UPDATE (12/31/16) In Southeastern Virginia, Tidewater Libertarian Party Vice Chair Jessica Abbott was elected to Virginia Beach City Council. She is the youngest (27) person ever elected to the VBCC and with 60% of the vote, she is the first challenger to defeat an incumbent by more than a 4% margin.
UPDATE (11/11/16) Libertarian Senator Laura Ebke (Nebraska) is still in office and runs for reelection in 2018. Also, Libertarian Rep. Max Abramson (New Hampshire) won 4% in the race for governor and thus qualified the LP for automatic ballot access in New Hampshire. Additional states where we won ballot access not listed in the first draft include New Hampshire, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
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MANY LIBERTARIANS FEEL demoralized after the general election. One of the two authoritarian demagogues was going to win no matter what. The most painful part is that our national ticket couldn’t clinch that 5% (and even people on the Gary Johnson campaign are unhappy with Governor Bill Weld). Regardless of the disappointment, LP Nevada still applauds Governor Gary Johnson for bringing the Libertarian Party up to new milestones and for carrying forward the message of our platform. Here are some of the victories we gained this election:
One major step in ending the War on Drugs and advancing liberty was a string of victories in legalizing recreational marijuana. Voters overwhelmingly passed ballot measures for recreational marijuana in California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachussetts. As of January 1, 2018, Nevada residents are legally permitted to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana. As of 12:01 AM on November 9, using cannabis is fully legal in California.
Though there was too much fear and emotionally driven voting in America for Governor Johnson to win 5% nationwide, the Libertarian Party is still indebted to Gary Johnson’s candidacy for securing ballot access in numerous states. Some states require signatures for ballot access and no exceptions, but many require a certain percentage of a statewide vote. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just the handful of states whose ballot access electoral requirements I was able to verify in my limited free time.
Arizona – The LP is already on the ballot there for the next two general elections
Kentucky – 2%
Maryland – 1%
Missouri – 2%
North Carolina – 2%
Pennsylvania – 2%
South Dakota – 1%
Tennessee – 5%
New Hampshire - 4%
Ohio - 3%
Iowa - 2%
Kentucky - 2%
Massachusetts - 3%
Pennsylvania - 2%
Wisconsin - 1%
Texas requires at least 5% from one of its statewide candidates, and Governor Johnson wasn’t quite able to make it. Luckily, an underdog named Mark Miller, petroleum engineer and Libertarian candidate for Texas Railroad Commissioner, clinched 5.3% and secured the LP’s automatic ballot access in Texas. Way to go Mark, and way to go LP Texas!
I can't stress ballot access enough. Trying to get on the ballot has always sucked most of the LP's time and money. Now that we have ballot access in all these places, our candidates can actually campaign and build up name and face recognition!
I know there are more states where the LP now no longer has to worry about ballot access, but again, these are the ones I was able to verify with my limited free time. As a matter of fact, I hope Libertarians around the country contact me with updated information about LP milestones in other states. I would love to keep updating this piece with more and more good news!
LP Nevada would like to congratulate the following LP state parties for successfully doing their part and making the 5% mark for Gary Johnson: Alaska, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming. If a Libertarian presidential candidate can get 5% in these states once, he can sure as hell do it again and build higher from there.
Governor Johnson got 3.3% in Nevada, which is the one state where None of the Above is a valid option on presidential ballots (NOTA got 2.6%). Therefore, 3.3% of Nevadans voted Libertarian, but 5.6%of Nevadans voted libertarian.
In sunny Nevada, Libertarian candidate Kimberly Schjang commanded 30.46% of the vote for State Senate District 7. HBO reality star and recent Libertarian convert Dennis Hof reeled in 39.24% of the vote in Assembly District 36. Ed Uehling took 23.5% in Assembly District 16. Elsewhere, a censured incumbent Assemblyman learned the hard way that it’s better to stick to limited government principles rather than trusting a phone poll.
Across the state, LP Nevada demonstrated that the Libertarian Party is growing and matters to people. Libertarian Jonathan Friedrich took 8.2% in a three way race for Senate District 3. Libertarian Tim Hagan took 5.09% in Senate District 5. Lesley Chan took 5.7% in Senate District 11. Brandon Jacobs took 5.3% in Senate District 13. David Colborne took 5.11% in District 15. LP Nevada also respectfully tips its hat to Independent American candidate Janine Hansen, who brought in 27% of the vote in State Senate District 19.
These candidates are all living proof that third parties, the Libertarian Party, and the message of liberty truly matter to some people. Past Libertarian candidates used to struggle for 1% in local races. Today, Libertarians across the state and across the country are getting at least 5%. We’re a minor party, but we’re no longer just a pipe dream like in December of ’71.
There were other major Libertarian milestones around the country. Alaska Libertarian J. Miller came in 2nd place in a US Senate race with 29.5%. Indiana’s Libertarian L. Brenton earned 5.5% in a US Senate race. Kansas’ R. Garrard got 5.5% in his state’s US Senate race.
In the contest for Indiana US House District 9, Libertarian candidate R. Brooksbank brought in 5.4%. In the race for Kansas US House District 3, Libertarian S. Hohe brought in 8%. While Libertarians got tunnel vision over the presidential candidate’s 5%, these Libertarian candidates got at least 5% in their federal races. To at least 5% of the population in islands of liberty across America, the Libertarian Party is the party ordinary Americans want to represent them.
While the LP is leading the Third Party Revolution, we would also like to respectfully tip our hat to Green Party candidate Gary Swing (5.5% in Arizona’s US Senate race) and Constitution Party candidate Ray Writz (6.2% in Idaho’s US Senate race). LP Nevada would love to see a future where the Libertarian, Constitution, and Green parties have replaced the corrupt Democrat and Republican parties.
We’re no longer dreamers, we’re pragmatists. We’re not wasting our time, we’re building. We’ll continue to build and refuse to give up. We refuse to go quietly into a future where every four years the two main parties give us candidates exactly like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The LP will continue working, continue growing, and continue fighting the status quo.
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