Logan Square Auditorium was packed Saturday night with Libertarians and Gary Johnson supporters as the third-party presidential nominee and former New Mexico governor rallied alongside Libertarian U.S. Senate and state comptroller candidates.
Both candidates encouraged the crowd of about three hundred people to vote for Johnson, whom they said is the most qualified to be president, while campaigning for themselves as well.
Ball, an accountant who lives in Addison, introduced Johnson’s daughter, Seah Johnson, who began her speech by quoting the U.S.Constitution, telling the audience her father will create a “more perfect union.”
“America is great! I’m not saying that we don’t have work to do,” Seah Johnson said while comparing the two major nominees’ campaign slogans. “If ‘stronger together’ really meant everyone — what if it meant an administration where people from both sides came together?”
All three speakers inspired cheers for the presidential candidate, whose running mate is former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, and got loud boos when they mentioned Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.
When Gary Johnson appeared on stage, the crowd erupted, cheering, “Gary! Gary! Gary!”
“This is a celebration,” he said. “First they ignore you, then they make fun of you, then they attack you, and then you win. Anything can happen,” he declared, donning a Cubs hat.
After Johnson’s speech, he jumped down from the stage and entered the crowd, shaking hands and taking photos for more than 20 minutes. Many audience members also wore Cubs’ gear; at least one supporter Johnson took a selfie with wore a “Hillary for Prison” shirt.
Abi Miller, a 19-year-old student at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, supported Johnson’s 2012 bid for president, in which he got 1.2 million votes, or one percent of the vote according to United Press International. Miller, who is from Los Angeles, said she heard about the rally on Facebook and supports Johnson in part because he supports Black Lives Matter and marriage equality.
“The government should not be in our bedrooms,” Miller said, echoing other rally speakers’ sentiments. “I don’t want government to demand whether or not I can marry someone.”
Justin Tucker, chair of the Libertarian party of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago alum, said the event was a success, though it was put together about a week beforehand. Tucker, who said he campaigned for Ball and McMillen by going door-to-door, hopes all three candidates receive turnout on Election Day.
“They’re all my friends,” Tucker said of Ball and McMillen. “We need Gary to help our down-ticket candidates… They need five percent. If they can get 100 percent of the vote, that would be even better.”
According to Ballot Access News, if Johnson secures four percent of the popular vote on Election Day in every state, the Libertarian Party will be a ballot-qualified party in future elections. In Illinois and other states, statewide candidates who receive the same amount of support would put the party on the ballot-qualified list.
Tucker said his worst fear is that Johnson’s performance in the polls will not improve over his run four years ago.
After the rally, many supporters rendezvoused at Emporium, the Logan Square arcade bar a few blocks away.
A Nov. 7 DNA Info article said Chicagoans have already broken the 2008 early voting record with only one more day until Election Day.
The Chicago Tribune, which endorsed Johnson for president in an editorial, did not seem to have any reporters at the event, nor was coverage posted on Twitter or online.
Polls will be open Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Learn more here.
— Abby Lee Hood (@AbigailLeeHood) November 7, 2016