Munger for NC Governor--2008!!

Recording the campaign activities, events, and happenings of the Munger for Governor campaign.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Charlotte Observer Article

Here is an article written by David Ingram, which appeared in the big O.

Duke professor is running for governor
Libertarian candidate's 1st step, though, is to get name on 2008 ballot

RALEIGH - There are a few things you should know right away about Mike Munger.

First, as Election Day 2006 approaches, he's the only person so far to announce he's running for N.C. governor in 2008.

Second, Munger's campaign is likely to be, by any objective standard, the most interesting of what will be several 2008 gubernatorial campaigns. Just check out his resumé or his positions -- or his hair.

Third, at this moment, his campaign is not legally eligible.

"The paradox is, I'm the only announced candidate for a party that has been outlawed by the state," Munger said.

Munger is affiliated with the Libertarian Party, North Carolina's third most-popular political party and the one that gets kicked off state rolls every four years for failing to get 10 percent of the gubernatorial or presidential votes in 2004, as required by state law.

While Libertarians work to get on the 2008 ballot, Munger is trying to win support and potential future votes by drawing on a diverse background. He's a Davidson College alum, Duke University political scientist, former Republican and Reagan administration official and former orange picker.

And Munger, 48, is a first-time candidate. He's written books about elections, but he's never tried to win an election. "It struck me I knew very little about the nuts and bolts of campaign finance and elections," he said.

So the experiences he's having now are unusual for a gubernatorial candidate. He's trying to visit all 100 N.C. counties. On his campaign Web site, he describes a July 18 visit to McDowell County:

"Visited the Hardees on NC 226," he writes. "A spirited discussion about third parties with an elderly gentleman. He is apparently the honorary mayor of that Hardees, comes in to drink coffee and conduct the discussion of the day. A great guy, though he thinks that third parties are the work of the devil."

He still has 92 counties to go.

Government is not `evil'

Other N.C. academics have tried politics. Fellow Duke political scientist David Price, a Democrat from Chapel Hill, is a congressman. Former N.C. Gov. Jim Martin, a Republican from Lake Norman, was once a chemist at Davidson College.Alex Rosenberg, a Duke philosophy professor who gave $100 to Munger's campaign, said Munger's academic background doesn't deter voters.

"Do they think he's a pointed-headed intellectual? I don't think so. He looks more like an aging rock star," he said.

Rosenberg calls Munger a "campus leader," and in fact Munger chairs a politics department that's considered among the best in the country.

As with many Libertarians, Munger's philosophy straddles the platforms of the two major parties. He is likely to anger Democrats by favoring school vouchers and anti-annexation policies, and Republicans by favoring same-sex civil unions and lighter sentences for drug possession and prostitution.

"A lot of Libertarians think government is evil," Munger said. "I think that government often fails, but it's because we ask the government to do things that are impossible.

"Anything we think should be done but don't know how to do, we ask government to do, and then we blame government when it fails."

69,000 signatures all he needs

Still, no one can vote for a Libertarian in 2008 unless the party qualifies for the ballot by collecting 69,000 valid signatures on petitions. The party would then nominate a candidate.

Others exploring runs for governor are State Treasurer Richard Moore and Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, both Democrats, and lawyer Bill Graham and state Sen. Fred Smith, both Republicans.

Munger said he would be satisfied if he's allowed in the debates, which in the past have been controlled by interest groups or by TV stations. "

Mike Munger

Running for: N.C. governor in 2008.

Current job: Duke political scientist and department chair.

Hometown: Orange farm in Gotha, Fla., near Orlando.

Residence: Raleigh.

Family: Wife, two children.

School: Bachelor's degree from Davidson College, 1980; master's and doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis, 1982 and 1984

How to hear him: Occasional morning guest on AM 1110 WBT.

How to read him: or

On going to school near Charlotte: "We would go in and see `The Rocky Horror Picture Show' all the time. Sometimes I went Friday and Saturday."

(Photo Credit: Jon Gardner, of the Observer)


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