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Minnesota’s Independence Party apparently falls short of 5% threshold, but vows to carry on

A party that once held the governor’s office failed to get 5 percent in any of the statewide races, which means the loss of its major party status.

Bob Helland
Bob Helland

Minnesota’s Independence Party apparently will lose its major party status after unofficial vote tallies show that none of its state-wide candidates gained the necessary 5 percent vote total.

One candidate, Secretary of State Bob Helland, is close: with unofficial totals of nearly all the votes tallied, he has 4.91 percent of the vote — or roughly 1,700 votes shy of hitting 5 percent. 

MinnPost’s Doug Grow, in a story two months before the election, looked at the unlikelihood of IP party success, and suggested that they might need to add an R to the title: RIP.

Party officials said then that they’d go on no matter how many votes they received.

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“I’m not concerned about the five per cent,’’ Jenkins told Grow in September. “I think that’s doable. But I will say this, even if we don’t hit five per cent we’re not going to go away. We’re not going to go away until the parties start representing us.”

And this morning, the party reiterated that message, tweeting:


A heartfelt thanks to everyone who came out and voted for our candidates last night. Our mission is far from complete. We march on.

Losing the major party status will not only hurt the party’s public image, there are tangible benefits that will go by the wayside, too: the party will lose the right to have election judges and challengers in polling places. And the party will now have to file nominating petitions to be on the general election ballot.

Hannah Nicollet, the IP candidate for governor, got about 2.9 percent of the vote; state Auditor candidate Patrick Dean got about 4 percent; Attorney General candidate Brandon Borgos got about 2.1 percent; and Steve Carlson, who ran for U.S. Senate, got about 2.3 percent of the vote.