endorsements

State Sen. Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) made a clean sweep in his 1st Congressional District runoff with Bob Johnson, announcing endorsements from the sheriffs in each of the district’s 17 counties.

“It shows not only the respect and trust they have for him, but also the confidence that he will continue to be a friend of law enforcement,” Carter spokesman Jud Seymour said.

In recognition of 22 years service

David Perdue stepped his attacks on Rep. Jack Kingston in the Senate Republican runoff by launching a new website, 22years.com, that focuses on Kingston’s activities, such as budget earmarks, during his 22 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The congressman’s liberal spending, rejection of needed reforms, and close ties to special interests have added trillions to our national debt,” the new website declares. “Kingston has had 22 years to change business as usual in Washington. If he was going to make a difference, he would have already done it.”

© 2014 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Buddy Carter , David Perdue , independent candidates , Jack Kingston , Libertarian Party