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By now, you know John Kerry and George Bush all too well, but you might not know about Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate for president who is campaigning around Texas in the final days before the election.

"We have increased awareness of the Libertarian Party from 50-percent of the population to 76-percent of the population, and we believe that this is the year the Libertarian Party becomes an overnight success," says Badnarik following a small rally at a restaurant in College Station.

Badnarik has traveled the country getting the word out about his party. He'll be back in town Monday for a rally at the Memorial Student Center on the Texas A&M campus.

Local party candidates like Ed Valenta turned out Sunday, and he says he has had positive reactions from voters.

"Most people are really receptive about me running," the Brazos County Commissioner 1 candidate says. "It's just that they have a question. They say, 'What is a Libertarian?'"

Badnarik says, "We believe that in any decision about your life, either you can make that decision or the government can make the decision for you, and Libertarians are overwhelmingly in favor of you making your own decisions in life."

The A&M rally Monday is, in part, a result of work by a group of students who are attempting to officially form the College Libertarians group.

"I always get the answer, 'I've got to vote for the lesser of two evils,'" says Aggie Jeff Frazee, who has worked with Badnarik's campaign in addition to his on-campus efforts. "Well, people don't realize that when you vote for the lesser of two evils, you still get evil."

"The major parties always say that the third parties are an itch that they scratch, and eventually you scratch it enough, and it'll go away," says Valenta. "We haven't gone away, and we're not planning on going away."

"We can begin to shatter the stranglehold that the Democrats and Republicans currently have on politics in America," says Badnarik.

It's not just Bush and Kerry anxiously awaiting Nov. 2.


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