Survivor alum Rupert Boneham was nominated by the Indiana Libertarian Party as its candidate for Governor on Saturday at their convention. Boneham has been running for several months for the office and becomes the first candidate with ballot access to be nominated. Brad Klopfenstein, a longtime Libertarian Party member and restauranteur, was nominated as Lieutenant Governor.
Boneham brings a great deal of notoriety to the Libertarian Party in Indiana, and he has a solid background as a philanthropist that has used his Survivor winnings to make life better for youth across the community. He certainly can make things a little more interesting over the next few months.
I think the big question for Boneham will be: can he escape his own celebrity and be taken seriously as a candidate for Governor? Boneham has a different draw, but once he gets people in the door, can he talk to them about issues effecting Hoosiers. The fact that we're spending more significant time talking about a Libertarian candidate is a great compliment to the statewide leadership of the party.
Of course, Boneham's candidacy is interesting, but it's likely that neither Mike Pence nor John Gregg are going to be all that concerned about it. Until polling data shows that Boneham is a threat, I think neither major party is likely to treat Rupert any differently than any other Libertarian candidate. In the end, that might be the greatest compliment to Boneham. I feel like I can't adequately look at this race until all the chess pieces are on the board, so let's wait and see.
The Libertarians named other candidates for office as well:
U.S. Senate-Andrew Horning
U.S. House, District 4-Joe Bowman
U.S. House, District 5-Chard Reid
U.S. House, District 6-Rex Bell
U.S. House, District 7-Jason Sharp
U.S. House, District 8-Bart Gadau
Indiana House, District 28-James Rainwater
Indiana House, District 54-Jeremiah Morrell
Indiana House, District 56-Mark Brim
Indiana House, District 57-Paul Bavard
Indiana House, District 65-Al Cox
Indiana House, District 81-Alexander Avery
Indiana House, District 84-James Hanson
Indiana House, District 87-Fred Peterson
Indiana House, District 89-James Nease
Marion County Superior Court-Jeffrey Knoop
and Gary Johnson won the Straw Poll for President with 87 percent of the vote.