Libertarians from North Dakota and South Dakota gathered Saturday at the Baymont Inn and Suites in Mandan and selected candidates for the 2016 election.
Candidates selected for North Dakota were: Jack Seaman for U.S. House, Robert Marquette for U.S. Senate, Joshua Voytek for lieutenant governor, Kevin Johnson for District 16 representative, Nick Bata for insurance commissioner, Tom Skadeland for public service commissioner, and Roland Riemers for state auditor.
"The candidates this year are really strong," Mangnall said. "If you look at the candidate list last time and the time before that, you will see the party keeps growing and growing. We are really exited about turn out today."
The Libertarian nominations for governor and state treasurer were postponed to a later date.
"I would like to us win a race," Seaman said. "I would like to see us seat somebody in the North Dakota Legislature or have a candidate for statewide office be successful and win a race. Yes those are gaudy expectations, but if you're going to be in this, you have to go for the win. We are not in it for recognition, what we need how is a win."
This was a convention for the people looking for a change in their government.
In the 2014 elections, the Libertarian Party was able to capture more than 5 percent of the vote for certain races and was added to the 2016 ballot. This is not their first year on the ballot, but it is the first year the Libertarian Party was added because of votes rather than petition.
"The big obstacle is simply gaining traction," Seaman said. "When you are working against an establishment duopoly, two-party, system that has been in place for over 100 years, its hard to get people to think third party or independent or in a new line of thinking."
The convention was a time for change for the North Dakota Libertarian Party. Along with selecting candidates for 2016 races, the four-year North Dakota Libertarian party chairman, Roland Riemers, was replaced in a vote by Anthony Mangnall.
"I would like to let my role kind of expand a little bit into helping coordinate all the campaigns across the state," Mangnall said. "I've got a lot of IT background and marketing background, so I think I will be able to leverage that quite a bit more. There is so much technology out there and I feel that our party has yet to get its hands into to move us forward."
In 2014, Mangnall ran for tax commissioner and was able to pull 6.4 percent of the vote to the Libertarian Party.