Staff Columnist

Iowa's new political party short on candidates for first primaries

Libertarians have filed candidates in 12 races, compared to 21 in 2016

Delegates hold signs during the Libertarian Party National Convention held at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida, May 29, 2016.  REUTERS/Kevin Kolczynski
Delegates hold signs during the Libertarian Party National Convention held at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida, May 29, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Kolczynski

Iowa will host third-party primaries for the first time this year, but the ballots will be sparsely populated.

The Libertarian Party earned major party status in Iowa following the ticket’s statewide performance in the 2016 presidential election. This year, Libertarian candidates have only signed up to run in 12 races.

Iowa Libertarians have two statewide campaigns, with Marco Battaglia and Jake Porter both running in the primary for governor. Libertarians also filed to run for U.S. House in the 1st and 3rd congressional districts, along with two Iowa Senate races and seven Iowa House races.

Iowans will vote on more than 130 state and federal races this year. By comparison, Democrats filed candidates in about 95 percent of races, and Republicans filed candidates in about 75 percent of races.

Related: Long-shot candidates line up for Iowa 2018 elections

More Libertarian candidates could be nominated by convention later this year, but so far, the party is far behind its 2016 numbers for candidate recruitment. During the last general election, Libertarians ran in 21 races, including president, U.S. Senate, the 3rd Congressional District, and several state legislative races.

There are nearly 10,000 registered Libertarians in Iowa, or about half of one percent of all voters. The Libertarian Party of Iowa will host its 2018 state convention on March 23 and 24 in Johnston.

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Related: 2018 caucuses will set Iowa political stage

• Comments: (319) 339-3156; adam.sullivan@thegazette.com

Iowa Libertarian 2018 primary candidates

Third Congressional District — Bryan Jack Holder

Fourth Congressional District — Charles Aldrich

Governor — Marco Battaglia, Jake Porter

Senate District 23 — Eric Cooper

Senate District 37 — Carl A. Krambeck

House District 34 — Marrianna Collins

House District 47 — Patrick A. Shaw

House District 49 — John Evans

House District 57 — Lucas J. Link

House District 75 — John George

House District 79 — Nicholas Ryan

House District 97 — David Melchert, Jr.

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