Journal Courier | Libertarians bring political party to region

A political party that gained increased attention during last year’s divided presidential election is coming to Morgan and neighboring counties.

Ben Cox is spearheading the establishment of a Libertarian Party organization as an option for those looking for something other than Republican, Democrat or independent affiliation.

The Libertarian Party was started in 1971 in Colorado to promote the political ideologies of increased civil liberties and non-government intervention. Cox said during the last election cycle there seemed to be more people interested in something more than what the two major political parties offered.

“Illinois saw a huge jump in support for third-party groups,” Cox said. “The Libertarian Party is trying to become [more] established in the state. The best way to create change is to give people another choice.”

The are eight Libertarian Party officeholders in Illinois and about two dozen county or university party chapters. In the November election, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson received almost 4.5 million votes — about 3.27 percent of the total.

“We’re not only trying to set up the group, we want to give people a third option,” he said. “The party is considered more fiscally conservative than the Republicans and more socially liberal than the Democratic Party.”

Once established, Cox said the group will be working on awareness.

“We want to get people involved, show them what we’re about,” Cox said. “You only get particular views in the national media.”

Typically, the group is in support of limitations for government, pro-choice for women and believe there are other options to help people in need without socially funded programs.

“We don’t think the government should tell people how to live their lives,” Cox said.

The first meeting has not been set, but likely will be in June.

Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1233, or on Twitter @JCNews_samantha.