Who are the Libertarian candidates on the ballot?

Candidate for governor Jake Porter, congressional hopeful Mark Strauss, and Iowa Senate contender Carl Krambeck are running for office on the Libertarian ticket this year.


David Harmantas

Carl Krambeck, the Libertarian Candidate for Iowa State Senate District 37, participates in a public forum at the Coralville Public Library on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.

Andy Mitchell, News Reporter

Carl Krambeck, Senate District 37

Libertarian candidate Carl Krambeck plans on bringing a practical, individualist approach to policy in the state Senate.

Krambeck, a Kirkwood Community College and Buena Vista University alum, lives in Clarence, Iowa, with his wife and two children. He’s running for a spot representing Senate District 37 against Iowa City-native and LGBT activist Zach Wahls, a Democrat.

Krambeck supports decriminalizing nonviolent offenses to keep people out of prisons.

“I would sign that bill for legal marijuana,” he said. “Replacing marijuana possession with a fine instead of prison time would be a step in the right direction.”

On the subject of education, Krambeck focuses on the need for further support of community colleges over public universities. One of his ideas would be to transfer some funding from public universities such as the University of Iowa to community colleges.

“We need to focus on community college because we have a skilled-worker shortage, we don’t have a bachelor’s, master’s, Ph.D. shortage,” Krambeck said. “The biggest bang for your buck is investing in community college.”

Krambeck also prides his campaign’s vision for different methods of opening revenue streams for the state.

“People complain about funding for schools, and I was the only one there talking about new revenue streams and new ways to pay for things without raising taxes,” Krambeck said. Those include legalizing marijuana and granting more casino licenses.

Mark Strauss, 2nd Congressional District

Katie Goodale
Mark Strauss, libertarian candidate for District 2, poses for a portrait in the Adler Journalism Building on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018.

Libertarian Mark Strauss is running against Republican Christopher Peters and Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, for a spot in the U.S. House of Representatives representing southeastern Iowa, including Iowa City.

Strauss, from Bettendorf, works as a businessman in the commercial-lighting industry. In 2007, he asked a question of candidates in both Democratic and Republican presidential debates regarding the future of Medicaid.

“I’m a little ‘l’ libertarian; we can’t have no government,” Strauss said. “We do need rules in the game.”

RELATED: Without media attention, Libertarians might lose status as official political party

In agriculture, Strauss supports eliminating subsidies for farmers to grow certain crops and would implement more regulations to ensure water quality. He also supports ending oil fracking.

“We need to look very closely at what chemicals are going onto these crops and what lasting effects they could have down the road,” he said. “Water needs to belong to every American, not corporate America.”

He also supports immigration reform, including a wall at the border between U.S. and Mexico, and increased pathways to citizenship for DACA recipients and others.

“If people are felony-free, I want them on the track to citizenship,” Strauss said.

He said he hasn’t taken any donations in his run for Congress, financing his campaign largely from his own pocket.

RELATED: Zach Wahls sets sights on changing health care, empowering workers

Strauss favors eliminating all subsidies for businesses, saying he believes businesses should prop themselves up on their own merit.

He also supports a straight consumption tax, which would eliminate income and property taxes and implement a higher sales tax on the goods and services that people purchase. He believes once companies reduce overhead costs, product prices will stabilize.

Jake Porter

Jake Porter, governor

Porter, 30, is running for the first time for governor. In 2017, Porter was the executive director of the Libertarian Party of Iowa. He ran unsuccessfully for Iowa secretary of state on the Libertarian ticket in 2010 and 2014.

RELATED: State Senate District 37 seat is up for grabs

A lifelong Libertarian, Porter’s philosophy in his run for the governor’s office is to guarantee personal freedom. He said he adopted his views as a kid after his grandma, who died of cancer, couldn’t access a non-FDA-approved drug.

Now, Porter supports abolishing prison sentences for victimless crimes such as marijuana possession, eliminating tax credits for corporations, and implementing free-market principles into every government system.

Porter also supports phasing out the sales tax and conducting audits of state branches of government to eliminate wasteful spending.

The Libertarian Party has criticized news organizations and the other two gubernatorial candidates for Porter’s exclusion from the three debates between Reynolds and Hubbell.

RELATED: Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District: Who are the candidates?

According to a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Poll, Porter is polling at around 7 percent. The portion is energizing the Libertarian Party, which is considered a major party for the first time this year after Libertarian candidate for president Gary Johnson garnered 3.7 percent of votes in Iowa in 2016. If Porter can maintain 2 percent of the vote in the gubernatorial race, the Libertarian Party will remain recognized as an official party by the secretary of state.

Porter, as a third-party candidate, says a vote for him would not be wasted and would make a statement.

“We want to show people that there is another option,” Porter said. “By voting for me, you send the Democrats and Republicans a message … that issues you want solutions to such as to issues such as criminal-justice reform are being addressed.”