UBET, WI—The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin (LPWI) has placed three key candidates on the state’s fall 2022 election ballots, seeking to use the campaigns to build party membership and voter base in advance of the next Presidential election.
For 2022, LPWI Chair Jacob VandenPlas, an Iraq war veteran and sustainable farm owner from Sturgeon Bay, runs against the Republican incumbent, US Rep. Mike Gallagher, in the 8th Congressional district. Neil Harmon, a lifelong health-care worker, runs for Wisconsin’s Secretary of State office in a highly contested three-party election to unseat the long-term Democratic incumbent. Finally, in Wisconsin’s 66th Assembly district near Racine, Libertarian Carl Hutton rounds out the field of Libertarian candidates who will appear on the ballot.
In the highest profile campaign, VandenPlas has the best opportunity to make an impact. Without a Democrat on the November ballot, VandenPlas as a Libertarian can win the 8th Congressional seat if he can gain a large coalition of moderate, forgotten, and disenchanted voters who believe in the Liberty Creed of “less control for the State, and more freedom for the people.” On his website, VandenPlas has three main issues: End the Wars, both domestic and foreign; balance the budget; and defend individual liberty.
Neil Harmon’s race for Secretary of State plays an important role for the Libertarians, too. The LPWI seeks to gain at least 1% in this state-wide race, in order to gain easier ballot access for the Libertarian Presidential candidate during the next election. Harmon campaigns on fully auditing the Secretary’s department and guaranteeing more transparency in the office (hence less secretiveness), if he wins. Harmon said in an interview, “Society needs free thinkers, not people thinking for them. . . . Liberty should always be the guide.”