Third Party Govs: Bloodied but Unbowed…


The helpful folks at Third Party Watch assembled an account of how third party gubernatorial candidates did this year. Best case scenarios for those wanting to strike a blow at Dem/Rep dominance: in Texas, between Carole Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman, independents won 30 percent of the vote for governor; and in Maine, non-major party candidates won 31 percent of the vote, between Green Pat LaMarche and independent Barbara Merrill. Less impressive but still above the usual less-than-5-percent non-major party candidates can expect to win were independent Andrew Halcro in Alaska with 9.6 percent, and Minnesota Independence candidate Peter Hutchinson with 6.5 percent.


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  1. Sorry, but Carol Strayhorn is NOT an independent. She’s a cheesy, Rockefeller era republican who is apparently one tough grandma. Those voting for her in Texas were probably 90% republicans who a) can’t stand Perry, b) would never vote for a Democrat, and c) wanted to send a message to the Republicans generally that they are unhappy.

    Kinky got around 12% I think. That was the only truly independent in the race.

  2. Unreported, Libertarians in Alaska, in the final days of the election backed newly elected Republican Governor Sarah Palin. Palin a libertarian-leaner, and quite possibly the most beautiful Governor ever to serve in any state in the history of the United States, had attended the LP meeting back in May.

    Billy Toien, LP for Governor, graciously congratulated her on election night. Palin, in turn hugged LP Chair Jason Dowell and loudly thanked the Libertarians for their support.

    You could almost say Alaska now has the First Libertarian Governor in history. Libertarian State Rep. Dick Randolph didn’t quite make it in the mid 1980s, but now Palin has.

  3. Yeah, Strayhorn was an independent in the same way Lieberman was an independent.

  4. When I lived in Austin, Carole Keeton was the Mayor, and she was a Democrat with ties to the Chamber of Commerce.

    She later became Carole Strayhorn, Republican and was elected state controller.

    She ran as an independent because she did not think she could win the Republican primary. She did get support from some Democrats, and the Teachers Union, because they thought a Democrat could not win statewide in Texas.

  5. Here’s the full voting breakdown for Maine, which was a 5 way race. If you count NaPier.

    John E. Baldacci (D) (205227) 38.06%
    Chandler E. Woodcock (R) (161799) 30.01%
    Barbara Merrill (U) (115203) 21.36%
    Patricia H. LaMarche (G) (52388) 9.72%
    Phillip Morris NaPier (U) (4597) 0.85%

  6. Eric Dondero,
    You could almost say Alaska now has the First Libertarian Governor in history.
    You could if she were a libertarian or even a Libertarian, but she is not. As I posted prior to the election, her stance on simple things like reducing the size of government, privacy in the home and personal drug use are distinctly anti-libertarian. She is just a soft core Republican trying to look good against Murkowski’s shenanigans. Now that she sits in Juneau, I suspect you will see a ramped up crackdown on civil liberties and likely attempts to drag more federal spending to the state.

  7. Sorry Kwix, look at Sarah’s record as Mayor of Wasila. She cut property taxes to the bone. She created a super business-friendly atmosphere in the city which has created a literal boom town. (I just left Wasila 2 hours ago and am writing this at the Anchorage airport.)

    And talk to some Libertarians here in Alaska. Even the hardest of hardest core Libertarian skeptics really like her.

    You seem to have a bad case of “libertarian exclusionist-itis.” It inflicts libertarians who are so cynical that they don’t want to place the libertarian label on anyone outside of 100/100 perfect libertarians.

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