Over the last year we have all put a lot of time and energy into the Midterm Elections, and I know that on Wednesday many Libertarians were discouraged, but we shouldn’t be. I have spent the last few days reflecting on this and realize we actually have a lot to be proud of! Nationwide we have 16 newly-elected Libertarians and had 833 Libertarians run effective campaigns. Here in California, even with our top-two “jungle primaries,” we had five partisan candidates on the November Ballot for State Assembly.
We have proven that a Libertarian CAN progress past the primary in a contested race; I was the first third-party candidate to make it to the General Election, beating a Democrat and a Green Party Candidate to go head to head against the Democrat incumbent. This prompted my opponent to face off with me in a candidate panel, which traditionally wouldn’t have happened. If I can do it, so can others!
We had four additional candidates, Brandon Nelson in the 4th District, Justin Quigley in the 21stDistrict, Christopher Stare in the 51st District, and Autumn Browne in the 69th District, that ran as write-in candidates against incumbents that were running unopposed and they all progressed to the General Election as well.
All of our State Assembly candidates did exceptionally well with most garnering close to 30% of the vote, which is higher than most Libertarians throughout the county. Brandon Nelson was able to get approximately 40% in two different counties in his district. And this was with campaigns that had limited financial support; our candidates raised and spent a collective total of about $40,000, and collectively our opponents raised about $3.9 million and spent about $2 million.
We have also proven that Libertarians running in non-partisan races can do amazing things! Jeff Hewitt is currently within 600 votes of winning the Riverside County Supervisor, 5th District election, with 40,000 votes still to be counted. He was able to raise close to a half million dollars and ran an outstanding campaign.
In addition, between September 7 and October 22 the number of registered Libertarians increased by 5.5% which means we’ve grown 6.5% since January! The Libertarian Party is the only party to increase in registered voters this year, but the number of No Party Preference voters has increased 14.4%, up to 5,419,607 voters. This tells me the #WalkAway movement is working, and many of those leaving the two major parties are finding a home in the Libertarian Party.
So what does this mean? It means we have an amazing opportunity to grow the party in California! It also means that we need to use that growth to raise money to support our candidates. If we had the funding to truly go up against the incumbent candidates who knows what could have happened last Tuesday.
So my first priority is to reach out to the registered Libertarians in the state to increase our donors! In the next few days I will be sending an email to over 50,000 registered Libertarians, and from there I hope to raise the money necessary to be able to reach out to all 150,000 as well as the 5.4 million No Party Preference voters.
I’ll also be working closely with the Convention Committee to get the best speakers that will resonate with people that don’t yet know they are Libertarians. My goal is to have people come to hear what we have to say and leave as registered Libertarians and members of the Libertarian Party of California. To do that we need to focus on our message; people need to know what LIBERTY means and how our party intends to bring liberty to all of the people in California.
My next priority will be to start working with the candidates that will be running in 2020. We need to identify races where we have a good chance of winning and focus our volunteers and money on those so we get the wins! Many of these may be non-partisan local races, such as city and county councils and boards, but will also include partisan state senate and assembly races.
I am going to need everyone’s help in making these things happen. If you’re not already involved in the state or county organizations, please think about giving us a bit of your time. We have several committees with openings for volunteers at both the state and local levels. If you would like to get involved please don’t hesitate to contact me directly, and I will work with you to find the right fit for your efforts. If you are unable to volunteer, please think about helping us with funding, either to the state party or the candidate support committee. As little as $5 or $10 a month will go a long way in getting us to the place we need to be; a place where we’re taken seriously as a viable political party.
Also, be sure to attend our 2019 Convention in Concord California. The Convention will be held April 5-7, 2019 and there are still discounted packages available until the end of the year. You can find out more at https://ca.lp.org/convention/.
That’s all for now, but I will be keeping you updated on the progress as we approach the Convention.
Libertarian Party of California