Libertarians are shaking up the two-party paradigm. Everyone in Wake will be able to vote for at least three Libertarian candidates. Across the state, early voting has topped one million, 25% of the electorate, and may set a new all-time record.
And for the first time in anyone’s memory, two groups who usually lock-step support one of the establishment parties – no matter how high Libertarians score in their candidate questionnaires – broke their patterns.
Libertarian candidates earned a recommendation from Grass Roots NC, the state’s only no-compromise gun rights advocacy group. GRNC usually recommends Republicans, regardless of the Libertarian candidates rating, because “Libertarians can’t win.” But they broke out of that rut this year. Not only did they recommend Libertarian candidates, but in two cases did so over the incumbent Republican who they labeled "anti-gun."
In Wake's NC House 35, GRNC recommended Libertarian Michael Nelson over Republican Chris Malone. David Perry, in New Hanover’s NC House 19, also achieved that distinction over Republican Ted Davis. Brian Lewis (NC Senate 15), and Brian Irving (NC Senate 16) also got the GRNC nod in Wake.
Unfortunately, GRNC fell back into its old pattern in NC House 49. Although they acknowledged Libertarian Jonathon Horst scored higher (by five points) than the Republican David Robertson, the still endorsed Robertson because – wait for it – he’s the candidate “most likely to beat” the “anti-gun” incumbent Democrat Cynthia Hall. We’ll see.
On the other side, NORML, the leading marijuana legalization advocacy group, gave several Libertarian across the state A ratings. Included are Brian Irving (NC Senate 16), Cap Hayes (NC House 34), Michael Nelson (NC House 35), Robyn Pegram (NC House 36), David Ulmer (NC House 40), Jonathan Horst (NC House 49), and both Wake Congressional candidates, Barbara Howe (CD 4) and Jeff Mateum (CD 2).
Bruce Basson (NC Senate 17) and Travis Groo (NC House 11) each got a B+ and Brad Hessel (NC Senate 18) got a B. Although not an endorsement, this is another example of a group that traditionally supports one of the establishment parties giving fair treatment to Libertarians.
by Brian Irving
Libertarian for NC Senate 16
Common Cause asked candidates for the General Assembly to pledge to support the creation of an independent, nonpartisan redistricting process for Congressional and legislative districts in the 2019 legislative session.
The results are in. I’m proud to say Libertarians had the highest percentage of yes pledges: 33 (of 34) Libertarian candidates said yes; 120 (of 169) Democrats said yes; only 26 (of 170) Republicans said yes. One other Republican responded “Yes-Maybe.” I counted him as a yes. Also, one unaffiliated and one Constitution Party candidate said yes.
Conspicuously absent from the yes pledges, however, are the leaders of the old establishment parties, Republicans Rep. Tim Moore, current House Speaker, Sen. Phil Berger, current Senate president pro tem, and his presumptive Democratic successor Sen. Dan Blue.
For those of you who know how the legislature really works, unless the majority party leaders support on a bill, it won’t go anywhere. And it doesn’t matter what party it is.
Rep. David Lewis, House elections committee chair, who would presumably remain a major voice in that body if Republicans retain control, was openly hostile to the pledge. He responded, “It can’t be done.”
No, it cannot. So long as the establishment parties control the legislature and partisan loyalists chair committees.Read more
Our libertarian family is devastated by the loss of Tim Jowers, his wife Linda, and their two children Brianna, 10, and Alexander Jowers, 8. The family was killed in a four-vehicle crash Wednesday on I-85. Words cannot express our grief. We offer deepest condolences to Tim and Linda's family and relatives.
Tim was a first-time candidate running for Wake County Commissioner District 1.