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Keup running for 51st district

January 18, 2002|By LAURA MITCHELL, Staff Writer

Remember the Constitution? The Libertarian Party does.

The party's 51st congressional candidate, Jeffrey S. "Jeff" Keup, even carries a pocket version with him.

The Libertarian Party considers itself the party of principle and uses the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as its guide, Keup said. Such high principles don't leave a lot of room for political compromises, but that's fine with him.

"We consider government a necessary evil. The less government, the better," he said.

Keup, of San Diego, concedes he's not familiar with issues in Imperial County but said he likes the people and the smaller-town feel and would use the party platform as his guide.

The 38-year-old has been a Democrat and Republican but has been a member of the Libertarian Party for more than two years. He has never run for an elected office before.


Keup is an administrator of a dormitory at San Diego State University and a Navy reservist.

Keup said taking on incumbent Bob Filner, D-San Diego, is a challenge, but added it's "my constitutional right to do so."

The Libertarian Party Web site says it is the third-largest political party in the United States. The party was started in 1971.

In California, 51 Libertarians hold public office at local levels and 114 are running for local, state and national offices.

No party members have been elected to national office. But 113 Libertarians are running for U.S. Congress this year, as are 10 candidates for Senate and 103 candidates for the House of Representatives.

Keup said the country's third president, Thomas Jefferson, was a Libertarian in principle.

According to the White House's history on the Presidents, Jefferson slashed Army and Navy expenditures, cut the budget, eliminated the tax on whiskey and still managed to reduce the national debt by one-third when he assumed the presidency.

For local information on the Libertarian Party on the Web go to

For information from the national Web site go to

>> Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or

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