Libertarian Party of Minnesota

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Libertarian Party of Minnesota
General Information
Chartered: 1972
Region: 6
Chair: Chris Holbrook
Vice Chair: Ryan Waterbury
Secretary: Cindy Hucks
Treasurer: Mary O’Connor
Address: 1201 42½ Ave NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421
Website: Website
Social Media

The Libertarian Party of Minnesota is the Minnesota affiliate of the Libertarian Party.


There are a number of steps involved in forming a new political party. The steps that created the Libertarian Party of Minnesota were not all done by a single group of people working together. After decades have passed, it is difficult to pull together those various steps, who did them, and to determine which steps actually constitute the founding of the LP of MN. Hopefully, this account will give credit to whom it is due without being overly-concerned about details.

It's clear that the impetus behind the start of our state party, in 1972, was that the Libertarian Party had just been started on the national level, and it was trying to run Dr. John Hospers, a philosophy professor from California and past close associate of Ayn Rand, for President of the United States. That news interested a number of Minnesotans, and caused several independent conversations about forming a State LP party branch.

Charles Brekke and Steve Richardson wrote a letter to the National Libertarian Party, in Colorado, requesting a charter for a Minnesota state party. Meanwhile, Frank Haws and Rich Kleinow were discussing the same idea from an organizational aspect, with an eye toward getting Hospers on the ballot in Minnesota. Soon, a plan was being developed by the combined group.

Frank Haws and some of the others who were interested in forming this party, knew Ed Contoski as one of the original sponsors of the early lectures on Objectivism and an author writing on libertarianism. All concurred that Ed would be best suited for the role of State Chairman. Charles Brekke volunteered to be secretary and do as much of the detail work as possible, and Ed graciously agreed to become the first LPMN Party Chair.

The first real meeting was held at the home of Charles and Georgiena Brekke, at 4821 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, which became the first LPMN HQ.

At that meeting Ed Contoski was elected the first state chairman. Rich Kleinow was elected vice chairman, Charles Brekke secretary, and Claudia Jenson treasurer. Others at the meeting were Frank Haws, Jack and Jane Buxell, Marc and Arnette Putman, and Georgiena Brekke. Charles Brekke had contacted the Minnesota Secretary of State's office and learned that to be officially recognized as a political party in Minnesota it was necessary to have ten members. The eleven original signers of that charter, in alphabetic order, were:

Charles Brekke Georgiena Brekke Jack Buxell Jane Buxell Ed Contoski Rich Kleinow Franklin Haws Claudia Jensen Arnette Putman Marc Putman Stephen Richardson

These original eleven people were the founders of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota and comprised the original Executive Committee.

During the early years, those who decided to form the Libertarian Party, both nationally and in Minnesota, were criticized by others in the Objectivist movement, and by Ayn Rand herself. Clearly, these were people who wanted to put their beliefs into action. For that we are in debt to their courage and persistence.

In 1974, Rich Kleinow and Claudia Jensen were the first two candidates for the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, on the ballot for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, respectively.

Dale Hemming, the twelfth member of the LPMN, worked vigorously on behalf of the party in the early years and ran for Congress in 1976 and 1978.

Many early members have moved to other places, and some have become inactive.

It should be noted that volunteer work in a young organization often creates "burnout" and "dropout." This is probably more true in a political party, trying to overcome the significant hurdles created by incumbent parties to stifle any new competition. Even so, many more individuals joined the LP of MN during the next few years, and at this time, there are still many active members with 20 years or more.


As of August 2017.

Judicial Committee
Division Leaders




See: Libertarian Party of Minnesota Historical Election Results

Size and Influence

Year Minimum
Total Donors
2004 - 2016
Active Members
1972 - 2003

2017 2,079 213
2016 112,972 2,214 315
2015 2,043 171
2014 40,729 2,007 180
2013 1,977 213
2012 35,098 1,932 223
2011 1,868 221
2010 1,839 226
2009 1,817 234
2008 13,923 1,735 273
2007 (Nov) 1,629 (Nov) 207
2006 15 1,580 188
2005 1,405 272
2004 4,639 (Aug) 316
2003 270
2002 319
2001 376
2000 17,151 460
1999 441
1998 49,173 467
1997 368
1996 8,271 384
1995 239
1994 15,467 176
1993 148
1992 3,373 185
1991 152
1990 168
1989 148
1988 5,109 128
1986 3,852
1984 4,653
1982 31,422
1980 31,593
1978 4,116
1976 7,004
1974 2,115
1972 35

External links

Libertarian Party of Minnesota
Affiliates: HennepinNicolletOtter TailRamseySt. Louis
Other: Election Results

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