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3rd party candidates dominate ballot space

September 25, 2000
By: Aaron Cummins
State Capital Bureau

This is Aaron Cummins with Missouri Capital Caucus.

At least by numbers it would seem third party candidates have taken over the political scene in Missouri.

From Green and Reform to Libertarian and Constitutional, not to mention Natural Law.

Nearly 30 candidates from the five so-called "alternative" parties have made the ballot in statewide races.

There are only 14 Democrats and Republicans total for those same offices.

The only 3rd party with a candidate for every statewide office is the Libertarians.

Missouri Libertarian spokesperson Jeanne Bojarski says a new party has to start from the ground up.

RunTime: 10
Contents: Bojarski says the Libertarians are a grassroots organization with support increasing around Missouri.

Bojarski says those contributions have allowed the Libertarians to buy TV ads.

While the party only has enough money to run them on cable, she says its a step in the right direction.

But, one political scientist argues that the system is set up against third parties.

Ken Warren is a professor at Saint Louis University.

He says the role third parties play, at least on the national level, is limited.

RunTime: 14
Contents: Warren says he can't imagine a situation in which a candidate from a third party could win the American presidency.

But, the outlook might not be as dim on the local level.

Former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura became the governor of Minnesota as a Reform party candidate.

Hugh Foley is a Reform candidate for U-S Senate.

He's up against the big money campaigns of John Ashcroft and Mel Carnahan.

But that doesn't mean he's admitting defeat.

RunTime: 10
Contents: Foley says if you've ever been to the horse races, you know that sometimes the longshots win.

Foley says he approaches the campaign just like any other candidate... travelling, campaigning and getting his message out.

Just like any other Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Constitutional, Reform, Green or Natural Law candidate.

In Jefferson City, I'm Aaron Cummins.