CHICAGO - The Illinois Libertarian Party candidates will be on the November 2014 ballot, the State Board of Elections Board decided Friday.
"We're certified and we're on the ballot," Brian Lambrecht of the DuPage County Libertarians told Illinois Review shortly after leaving the hearing in Chicago.
"The Republicans did everything they could to discredit the petition signatures to get us from the 46,000 signatures we gathered to below the required 25,000 signature threshold, but they failed," Lambrecht said.
In addition to volunteer petitioners like Lambrecht, several professional petitioners had been hired by the Libertarian Party to gather petition signatures. Republican operatives worked especially hard to discredit those that had gathered 2000 or more, he said.
"These people gather petitions for a living, so their livelihood was threatened by armed guards coming to their homes and demanding that they sign an affadavit admitting they had committed fraud," Lambrecht told Illinois Review. "These people fought for their jobs and their reputations by testifying at several Board of Election hearings over a two week period of time."
----- See IR story: "Illinois Petition Politics: Signatures, Courts and Armed Investigators" -----
"The tactics the IL GOP used really hurt them in the long run," Lambrecht said.
The Libertarian Party has little funding and ability to get their message out, but Lambrecht said the gubernatorial candidate Chad Grimm would appeal to social conservatives that are uncomfortable with the more socially-moderate Bruce Rauner. Grimm will be holding a press conference downtown on Monday to announce his campaign plans and acquaint voters with his platform.
In 2010, third party candidate Scott Lee Cohen won 3.64 percent of the vote in a race with less that 1% difference between the Democrat winner Pat Quinn and Republican Bill Brady. A majority of Cohen's support came from the southside of Chicago.
"The Libertarian Party has a lot of work to do in the next two months, but we can make a difference on the November ballot," Lambrecht said.