Hagelin Wins Landslide Victory In Illinois
John Hagelin captured 70% of the vote in a surprise straw poll conducted after a Reform Party presidential debate yesterday in Bloomington, Illinois.
The Illinois Reform Party press release announced: "Hagelin wins; Buchanan trounced."
Buchanan was scheduled to participate in the debate, and even appeared at the debate site. However, he decided to leave when confronted by student protesters. Buchanan received only two votes from the roughly 350 Reform Party participants.
"Support within the Reform Party for my coalition candidacy runs much deeper than support for Buchanan, who many feel is jeopardizing the Party's goal of becoming a mainstream, centrist alternative to the Republicans and Democrats," said Hagelin.
Dr. Hagelin seeks to build a "huge coalition of America's third parties," and is seeking the presidential nomination of the Reform Party, Natural Law Party, and Green Party.
Saturday's victory for Hagelin comes on the heels of his upset victory in a Minnesota-Iowa straw poll, where he garnered 63% of the vote, as compared with Buchanan's 11%.
Just prior to Saturday's debate, the Reform Party National Committee held a contentious meeting in Nashville, in which party factions wrestled for control of the Party. John Hagelin opened the meeting with a call for unity within the Party.
He presented his vision of a third-party coalition, "to mount a formidable challenge to the two-party duopoly." He pledged the cooperation and dynamic support of thousands of Natural Law Party candidates and volunteers.
"If the Natural Law Party members and supporters can offer to bring unity to the Reform Party from without, certainly you within this room can bring unity to the Party from within," Hagelin said.
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