ALABAMA (WHNT) – As November approaches, some candidates said it has been difficult to get their names listed on the ballot for the general election.

“It’s very difficult to bring political competition to Alabama,” said Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate John Sophocleus.

The Libertarian Party had to obtain more than 50,000 signatures so its candidates could appear on the Alabama ballot in the upcoming general election.

Sophocleus is running to replace retiring U.S. Senator from Alabama Richard Shelby.

“Libertarians think there is a well-defined role for government,” Sophocleus said.

Many Libertarian candidates emphasize the importance of decentralization, reassigning federal power to the states and individuals. In order to share its views, the Libertarian Party had to petition for the right to appear on the ballot. Sophocleus said the time and funds that went into collecting signatures for a petition created an additional barrier for Libertarian candidates.

“The campaign trail for not just me, but Libertarians in general, is when you have to spend a quarter of a million dollars and a lot of time and effort to just get on the ballot, I’m not sure where you’re going to make up for the time and money spent there,” Sophocleus said.

Sophocleus said he and the members of his party offer a third option for Alabama voters.

The results of this year’s general election could impact Libertarian candidates in future races. If the party receives 20% of the votes cast in the election, the Libertarian Party can appear on the ballot in the next general election without filing a petition.

“If we get ballot access upfront, we can actually run a real campaign for the entire cycle,” Sophocleus said. “I can’t tell you how difficult it was to round up candidates when we can’t tell them for certain that they’ll be on the ballot.”

More than 60 Libertarian candidates will be listed on the ballot in November. Sophocleus will appear alongside his opponents for U.S. Senate, Republican Katie Britt and Democrat Will Boyd.