INDIANAPOLIS – Libertarian Donald Rainwater will likely finish third in the 2020 election for Indiana governor, something he calls "not good enough." But he will also likely end up with the best finish for a Libertarian governor candidate since at least 2000.
Rainwater received about 12% of the vote for governor, falling third behind incumbent Republican Eric Holcomb at 58% and Democrat Dr. Woody Myers at 29%. (Vote totals are still being tallied as of Wednesday afternoon.)
But while Rainwater didn’t secure the governor’s residence Tuesday, he did succeed in proving the frustrations against Holcomb for his COVID-19 restrictions.
“I believe that we now have a foundation for change,” Rainwater said to a room of supporters Tuesday. “And we have to take that foundation and we have to build something upon it.”
Holcomb’s mask mandate and stay-at-home order created an opening for some would-be Republican voters across the state to vote for Rainwater instead. At least one Republican member of the Indiana General Assembly, Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, publicly endorsed Rainwater.
“If we go back from whence we came, before we came together, this will all be lost,” Rainwater said. “But the people of the state of Indiana need the message that we delivered. … While we didn’t win, today was a success because we sent a message.”
If Rainwater’s vote percentage holds at about 12%, he will have performed the best out of any Libertarian candidates of the last two decades of Indiana’s gubernatorial elections.
Before the 2020 election, the highest percentage of votes a Libertarian candidate received in a race for governor was in 2012, when former “Survivor” contestant Rupert Boneham rode his name recognition to 3.95%.
Rainwater and Libertarians in Indiana may not have won in 2020, but they're hoping the increase in support carries over into future elections.
“I want you to leave here remembering that this is not good enough,” Rainwater said. “This is not good enough. It won’t be good enough until we get control of our government back.”