Vinnie Vineyard wants to run for Tennessee Governor as a Libertarian candidate.
But the Sevier County resident can’t get the 33,844 signatures required to appear on the ballot as a third party candidate in Tennessee. So Vineyard is on the ballot as one of many independent candidates for governor.
“You need 25 signatures to run as a Democrat, Republican or an independent,” said Vineyard. “But you need more than 33,000 signatures to run in the Green Party, the Reform Party or the Libertarian Party. In this day when everyone is supposed to get a fair shake, this is really limiting our choices. What you get is a logjam of 35 independent candidates at the bottom of the ballot and you get lost in all those candidates.”
Vineyard says during a recent signature drive he collected 37 signatures in about three hours so he calls the 33,844 mark, or 2.5 percent of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election, an impossible threshold.
“We need more choices because there are more than two ways to look at things,” said Vineyard. “Instead we’re told we have to be liberal or conservative and that’s it.”
Vineyard said minorities typically vote Democrat, while pro-life supporters typically vote Republican. But what if you’re black and pro-life?
He says people who support gay marriage typically identify with Democrats, while people who favor little gun control are more in line with Republicans. But what if you support gay marriage and want everyone to walk around with a loaded gun?
It’s for these reasons, and many more, Vineyard says he believes voters should have more than two legitimate choices for statewide office.
Vineyard say he supports many of the long-held Libertarian principles, one of the main ones being peace.
“We’re against all these stupid wars that go on and on forever and people don’t know why we’re there,” said Vineyard.
He’s against “crony capitalism” and by that he means he’s against government bailouts of large companies that are deemed too big to be allowed to fail. Big companies, in turn, often end up running the government because their large campaign contributions often influence policy.
He also stands for smaller government and cutting taxes.
“Our government spends so much money in so many wasteful places it’s insane,” said Vineyard.
Vinnie has been married 17 years to wife Julie and they have one child.
More information on Vineyard can be found on his Facebook page or his website, www.BelieveInTheFunk.com.