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Libertarian Candidate Hopes To Make Impact On Gubernatorial Race

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RALEIGH, N.C. — This year, voters will have more than two choices for governor on the ballot. The Libertarian Party has a candidate and she is on a mission to get the party's message out.

Barbara Howe looks at her run for governor like the lottery.

"The odds are astronomical, but if you win, you win big," she said.

It is Howe's sixth run for public office. She has never gotten more than 4 percent of the vote, but the 51-year-old homemaker still thinks she can succeed with one of her goals.

"The purpose is to give voters an option," she said.

As a member of the Libertarian Party, she said she supports more personal freedom and less government.

"Most people want to live their lives, not hurt anyone else, raise their children, run their business. They don't need government looking over their shoulder," Howe said.

Howe, who is from Oxford, is against forced annexation and tax incentives for corporations. She is also for a third party serving as a referee in the General Assembly.

"Republicans and Democrats would have to understand they'd have to watch their P's and Q's," she said.

Another goal of Howe's is to get 10 percent of the vote, so the party will no longer have to spend time and money to get on the ballot.

Howe said this will probably be her last run at elective office. She said she will still work hard to promote the party, but hopes someone else will hit the campaign trail.

Howe is also challenging her opponents to a shootout. She said she did not have the opportunity to exchange shots in debates, so she is looking to do it on a shooting range. Howe said it is a way to stress handgun safety and show voters the candidates can shoot off something other than their mouths.

Ballantine's campaign officials said he will decline Saturday's invitation because of a busy campaign schedule in eastern North Carolina. Easley's campaign officials said while the governor enjoys hunting, he, too, will pass.


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