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Liberty-loving Colorado mayor considers independent run for governor

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Greg Campbell Contributor
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A crowded field of opponents seeking to unseat Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper might soon have another contender, depending on what happens on Facebook.

Mike Dunafon, the unaffiliated but libertarian-leaning mayor of Glendale, Colo., an enclave of Denver, said he would throw his hat into the ring as an independent candidate if he gets 60,000 likes on his Facebook fan page by April 6, his 60th birthday.

He’s counting on social media to inspire an “American Spring” in the same way citizen activists created change during the Arab Spring, even though he admitted during an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation that the Arab Spring “didn’t necessarily go the way they wanted it to.”

But he said the “pamphleteers of the 21st Century” are the people with the smart phones and the Twitter accounts who have the ability to quickly disseminate information and foment a revolution. He hopes to channel what he sees as frustration over eroding liberties in Colorado and elsewhere into action.

Therefore, he said, he’s also not taking any campaign contributions.

“If you take money for something, you owe somebody something for that money,” he said, adding that his campaign will promote personal liberty, actual transparency in government and a rejection of “misplaced altruism,” which he called a “disease.”

“You’ve got to stop telling people how to think,” he said.

Dunafon has been mayor of Glendale for two years and mayor pro tem for the prior eight years. He made headlines in 2013 by declaring it a “Year of Freedom” in which the one-square-mile enclave repealed one outdated or overly oppressive law each month. With Dunafon’s encouragement, Glendale also hosted a “Farewell to Arms” event in which Magpul Industries gave away 1,500 30-round ammunition magazines on the eve of when magazines capable of holding more than 15 rounds became illegal.

Dunafon, who describes himself as “the antithesis of a professional politician” on his website, said he’s interested in preventing government from “acting upon people for specious reasons.”

His time as mayor has shown him “the real potential for solid governance, and by that I mean limited governance,” he said.

“In sitting back and watching what has happened in the country, and seeing how the Democrats and Republicans — they don’t march in lockstep, they march at different rates, but they’re marching toward the same goal and that is terrifying to me,” he said.

“I know we are not doing what needs to be done in America to restore liberty,” he continued. “I think that the world is ready for someone to say the truth. We all know that we don’t want people making decisions in our lives, we all know we don’t want people in our bedrooms, but we line up on these battle lines that are formatted by arguments that neither side really believes in. Take responsibility for your life. When that happens you restore your dignity  and you restore your community.”

“At the very minimum, I can stand up in this debate as an independent or unaffiliated candidate and open up the debate,” he said.

As of Wednesday, Dunafon was more than a third of the way to becoming an official candidate, with 23,097 likes on his Facebook page.

If he tops 60,000, he will need to petition his name onto the statewide ballot. That will require the signatures — not just the “likes” — of 1,000 people during the petition wind

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.