As you know, this election cycle members of the caucus focused on local, winnable races. We’re already looking forward to the next round of elections, but first we wanted to celebrate the progress you and I have made together.
This cycle, Libertarian candidates won 14 races including a big win in Wyoming for Marshall Burt who was elected to the Wyoming state house. Overall there are now 168 Libertarians holding elected offices across the country. Since Justin Amash joined the LP in April, we’ve also had a Libertarian in the U.S. House of Representatives!
You and I know the Frontier Project was a major focus for the caucus this election cycle, and I'm pleased to say that it paid off! Running these targeted races brought us an elected state legislator in Wyoming, and nearly brought us another in Bethany Baldes, who fell a heartbreaking 32 votes short of victory. That said, the volunteers on the ground (including caucus Political Director Andy Craig!) shared how valuable your support and focus on this project was - and it will give us a framework for winning in the years to come.
I know you will join me in congratulating these Libertarians on their elections (or re-elections!) this cycle, including Cara Schultz, Trisha Butler, Bob Carwin, Kalish Morrow, Wendy Hewitt, Jim Turney, James Doyle, and Jessica Abbott (and many others!).
I also wanted to highlight our best result for US Senate in LP history, Ricky Harrington, who ensured Arkansas voters had a choice against Republican Tom Cotton. Tom refused to debate Ricky, and the media gave him an opportunity to speak directly to Arkansas voters - he represented our positions well and persuaded voters that a Libertarian is a viable option. As of the time of this update, Ricky has over 33.3% of the vote in deeply red Arkansas.
Donald Rainwater, running for governor in Indiana, gave incumbent Eric Holcomb a run for his money! Congratulations to the hard work by his team and once again helping voters to see another option. Rainwater received an impressive 11.4% of the vote in a 3-way race with a Republican incumbent and a Democrat opponent. Its elections like these that give me hope we can convince voters to consider electing a Libertarian up the ballot.
I'd be remiss not to mention Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen's result - over 1.7 million votes nationwide for a relatively-unknown pair of Libertarians. This is a victory in my mind - it beats Gary Johnson's 2012 result and proves that we have retained many voters from Gary Johnson's 2016 campaign while likely attracting new voters. We have a new floor, and I know you'll join me in being excited that we draw enough support to be the "spoiler" candidate in this year's Presidential election.
These victories and new records for the Libertarian Party and its candidates are shared by all of us. I want to congratulate you for your hard work as a Libertarian donor, volunteer, and leader.
So what’s next?
The LPCaucus will continue supporting principled Libertarian candidates in winnable, down-the-ballot elections. We’ll work with state affiliates to identify potential races for upcoming elections and help organize support around those candidates.
When the caucus first started out, its mission was much more focused on fixing the internal workings of the Libertarian Party. Through your hard work and support at the 2018 and 2020 conventions, we have successfully changed the narrative from one of "who's the most libertarian" to "how do we win elections, while remaining principled." Hardly an LNC meeting goes by without significant mention of elections, candidates, and how the LP can mobilize to win more elections (I don't have to tell you how different that is from years previous). That victory in shifting the culture of our party goes to you! That doesn't mean that hard work is over, of course; we will continue to focus on fixing issues within the LP.
All that said, I know you'll agree with me it is time for us to grow our mission as a caucus. You and I donated to the Libertarian Frontier project as a caucus and individuals this year because we believed in building a blueprint for future electoral success. One of the key takeaways for us from that blueprint is this: in order for you and I to be more effective in supporting local candidates in winnable races, our caucus needs to take more direct action to assist them in future election cycles.
What can you do?
Invite your friends to join the LPCaucus so we can grow our influence within the libertarian movement. They can sign up for free, or if they feel so inclined, for a recurring monthly membership to support our shared goals of electing Libertarian and building a better LP.
If you haven't already, please join our Facebook Group LPCaucus Discussion Group. Here you can find out information on how to support Libertarian candidates in local elections and assist your caucus in its goals.
Volunteer for your state or local party affiliate. From there you can have an outsized influence on the direction of the party and work toward important reforms or electoral success in your area. It will also be the best way for you to convince your fellow party members to represent them at national conventions - Libertarians appreciate those who have been working hard for years over those who show up on convention day hoping to score a delegate seat at the last minute.
You have my sincerest thanks for all of your donations and hard work this year. The pandemic has made organizing the caucus and volunteering for candidates more challenging, and you have risen to meet that challenge! That's how I know that together, you and I are going to build a "world set free in our lifetimes."
Libertarian Pragmatist Caucus