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Libertarians Fight To Be Recognized In Upcoming Elections

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RALEIGH, N.C. — This year, nearly 150 Libertarians are on ballots across North Carolina, but the party is still a mystery to many.

Republican Elizabeth Dole and Democrat Erskine Bowles are not the only ones who want to head to Washington, D.C. Sean Haugh is running as the Libertarian candidate in the North Carolina Senate race.

"I haven't produced any signs, any buttons, brochures or things like that," he said.

Haugh said he has not raised much money either.

"I've raised about $1,500. I'm just trying to keep myself in gas money and repairs to stay on the road," he said.

Haugh's main mission this election is to educate people about his party.

"The main difference between us and the Republicans and Democrats is we don't have a plan to run your life," he said.

Most Libertarians think their best chances of being elected are on the local level.

Rachel Mills, a Libertarian candidate, is taking on House Rep. Mickey Michaux. She said Libertarians are about freedom and personal responsibility and offer voters an alternative.

"They're [Democrats and Republicans] appealing to the same people and they're looking more alike every election," she said. "It's like a contest of who can be more boring."

No one can accuse Mills of being boring. Her biggest fund-raising effort, the Ladies of Liberty calender, netted $10,000.

"We've got to try something new," she said.

Officials claim there are more than 5 million registered voters in North Carolina, of which 8,903 are Libertarians. The Libertarian Party started in Colorado in 1971. The party came to North Carolina in 1978.


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