GOP tries to force Libertarian off presidential ballot - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

GOP tries to force Libertarian off presidential ballot

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Libertarians are fighting for a spot on the presidential ballot in several key battle ground states, leaving the GOP concerned they could steal crucial votes from Mitt Romney.

They are called third party candidates, and depending on who is running for office, some call them, spoiler candidates: a candidate that runs for office with little chance to win, but steals away enough votes from candidate 'A' to let candidate 'B' win.

In 2000, Ralph Nader, a green party candidate, was accused of stealing crucial votes from Al Gore, giving then Texas Governor George W. Bush the edge to beat Gore.

Now former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is running for president and Republicans are worried it could cost Romney the election on November 6. So in key battle ground states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, Republicans have made moves to get Johnson removed from the ballot, fearing the race is so tight that if Johnson gets one or two percent of the vote, some states that Romney would've won could go blue.

"Democrats and especially Republicans understand that having a Libertarian in the race will expose them for what they are," said Nick tanner, a Libertarian candidate, running for Texas House District seat 47.

Tanner said Libertarians aren't spoiling any elections, because he feels both parties are leading Texas and America down the wrong path.

"These two parties have put our country in this mess and they don't want outside information coming in," said Tanner.

Tanner is running against incumbent state representative Paul Workman and Democrat Chris Frandsen. Tanner acknowledges that his name on the ballot could cost Republicans votes.

"I'm involved in this race because I want to expose the gentleman Paul Workman who I'm running against as the big government, counterfeit conservative that he is. I supported him in 2010 and I'm here now to clean up the milk that I spilled in 2010."

Workman's office told FOX 7 that he was unavailable for an interview.

"For most Libertarians they're conservative. They're economic conservatives. Mitt Romney is the better choice," said Ryan Downton, a Republican strategist and former primary candidate for Texas House seat 47. Downton says voters need to do the math.

"I think if Gary Johnson's done what he's supposed to do be on the ballot, he should certainly be on the ballot and people should have a choice, but I think Libertarians should also look at their choices knowing that Gary Johnson is not in position to become the next president. Who would you rather have, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? And consider voting for the candidate with your best values," said Downton.

Still, Tanner says while they may not win many elections, trends show Libertarians are gaining recognition and more power at the polls with each election cycle.

"We want the government out of our business and our bedroom. This country is founded on individual liberties and we the people not I the special interests. It's going to take everyday tax paying citizens becoming more involved and engaging this political process rather than turning away from it."

Republicans were able to block Gary Johnson was blocked from running in Michigan. According to reports, Johnson missed the filing deadline by three minutes.

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