Party Bounces Gubernatorial Candidate John Swenson

The Missouri Libertarian Party voted to refuse the filing fee of John Swenson, the Party's gubernatorial candidate in 2000 and 2004, thereby preventing him from running on the Party ballot in 2008.

While Swenson garnered the Party's top ballot spot for the last two gubernatorial elections, his flippant, uninformed and unprofessional performance in the 2004 Press Club debates in Springfield, put all third parties at risk of being eliminated from Press Club debates.

"I received a phone call from the Missouri beat writer for the Associated Press in 2004", stated former party chair Bob Sullentrup, "who said that as a result of Swenson they were considering just not bothering to invite third parties to the debates."

"I walked out of the debates because Swenson was such an embarrassment and later apologized to the Press Club", noted 2004 LP Lt. Governor Candidate Mike Ferguson. "He wore a Hawaiian shirt and soiled, dirty blue jeans to the debates."

Swenson gained the Party's nomination in 2000 and 2004 in contested races against Dick Illyes and Randall Langkraehr. "In 2000 we had 1600 people vote in the primary and 4000 in 2004", noted Sullentrup. "All many of the voters knew about the candidates when they went to the polls was the name they saw, and Swenson is more common than Illyes or Langkraehr. That's probably why he won."

At its annual convention in Jefferson City on May 5, the State Committee voted narrowly to refuse the filing fee "unless and until Mr. Swenson appears before the Executive Committee and gains a 2/3rds affirmative vote". After spirited debate and after early detractors changed their votes, the measure passed.

Swenson is one of four the St. Charles Central Committee has recommended withdraw from party participation. Meanwhile, Chief Wana Dubie, another of the four, has announced for governor.

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Michael R. Pakko
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