Independence Party's streak of influencing governor's race may end


Ever since Jesse Ventura shocked the world in 1998, Minnesota's Independence Party has played a role in determining the state's governor. But the party may take 2014 off from the governor's race, to turn its attention elsewhere.

The Associated Press reports the party is debating whether to make a strong run for governor next year or focus instead on other statewide races.

To keep its major party status and the public subsidy that comes with it, the Independence Party must win five percent of the vote in a statewide race. (In case you're interested, here's the state election law defining major party status.)

Failure to reach the five percent threshold would remove the IP from the level of the Republican and DFL parties and instead put them among the minor party ranks of the Green Party and Grass Roots Party.

Five statewide offices are up for election next year. Four have incumbents running, but Mark Ritchie is not seeking re-election as secretary of state.

At its state party a couple of weeks ago, the IP approved a party platform that includes pushing for the legalization of marijuana.

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