By Mark Wachtler
November 22, 2015. Montoursville, PA. (ONN) Last week, we happily reported that 45 Libertarians and Greens won their elections during the 2015 General Election held earlier this month. But there was another winner we can proudly congratulate. The Veterans Party of Pennsylvania saw one of their candidates, Katie Lakes, win her race for Montoursville City Tax Collector. Now, the Veterans Party of America is readying their ever-growing list of candidates for the 2016 General Election.
Bruce Walden, former Green Beret and Veterans Party nominee for US Senate in Alaska. Image courtesy of the Veterans Party of America.
VPA victory in Pennsylvania
In the run-up to this month’s General Election held nationwide on November 5th, two Veterans Party of Pennsylvania members executed one of the most successful campaign strategies in existence - they ran as write-in candidates for offices that had no declared candidates on the ballot. Nearly every office in Lycoming County, PA was up for election. Katie Lakes ran for Montoursville City Tax Collector, while her brother-in-law James ran for Montoursville Constable.
When the votes were counted, VPA national chair Mark Wilder announced, “The VPA picked up a last minute candidate on election day for an unfiled office. She and her husband simply posted on Facebook for friends to write her in if they had not already voted. She won. Zero cost and no other campaigning. These unfiled offices occur in every election.”
James Lakes, the VPA State Chair in Pennsylvania, may still win his bid for Constable. He finished in a 10-way tie, all with one write-in vote each. His sister-in-law Katie was far more successful. She actually campaigned via social media and won her race for City Tax Collector. Katie garnered 13 of the 31 write-in votes cast and was declared by the local Board of Elections as the official winner.
VPA candidates in 2016
Back in August, the Veterans Party of America became the second of America’s 15 largest political parties to officially nominate candidates for US President and Vice President in 2016. As Opposition News reported at the time, ‘For US President, the Party has nominated Chris Keniston of Texas. The VPA’s Vice Presidential nominee is Deacon Taylor of Colorado. Both men are military veterans with a passion for ethics in government and leadership.’
Read ‘Veterans Party names 2016 Presidential Ticket’ for more information.
Since then, the VPA has vetted and nominated five additional candidates for the 2016 General Election. Two are from Illinois, one from Alaska, one from Texas and one from Kentucky. In Alaska, Bruce Walden is running for US Senate. In Texas, William Ewest is running for US Representative. In Kentucky, Dave Crane is running for Mayor of Owensboro. And in Illinois, Chris Aguayo is making a bid for State Senate while Dan Swanson has set his sights on State Representative.
VPA National Chair Mark Wilder assures supporters that these first seven candidates are only the tip of the iceberg. The Party’s nominating committee is currently processing additional candidate applications and will announce more candidates soon. A Facebook Page for Veterans Party Candidates has also been set up where interested individuals can obtain more information and official candidates can pool resources, ideas and moral support.
‘In 2014, hundreds of offices across America went unopposed, including seats in the US Senate and US House of Representatives,’ the Veterans Party website details, ‘Additionally, hundreds of other offices had no candidates at all and they were filled by appointment. This is not how our Founding Fathers envisioned the democratic process of Elections functioning. It is designed for citizens to have a choice in representation. These are the opportunities for the Veterans Party of America to take office.’
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