January 7, 2016
The search is over! After a months-long effort, the LPMN has re-filled a critical position in its core leadership. Party activists are excited to announce that Kevin Bradley has been chosen as the new LPMN Executive Director.
The position has played a key role in the party’s recent successes since it was created by the LPMN Executive Committee in early 2013. Previous Executive Director Andy Burns helped to lead the party’s rise in visibility and support, assisting its elected leadership on many goals and often spearheading them himself.
Mr Burns had championed numerous initiatives. He coordinated the petition drive to obtain 13,000 signatures in just two weeks which ensured a full slate of statewide candidates in the last election, expanded Libertarians’ statewide presence with the “Liberty Launch” caucus drive of 2014, coordinated the party’s return to the Minnesota State Fair, helped more than double the number of dues-paying members, and played a dominant role in increasing revenue by 7 times since he started. Other efforts have included local candidate recruitment which helped grow the elected Libertarians in Minnesota from none to five, and overhauling the party’s website and other backbone software.
In July 2015, Mr Burns departed the role when he was hired by the National Libertarian Party as its State Affiliate Development Specialist, and is now working to assist all fifty state parties.
Those are tough shoes to fill. A replacement had to be found who possessed a drive to succeed, an ability to work well with others, and a solid commitment to the Libertarian philosophy. Thus, a careful effort was conducted, reaching out to members, other leaders in the liberty movement, and also advertising the opening. Numerous inquiries were received. LPMN Chair Chris Dock interviewed several candidates before settling upon three finalists. Mr Dock ultimately recommended Kevin Bradley, who was approved unanimously by the Executive Committee by a vote of 9-0.
Mr Bradley is a native of southern Minnesota and an alumnus of Concordia University and St Olaf College. His background includes 20 years’ experience in technical communications and a master’s degree in counseling, which he has used at several healthcare organizations and at the US Department of Veterans Affairs. He is a consultant specializing in business communications, stress management, and emotional intelligence. A longtime supporter of the libertarian movement, he joined the LPMN during the “Liberty Launch” caucus drive of 2014, then ran for St Paul City Council in 2015, winning 11% of the vote in the city’s Ward 6 against a long-established incumbent and another challenger.
Accepting the role of Executive Director, Mr Bradley remarked, “When I was campaigning for City Council, I discovered that my diverse background gave me an unusually effective skillset. Because of my training and experience as a counselor, I was able to give the voters the assurance that I was truly listening, and as a professional communicator I was able to help them understand how Libertarian principles address their concerns. My experience as a candidate convinced me that Minnesota’s political landscape could be very different if people were simply informed about the Libertarian Party.”
He added, “Andy Burns bolstered the LPMN as a leading voice for the Libertarian message. I believe my expertise in business communications and counseling will allow me to build on that foundation and help the LPMN become even more prominent.”
LPMN Chair Chris Dock heralded the approval of Mr Bradley, “When Andy Burns took his position with the National LP, we wanted to ensure our new ED was not only someone who could be successful performing the responsibilities of the role, but also someone who has a true passion for Libertarian ideals and the goals our party is trying to accomplish. When Kevin applied for the job, we knew he would be a great fit as we had come to know Kevin quite well during his 2015 campaign for St Paul City Council. Kevin brings a great deal of knowledge, enthusiasm, and skills to the role. Having Kevin join us as Executive Director is a great way to end 2015, and we are excited for what lies ahead of us in 2016!”
The party had functioned solely on the basis of volunteers before 2013. However, work and family obligations often took priority, relegating political activism to a spare-time activity even among committed volunteers. Hiring a full-time Executive Director changed that, taking the party to the next level by allowing the LPMN to reliably conduct day-to-day activities such as staying in contact with members, responding to inquiries, handling fundraising, finding candidates, and coordinating outreach activities.
LPMN Vice Chair S.L. Malleck added, “Over the years, we’ve tried many things to boost our party and outreach, with varying degrees of success. One of those stands out beyond all the others in making a significant impact. And that’s our decision to hire an Executive Director. I’m pleased to have Kevin join our team, and I look forward to working with him as we gear up to rock and roll in the new year!”
All that said, even more important than any leadership position is every individual who has joined the LPMN as a member. The party’s leadership offers sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed by joining or donating! Those who’ve stepped up have been critical to the LPMN’s ability to afford an Executive Director. It’s because of your contributions that the Libertarian Party of Minnesota has now become the third largest party in the state by several measures, building us into a principled voice for liberty on all issues, and accelerating our efforts to gain a seat at the table of Minnesota politics.
Concerned about the expansion of government control and the erosion of individual liberty? Please consider joining and becoming active with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. Libertarians support liberty on all issues, all the time! Libertarianism is a philosophical and political movement to promote personal freedom, strong civil liberties, a genuinely free marketplace, and peace.
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