LPMN State Candidates
Josh Welter – Candidate for Governor
Josh Welter feels that everyone must engage in civil discourse in order for a more perfect union to be realized. These times of special interests and the elite show exactly how dysfunctional government for the average Minnesotan has become. He has accepted the challenge to reduce the size of government and eliminate the wastefulness that exists. His experience in automation offers a new approach to allow agencies and services to operate more efficiently through the proper use of technology and operational excellence. Without the burden of special interests Josh will be free to place knowledgeable, hardworking people in appropriate positions, keeping the offices free of political reward or favor.
Josh Welter is married to Shelli, an outstanding woman with whom he has been married for 13 years. They have 3 fun, dynamic, energetic children. He was born in St. Paul and raised in Roseville. Josh currently lives in Savage. Josh graduated from Roseville Area High School, then went on to college where he earned a Physics degree, helped start a college radio station and participated in undergraduate materials science research. Josh works for an industrial equipment manufacturer in North East Minneapolis that also has plants across the country including Fergus Falls, MN. Josh has been active in the aviation community volunteering with educational charities that let children explore the world of flight through hands on learning. Josh is a member of Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 237 out of Anoka-County Blaine airport, he serves on the board of Flight Expo in Princeton and is a volunteer with the Wings of the North Museum on Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie.
Mary O’Connor – Candidate for Lieutenant Governor
Mary O’Connor is our candidate for Lieutenant Governor. She has been a Libertarian for 15 years and has been our treasurer for 10 years.
Mary was elected to the Brooklyn Center City Council in 2004. In 2016 she ran for Hennepin County Commissioner and received 45% of the vote.
She would like to reduce state government, have fair and simple taxes and end corporate welfare. She believes individuals should make their choices in life and be responsible for them.
Chris Dock – Candidate for State Auditor
I grew up in Woodbury and graduated from St. Olaf College where I majored in Mathematics and Economics. Before starting my own firm in 1998, I worked for the accounting and consulting firms of Deloitte & Touche, Watson Wyatt, and Ernst & Young. I have worked as a technology, Human Resources, and investment consultant for over 30 years, and I have direct skills in the areas required for the office of State Auditor – process, technology, finance, and investments.
Jill Galvan – Candidate for State House 18a (http://jillgalvan.org/)
A little about me – I’ve lived in Cosmos for the past 8 years, I’m a wife, a mom and stepmom to 6 girls and grandmother of two, soon to be three. My background is in retail and project management and I currently work in food production, which gives me more time to spend with family and working for the party. I live a normal life with the same kinds of issues that everyone deals with. I’m not looking to get into politics to make a name for myself. I’m not important in this process. I’m just a stand in for the will of the people in the legislature. I’m doing this to try make things better for everyone in the best way I know how… which is by giving everyone the choice to live their lives as they see fit as long as they’re not hurting anyone else.
Matthew Swenson – Candidate for State House 57a (https://mattfor57a.com/)
When I discovered that my State Representative was originally listed as a co-author of gun ban bill HF 3022, I decided to run for office. Although gun rights are a vitally important foundation on which many other freedoms rest, this is not the only reason I’m running. It’s becoming ever apparent our freedoms are being challenged on a daily basis, and true tolerance is hard to find on the political landscape. Under the law, we must give everyone the freedom to act, speak, worship as they chose, regardless of our own moral convictions, as long as it doesn’t hinder another person’s freedom to do the same.
Brian McCormick – Nominee for State House 37a – did not gain ballot access
Troy Sjerven – Nominee for State House 64b – did not gain ballot access
Emily Mellingen – Candidate for State Senate 54 – lost in special election on Feb. 12 (https://ballotpedia.org/Emily_Mellingen)
PJ Agness for Mayor of Maple Grove
P.J. Agness is the founder of Archangel self-defense, which teaches seld-defense on a nonprofit basis. He is a former MMA fighter, cornerman, judge, and ring announcer for Valhalla Cage Fighting. P.J. has also worked as an Educational Assistant in various elementary schools since 2001. He is the son of a nondenominational Christian pastor and has been involved in leading children’s and youth ministry for most of his adult life. P.J. lives with his wife Stacy and daughter Isabella in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
Rep. Jim Knoblach (R) 14b
Jim has deep roots in Saint Cloud. He was born and raised on Saint Cloud’s north side. Jim and Janet have been married for 30 years and have two college age children. They have been involved in local charities for years.
Jobs are critical to our community. Jim has owned and managed small businesses for over thirty years. He currently owns a real estate company that helps people buy and sell homes, and also does property management and development. Jim also taught at Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict.
Jim served as a State Representative for Saint Cloud and several surrounding communities from 1995-2006. He declined to run for re-election in 2006 to return to the private sector and spend more time with his family. Jim was elected State Representative in 2014 after an absence of eight years.
Charlie Gers – Candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis
I moved to Minneapolis last year from Weston, FL to pursue a degree in Economics at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. My political journey began in 2016 when I volunteered at the Iowa for Rand Paul campaign. I then became an officer and Campus Coordinator of Students for Liberty, Vice President of College Libertarians at UMN, Outreach Director of Young Americans for Liberty at UMN, and Campus Ambassador of FEE. My involvement with the Libertarian Party of MN began last year, in October, when I spoke at the Gary Johnson rally in Minneapolis and then at the State Convention in Maple Grove.
Peace. Limited government. Free markets. Socially liberal.
Dana Hansen – Candidate for Minneapolis City Council Member Ward 4
I am running for city council because I believe in the libertarian philosophy, and I want to work to implement libertarian ideals in Minneapolis. I believe in common sense, pragmatic solutions to many of the issues the city faces, especially in Ward 4.
As a Libertarian, I believe that each individual should be free to live their own lives as they choose, and to earn or spend their own money as they choose, so long as they don’t infringe upon the equal right of others to do the same.
I believe that people will be happier and more secure when they can exercise choice in their lives and earn their living without interference or restrictions from politicians and bureaucrats. It is my goal that society becomes more peaceful and prosperous without the strife that arises when some try to control others by using the force of government. I understand that in order to have freedom for ourselves, we must be willing to stand up for the freedom of our neighbors as well, even if we may not always agree with the choices they make. I believe that the initiation of force is wrong in all cases, even when undertaken by city government.
I support personal freedom of lifestyle, strong defense of all civil liberties, a genuinely free and open marketplace, and foreign non-interventionism and peace. Libertarianism is a philosophical and political movement in support of individual freedom on all issues, all the time!
David Holsinger – Candidate for Minneapolis City Council Member Ward 8
I moved to Minneapolis after living in Chicago, IL and Oakland, CA. Both are cities that face many of the same challenges as Minneapolis. Oakland and Chicago have tried to solve budgetary woes through higher taxation rates; both cities now rank in the top 5 sales tax rates in the country. Both have tried to solve budget woes with higher property taxes, but failed to cover basic city services with their increases.
As a citizen, I want to bring the experience of my past two home cities to my newly adopted one – more taxes do not create solvency. Minneapolis is now flirting with economic disaster in requiring a $15 minimum wage. The goal is to increase economic stability among the working poor; the outcome will be higher unemployment, reduction in working hours, and higher prices.
Don’t let your city council drive Minneapolis into a budgetary death spiral. Be smart with your money and insist on economic accountability before your council members raise your cost of living yet again.
Local Libertarian Candidates
Chris Holbrook for Mayor of St. Paul
Christopher Clark for St. Anthony City Council
Peter R Berthelsen for New Brighton City Council
Gary Johnson is no stranger to taking on partisan political forces. He was elected Governor of New Mexico as a Republican in an overwhelming Democratic state – and re-elected to a second term by a wide margin despite being challenged by a popular and well-known Democrat.
Despite his two terms as Governor, Gary Johnson still prefers to call himself an entrepreneur. To pay for college, he started a door-to-door handyman business. Twenty years later, the one-man-shop had grown into one of the largest construction companies in New Mexico, with more than 1,000 employees.
As a businessman, Gary ran for Governor with no prior political resume other than his college political science degree and a passion for helping people. And although Gary considers himself to be libertarian-minded, he has always believed that good public policy should be based on a practical cost/benefit analysis, rather than strict ideology.
William ‘Bill’ Weld was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 1990 with 51% of the vote. More importantly, he was re-elected in 1994 with a record breaking 71% of the vote, a record that still stands today.
What does this landslide victory say about a former Republican in a Democratic state? Simple. He served the people, not just the voters from his political party.
Despite the state legislature being controlled by a Democratic majority, Bill managed to cut taxes 21 times and did not permit any tax increases. A 1994 report from the Cato institute concluded that, “Weld cut spending, balanced the budget, improved the state’s bond rating, and cut numerous taxes. Even with a Democratic legislature, Weld has a stunningly successful fiscal record.”
I am a current graduate student at St. Cloud State, running for the open seat of MN State Senate district 14. I was orphaned at age 9 due to parental drug overdoses. This upbringing made me self reliant and compassionate, wanting to help others in similar situations.
I believe in doing that by raising the voices of abused and silenced people, in particular minorities, who too often suffer at the hand of violent and forceful government, both through legislation and enforcement.
I want officers who kill citizens to be held accountable, just like you and I would be. Not one office has been charged in 143 deaths since 2000. I want drug prohibition ended, so that profiling, harassment, and over incarceration of minorities’ ends. This makes everyone safer by also eliminating drug gangs. I believe in educational choices and options, giving you better access and lower costs, getting state regulation out of your way.
I am a lifelong Minnesotan running for MN Senate district 19. With degrees from Gustavus Adolphus and U of M I became an M.D. in 2000. My wife Kim, also a physician, has blessed me with four children.
I have witnessed incredible inefficiencies that plague the physician-patient relationship from external government influence. That has caused me to do the majority of my work as an independent contractor; creating a direct pay, insurance free, patient clinic.
Many of the issues that are important to me allow physicians to have all tools at their disposal to treat patients, without regulation by non-physician bureaucrats. This is why I support the Death with Dignity Act. This is why I support expanding access to marijuana by ending prohibition of it’s uses.
I also support greater school choice access, with a voucher system and other free market reforms, that will by attrition dwindle the public education system into non existence.
I have lived my entire life in the Orono-Minnetonka area, with the exception of my US Navy nuclear service career, with an engineering degree from U of M. My wife Kendall and I have two children. I am a green energy pioneer, engineer, and entrepreneur. I have served on city council and now seek to serve the MN Senator District 33 representative.
You can easily find my story, but it forced me to become more active to protect your rights. Having your liberty taken and your right to self reliance stolen should not be what government does. To be jailed for safe innovation and free choice, with a biased judgment on a complaint, is not justice when no specific law exists. I aim to fix that.
I promote self-sustaining, self-created green energy solutions. I promote private sector and individual solutions to all challenges we face. I am not obliged to any special interests. I will defend what is right until they carry me away.
I am running for MN House of Representatives district 37A. What I lack in political experience I make up for with life experience. I have conquered vices, which were my choices, with education, assistance, and tolerance.
Prohibition is a failure and criminalizes free choice. Drugs may or may not ruin your life, but I guarantee the government will intentionally ruin your life if they catch you with them. They will handicap you from getting a job and forbid you from getting a gun. I want you employed. I want you to be able to hunt.
If you don’t hurt someone else, you should not be a felon. Non violent offenders fill our jails. I support a law system that protects you and your property from others, punishing only those who do outward harm, and not punishing morality.
I will also work to limit taxation and redistribution. You know how to be compassionate with your own money.
My name is Joe Weverka. I am a lifelong Minnesotan running for MN House of Representatives district 67B. I have a lovely wife Kayleen, 5 children, and a personal training business in St. Paul. I’m an ‘average Joe’ who wants to fight for all of us against elite bureaucrats who think they know what’s best for us.
I will work to repeal ‘blue laws’. Right now our state says when you can and can’t conduct your voluntary transactions. For instance they tell us to go to Wisconsin on Sundays to buy beer. I want our money spent here.
I support access to marijuana, in all ways, with full legalization. Right now our state tells our veterans with PTSD to go to other states for help. I want to help them here.
Lastly, I want transparent citizen oversight panels to investigate and recommend action in police brutality situations, instead of the government investigating themselves, to make us all safer, more aware, and more involved.
The best solutions for the challenges Burnsville faces can only come from Burnsville residents. Yet residents are often less involved and less aware of what happens in local government. Why? Information isn’t presented in ‘user-friendly’ ways and voters aren’t actively encouraged to participate.
My decision making approach is to be as careful with residents’ money as possible and look for ways to remove government interference and restrictions. If what you’re doing isn’t harming anyone else, we shouldn’t use taxpayer’s money to monitor, measure, or restrict your activity.
It’s very humbling to have people email you or reach out through Facebook and ask you to run. I’ve already had people asking to volunteer or wanting to know when I can give them a yard sign. I don’t take this for granted and I’m extremely touched.
As Hennepin County Commissioner I would work to stop the Bottineau Lightrail. It will cost more than $1.5 billion dollars and it will eliminate some houses on Broadway Ave in Brooklyn Park. It is unnecessary and will increase the use of energy not reduce it. I’m sure there will be some deaths from the lightrail as there have been in other places. The Humboldt Greenway project in north Minneapolis has been a disaster. Many affordable houses were demolished so expensive houses could be built and the county could get more property tax revenue. I would work to prevent this abuse of citizens from happening again. I would work to cut the $100,000 salaries of the commissioners.
Hennepin County District 1 includes Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Robbinsdale, most of Crystal, most of New Hope and a little of north Mpls.
I have been a libertarian for 14 years and the party’s treasurer for 9 years.
Pro-Liberty. Pro-Accountability. Pro-Transparency. Pro-Community. Pro-Entrepreneur. Pro-FREEDOM.
I’m a community activist and organizer focused on police accountability and liberty-related issues.
I often instruct “know your rights” and “copwatch” training throughout the metro area at various schools, houses of faith, and community centers and with many local organizations.
During the last 5 years while living in Little Canada, I’ve had a direct part in repealing or amending 9 ordinances. If elected I plan on continuing this endeavor to expand liberty for the citizens and free market opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs.
In 2012 after speaking of liberty, property rights, and fiscal responsibility in various public settings I was asked to run for Ward 3 City Council. It was an honor to be elected and I have served as your council representative since that time. So far I have worked on eliminating the city debt, improving transparency in city government; and strengthening community ties.
Recently, I have been working to create a strong Community Outreach group. The Community Outreach group will build awareness and increase the number of activities our community has to offer by gathering information and volunteers that help everyday people get directly involved with their communities.
Another concern of mine is the push for high-density housing. If we as residents wanted that we would have moved to the inner city. But we chose Crystal. Respecting that desire and the needs of the citizens I will continue to fight the introduction of neighborhood disrupting planning at all stages. Much more work can be done to preserve and strengthen our city, so I am asking for your support for my reelection. Built on sound principle and practice, I bring new ideas, openness, and an honest mind to the table.
Kevin Bradley for St. Paul City Council – Ward 6
My campaign promises are simple: I will not presume to know your concerns unless you tell me. I will listen to you in order to understand you as an individual and as a member of your particular community, whatever that means to you. I will be open, honest, and transparent. If you ask me a question, I will do my best to give you a direct answer.
Business owners consistently tell me that business taxes and insurance requirements are prohibitively high (it typically costs 20-30% more to run a business in St. Paul than in Maplewood). I want to make it easier and less expensive to start and run a business in St. Paul, and I will do everything in my power to make sure taxpayers’ money is spent only on services that are absolutely necessary, or is at least not spent frivolously. Everything else can and should be done by private businesses.
You have a choice. If you already feel represented on the city council, I encourage you to vote for the incumbent. If you don’t feel represented, or you just want a new voice, vote for someone else. Either way, please vote. You deserve to be heard.
Mary O’Connor for Brooklyn Center School Board
Brooklyn Center School District 286 needs to focus on academic classes for Kindergarten to 12th grade students and eliminate most other programs and activities. We have good teachers but they are overworked. We need to lessen the mandates on our teachers. Our school district has taken on many responsibilities which belong to parents. These should be given back to parents.
We need to spend our time and money teaching reading , math, history, science, civics, writing, music and art to our students. Gym or recess would still be an important part of the school day. Active children learn better.
New teachers should be given mentors to help them teach academic classes to their students while keeping order in their classrooms. This will help them become successful teachers and will lessen the amount that leave the profession.
We must pay off our operating debt which we have had for many years. We must reduce our spending and build up a reserve so we don’t get into debt again.
Brooklyn Center Academy should be closed. These older students can go to the high school in the evenings to get their degree or GED.
Statewide Libertarian Candidates
Chris Holbrook for Governor
Looking around at today’s political landscape, it’s easy to get frustrated. Let’s face it, the two-party system is broken and acts as one elite ruling class. We see too much gridlock and partisan gamesmanship. Like a lot of people, I agree with some of what the left believes and some of what the right believes. That’s why I’m Libertarian. Your mind and your body are yours. Your money and your property are yours.
Unfortunately, both Republicans and Democrats are happy the status quo. They continually pass new rules telling us how to live and making us pay for it. They discourage competition and meddle in businesses they know little about. I want Minnesotans to live their lives with minimal government intrusion.
I am running on a “Legalize and Minimize” platform. I will work to end the prohibition of marijuana, Sunday liquor sales, and fireworks. I will work to reverse intrusions into free markets that stifle economic growth by cutting business taxes, replacing the state income tax with a Flat or Fair Tax, and reducing government waste.
Chris Dock for Lt. Governor
Minnesota currently operates under the rule of an entrenched two-party system, that has created constant partisan battles, with the primary focus being on retention of power and control, rather than the needs of the citizens of Minnesota. As a result, the people of Minnesota suffer the loss of personal liberties due to excessive intrusion and loss of economic liberties due to excessive taxation.
We need to increase personal liberty and responsibility and decrease governmental control and intrusion. We need to decrease the amount of government spending at all levels. For those items that need to remain within governmental control, we need to realign the responsibilities wherever possible from the Federal government to the State governments, from the State governments to the municipal governments, and ideally from the municipal governments to the people themselves.
The Libertarian Party provides the option to dismantle the stranglehold of power that has been instituted by the GOP and DFL Parties, and return freedom and responsibility to the hands of the people themselves. We have government OF the people – it is time to restore government BY the people and FOR the people.
Heather Johnson for US Senate
Since the 1940s, Minnesota has grown into a “blue” state. The DFL has gained the majority in both the state House and Senate quite often since 1954. They have sold out Minnesotans for Federal dollars, giving up our freedoms and property for cash. Except several decades later, we are still waiting in need of real solutions.
The truth is we as Minnesotans are responsible for our personal liberties and our lives, not the DFL or the GOP. Liberty encompasses the individual identities of all – regardless of economic status, sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, creed, age, education, or any other identity marker. It is the basic human right that needs assertive defense against corruption. Join me in helping to defend yourself and your fellows against corruption and political cronyism.
As a U. S. Senator, I aim to challenge the establishment of career politicians. I assert a desire to end connections between special interests and legislation. I plan to focus on only the issues that respect the individual liberty of all citizens and bring an end to government venality.
Keegan Iversen for State Auditor
My issues among many focus around three main points: Accountability, Consolidation and Reform. Accountability can be summarized by changing the accounting method from a modified accrual/cash basis system of finance to a full accrual basis of financing. This accounting method will give voters a clear understanding of the debt the state has accrued including unfunded and underfunded liabilities. I will work to standardize line item reporting, public employee salaries and grant recipients to be fully reported to the taxpayer on a readily access-able report. Consolidation will occur by returning the State Auditor Office back to a Constitutional Officers role, not just a title alone. This consolidation includes placing the Legislative Auditor under the auspices of the State Auditor’s Office allowing for audits of statewide programs not just city and county programs. Further consolidation initiatives include the removal of the Minnesota Management and Commissioner of Budget and placing that responsibility on the State Auditor’s Office and not by Governor’s appointment. My final initiative reform will be to get the State Auditor’s Office active in stopping the fraud, wastes and abuse of public funds.
These initiatives will reduce the taxpayers burden by eliminating positions and redundant departments, maximizing transparency in government and curb the fraud that is running rampant in government programs today. It will also provide someone to hold accountable themselves by placing these roles in a position that can be voted out of office.
Bob Odden for Secretary of State
One function of the Secretary of State is to oversee elections and a citizen’s first duty is to be informed and participate in government. I will work with organizations to make sure that we have open debates that include all statewide candidates running for an office. I will also speak at schools and other organizations to make sure that citizens understand how our Republic works.
I will work to ensure that people’s votes count. This will include encouraging citizens to monitor elections and working with groups to reduce voter fraud and improve citizens confidence in our electoral system.
I want to increase voter turnout by increasing voter choice through a free market of ideas. We should be inclusive and ensure that all voices are heard. To that end, barriers for political parties to be on the ballot should be reduced. While they do not get much coverage, we need to make our judicial elections more meaningful.
Finally, as Secretary of State, I will review election laws submitted to the legislature and ensure as to whether they will make elections more meaningful and follow our Minnesota Constitution.
Mary O’Connor for Attorney General
As Attorney General I will work to protect the rights and freedoms of Minnesotans. According to the United States Constitution and the Minnesota Constitution all persons have the right to be secure in their persons and houses from unreasonable seizures. For example, the Light Rail Transit Corporation should not be taking houses from Minnesotans.
The Declaration of Independence says we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If an ill person needs cannabis for their life and happiness, they should not be denied. A business owner has the right to make a living and the Government should not deny this right by forcing unnecessary regulations and paperwork onto their business.
Lastly, as Attorney General, I will be a member of the Pardon Board. I will work to pardon offenders who have committed victimless “crimes”.
Local Libertarian Candidates
Cara Schulz for Burnsville City Council
Brad Karels for Chanhassen City Council
Elizabeth Dahl for Crystal City Council
Olga Parsons for Crystal City Council
David Nick for Foley City Council
Bill Fuchs for Paynesville City Council
LPMN-Endorsed Candidates of Other Parties
Zavier Bicott for House 50B
Tim Utz for House 41B