Regular readers will have seen that one of the things I like to do on this blog is when I find an interesting story about a woman in history I write it up and share it. Too many women’s stories have been lost. I had heard long ago about Roger Lea MacBride’s party swapping electoral vote and how he rode it to his own Presidential bid in the next election (and credit where it’s due according to the book cited below he took the party from being listed on ballets in two states to being listed in 32). However, I never really thought to ask who specifically did he vote for? But while doing some research for this post I discovered it was Tonie and set out to learn more.
Theodora “Tonie” Nelson passed away in March 2014. Nelson was a reporter who showed up to cover the Libertarian convention and ended up their Vice-Presidential Candidate in 1972. Laura’s daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, is considered one of the three mothers of the Libertarian Party. It was because of her influence that when Roger Lea MacBride was named a Republican elector from Virginia, he took advantage of the loophole that electors are NOT actually bound to vote for the party that sent them to cast an electoral vote for the Libertarians. It was their first and to this point the only electoral vote they received. The ticket was philosopher John Hospers and reporter Tonie Nelson and that meant that it was also the first electoral college vote for an openly gay candidate, for a Jewish candidate and a female candidate (the last two due to Nelson). These landmarks are mostly overlooked and most people would name Geraldine Ferraro as the first woman to receive a vote, but she ran over 10 years later in 1984. Nelson continue to run for political offices through the 1990s and served in a variety of party offices. She remained active in the party until her death.
Author of Libertarian Reference Guide
KVAL Honors Former Employee, Lots More personal details than others
Read more about Nathan’s husband, musician and composer Charles Nelson:
Doherty, Brian. Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. New York: Public Affairs, 2007. Print. ISBN 9781586483500 Find a much fuller treatment of MacBride’s rogue vote from 392 to 394 and follow his further involvement with the Libertarian Party on following pages.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.