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Libertarian Jake Porter Looks to Influence Governor's Race

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John Pemble/IPR
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Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Jake Porter in IPR's Des Moines studios on September 24, 2018.

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Jake Porter was not invited to participate in the three debates between Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and Democratic challenger Fred Hubbell. Porter says it’s too bad because he would’ve added to the conversation.

“We would talk about things that may get ignored now like criminal justice reform (and) things that often aren’t talked about,” Porter says. “Also, different ideas for the budget."

Iowa code allows political parties to gain major status when 2 percent of the vote is earned by the party’s presidential candidate. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson picked up more than 3 percent of the vote in 2016. Now, the Libertarian Party of Iowa has major party status and a spot on the general election ballot.

Porter admits winning the election is a long shot but it isn’t all about winning it’s also about keeping that party status.

“And if any of our issues that we’ve talked about, if we’re able to have an impact on those issues that will also be a victory,” Porter says.  

This is the first in a series of interviews we're doing with the Libertarian, Republican and Democratic candidates for governor.  We'll have the remaining two on the air and online in early October.

Clay Masters is Iowa Public Radio’s Morning Edition host and lead political reporter.