The South Dakota Libertarian Party is feeling optimistic heading into its party convention this weekend, where members will ultimately decide on a gubernatorial candidate.
The party has nine candidates running for national, state and county races, including four for state House of Representatives and one for state Senate.
State Libertarian Party Chair Aaron Aylward says that’s the most candidates they’ve had running for seats in South Dakota.
“Actions have shown that both parties like to spend, when Republicans always preach that they’re for not spending a lot of taxpayers’ dollars. Actions have shown otherwise,” Aylward says. “I think a lot of people are getting fed up with that, a lot of people don’t like the current president, and they’re looking for other options.”
The number of candidates may be attributed in large part to emergency legislation that passed through the state legislature this year.
House Bill 1286 set up an “Alternative” political party framework. If a total party’s registration is less that 2.5 percent of the total number of registered voters, they qualify for that designation.
Lawmakers had to make ballot access easier for third party candidates after a district court judge ruled previous provisions were too stringent.