Independent Libertarian's Campaign for Congress Gaining Attention and Momentum in Pennsylvania

Jake Towne's independent libertarian campaign for congress in Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district first caught my attention last August, when he first presented his concept of the "open office". Since then, Towne has maintained a fairly aggressive campaign and has begun to break through the mainstream media's duopolist filter. The Morning Call profiles Towne's campaign and candidacy in an article that emphasizes the ways in which his positions confound the simplistic oppositions beloved by duopolist ideologues. Some excerpts:
Towne has held ''Towne hall'' meet and greets and began circulating nominating petitions last week in a series of public appearances at local pizza and sandwich shops, hoping to gather the 3,629 signatures a third-party or independent candidate needs to place his name on the ballot in the race for Lehigh Valley's 15th Congressional District.

''I'm out-gunned and everything, but a lot of times, people like an underdog,'' Towne said. If he succeeds, he'll face Democratic Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan and three-term Republican Congressman Charlie Dent, or his primary challenger Mat Benol, a tea party activist from Palmer Township, in the general election. . . .

Towne's down-to-earth approach and fiscally conservative politics have made a fan of 43-year-old Center Valley real estate broker Bob Dandi, a conservative who backed Mike Huckabee in the last Republican presidential primary but has grown disillusioned with the party as a whole. ''At this point in time, I can't see voting for any candidate of any political party that has been in power for the last 17 years because they are the ones who got us into this mess,'' Dandy said.

While voters seem hungry for an alternative to the status quo, third-party candidates face serious obstacles obtaining funding and convincing voters they're contenders, said Muhlenberg College political scientist Chris Borick. 'It's pretty clear there's interest in candidates who represent something fresh,'' Borick said. ''What remains to be seen is if that translates into support for candidates outside the normal party structures.''

No comments: