About the IP

In 1992, a group of Minnesota citizens established a brand new political party—the Independence Party. These bold, visionary citizens were not part of the political elite, captains of industry, or members of the idle rich looking to fill some time. They were ordinary citizens whose disgust with constant budget deficits, big money special interest influence, and extreme ideological dominance forced them to action.

They started a political party grounded in core principles of direct service and accountability to the people, whose government can and will budget responsibly and deliver within its means, and whose endorsed candidates and elected representatives serve the people first, not the party. This party would not be governed by extremists or big (special interest) money, but by reasonable, effective approaches to public policy issues.

  • 1992

    The IP is Founded

    Formed in 1992 by Minnesota supporters of Presidential candidate Ross Perot, and fielded Dean Barkley that year as a candidate for a seat in the US House of Representatives.

  • 1994

    Major Party Status

    Dean Barkley's run for U.S. Senate in 1994 broke 5% and earned the Independence Party major party status which the party held for 20 consecutive years.

  • 1996

    Affiliation with national Reform Party

    The IP affiliated with the Ross Perot-led Reform Party movement and changed its name to the Reform Party of Minnesota

  • 1998

    Election of Governor Jesse Ventura

    Former Mayor of Brooklyn Park, wrestler and talk radio personality Jesse Ventura shocks the world by winning the office of Governor.

  • 2000

    Return to Independence Party

    Growing dissatisfaction with the national Reform Party and the increasing influence of social conservative Pat Buchanan move the party to change its name back to Independence Party and return to a state-only party.

  • 2002

    State Legislative Victory

    State Senator Sheila Kiscaden leaves the Republican Party for the IP and is re-elected to the Minnesota State Senate.

  • 2014

    Temporary loss of major party status

    Falling roughly 1300 votes short at 4.91% the IP does not break the required 5% and loses major party status for the first time in 20 years.

  • 2016

    First Presidential candidate in 20 years

    The party endorses Evan McMullin, a former CIA agent and former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference, for President and gather more than the required 2000 valid signatures in 8.5 days to get him onto the ballot. McMullin receives 1.8% of the vote.

  • 2018

    Return to major party status

    The IP is running a variety of high-quality candidates and anticipates a return to major party status in Minnesota.

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