Senate candidate builds on success of fellow academician turned candidate

Mike Beitler is building on the success of a fellow academician turned Libertarian candidate as he seeks to unseat U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.

“In the past, much of the energy of the Libertarian Party has been spent just trying to break the establishment ballot access laws,” he said. “Professor Mike Munger made tremendous inroads in the 2008 governor’s race.”

Mike Beitler

Munger got nearly three percent of the vote in that race, which enabled the party to keep its ballot status.

Like Munger, Beitler is doing well in the polls, and least those that include his name. He earned 10 percent in a recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling.

“It doesn’t surprise me that our numbers are higher than anyone expects,” he said. “As I travel across the state, people tell me I’m the only one who actually answers the questions they have. I want to have adult conversations on the issues that matter to people, instead of the usual fluff and pithy sound bites that is the norm from your average politician.”

The poll analysis noted that contrary to conventional wisdom about where Libertarian candidates get their support from Beitler is actually pulling seven percent of Democrats to just four percent of Republicans. “Beitler may be doing well with conservative Democrats who don’t want to give Barack Obama another vote in the Senate but who don’t much care for Burr either,” the analysts theorized.

North Carolina has the second most restrictive ballot access laws in the nation. The party had to collect more than 100,000 signatures and spend more than $150,000 in a three-year petition effort to get on the ballot in 2008.

Despite these huge hurdles, the Libertarian Party has been on North Carolina’s ballot in every presidential election but one since 1996.

Beitler message is similar to that of Munger. “It’s time to take the message of liberty and self- responsibility to the people and give them an alternative to the same old two-party establishment that talks pretty, but once elected, ignores the wishes of the people of North Carolina,” he said.

“North Carolina has had enough of politicians who put the needs of lobbyists and special interest groups before its citizens. I pledge to go to Washington and truly represent the people of North Carolina, not just be another politician.”

Beitler said it’s time to hold elect officials “feet to the fire.” “If they don’t do what is right, then kick them out, all of them, regardless of party affiliation,” he said. That rule applies to him. “If I don’t live up to my campaign promises as your representative, then please vote me out.”

During the 2008 campaign, Munger polled as high as six percent in some polls. Another state-wide Libertarian candidate, Mark McMains, was as high as ten percent in one poll. McMains in fact received more votes in the lesser-known race for insurance commissioner than Munger. However, only the results in the senatorial or presidential contests count toward ballot access.

Beitler said he’s the only one in the race who hasn’t made politics a career. On the contrary, he claims he’s the only one with the experience and training to handle the economic and financial problems facing the nation.