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Candidate seeks spot on ballot
Fri., September 7, 2007 By John Greiner, Capitol Bureau

Daniel Imperato, an independent candidate for president, brought his campaign to Oklahoma City on Thursday in his quest to get endorsements from third parties in the state.

Imperato, a businessman from West Palm Beach, Fla., is seeking support from the Libertarian, Green and Constitution parties.

He said his experience as a global businessman in areas including telecommunications and commercial office building development is an asset because he has developed an understanding of the world's cultures and peoples.

In a telephone interview earlier this week, he said it's important that the next president understand business, religion and politics of every nation in the world.

Imperato, who has been running for president for more than two years, said the nation also needs to strengthen its economy and national resolve and return to fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget.

He came to Oklahoma to meet Thursday with a coalition that is planning an initiative petition drive to make it easier for political parties to get on the Oklahoma election ballot.

The coalition, called Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform, includes independents and members of the Libertarian, Green and Constitution parties.

He's hoping to be endorsed eventually by the Libertarian Party, he said.

However, candidates won't be endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma until sometime next year, said Jimmy Cook, state chairman of the Oklahoma Libertarian Party.

Parties want recognition
Imperato is one of several independent presidential candidates seeking support from the Libertarian Party, said Shane Cory, executive director of the national Libertarian Party.

Cory came to Oklahoma this week to meet with people about the initiative petition and encourage the coalition to keep working on it.

Cook said plans now are to file the petition next week.

Under Oklahoma law, a group wanting to form a political party must obtain signatures of 5 percent of the vote in the last presidential or governor's race. This would take more than 43,000 signatures this year.

The petition would change the requirement to 5,000 signatures, which was the law in Oklahoma from 1924 to 1974. The proposed petition also would lower the requirement for retaining official recognition as a political party.

Today, a party must receive 10 percent of the vote in a general election to continue to be recognized. The proposed petition would lower that to 1 percent.

Cory said Oklahoma has one of the nation's more stringent laws for getting a party on the election ballot.

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