We're so lucky here in Minnesota to having a thriving democratic process where lots of different political parties appear. I looked into the candidates for each race and selected my favorite based on their positions. Apparently, I like the Independence Party here in Minnesota (who gave us Jesse Ventura as governor many years ago), because that's who the majority of my candidates were representing. Who knew?
The Independence Party got 4 of my votes. They were offering interesting candidates for state offices: Hannah Nicollet (for Governor), Bob Helland (Secretary of State), Patrick Dean (Auditor), and Brandan Borgos (Attorney General). Their party got my votes for all of Minnesota's "big offices" that were up for election this term.
The Democratic Party got 2 of my votes. One is for Keith Ellison for U.S. Representative. I'm a progressive (which the Democratic Party isn't), but Keith has always been on the right side of every voting issue that's been important to me. He also happens to be Muslim, which I keep hoping will shame those feed-and-clothe-the-poor-Christians into voting for candidates that actually work to feed and clothe the poor... but I keep being disappointed by them instead. I also voted for Carolyn Laine for my Representative in the state congress. There was only one third-party candidate, but Tim Utz was a scarier proposition than either of the big two party candidates.
The Libertarian Party got 1 of my votes. We have Al Franken as the incumbent Democratic candidate, but he voted on the wrong side of the SOPA/PIPA issue 2 years ago, so I was determined to vote against him. I'm not really a fan of the Libertarians, but the only alternatives were either a Republican or a former Tea Party Republican. So a vote for Heather Johnson it became, since she was the least bothersome of the 4 choices.
I voted for a new city mayor here in Columbia Heights. I liked the stated positions of Chris Beskar better than the incumbent. We don't have political party affiliations for any of our city offices, I think.
For all of the contested county Judge seats, the challengers were all scary people so I voted for the incumbent for each of the races. The other judges (7 in the Court of Appeals and 17 in the 10th District Court) were all uncontested races, so I voted for the only name available for each seat. It's sad too that so many county offices were uncontested: Commissioner District 4, Sheriff, Attorney, and Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor District 4).
Maybe I should consider taking up a political career for the next election? I care about politicians actually serving the interests of the people. I can't see myself doing a worse job than anyone else on the ticket. Except maybe Keith Ellison. I think he's a good politician. He actually gets involved in the community throughout the years, not just during an election cycle. I haven't seen the like since Ann Richards was governor of Texas.
I hope you voted. And, like me, I hope you found many candidates you could support who were not from "the big two" parties. I am happy with my vote this year.