Monday, November 14, 2016

Arkansas Libertarians have best election ever

Libertarians lose but see gains | NWADG - Frank E. Lockwood, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

November 10, 2016 -  "Arkansas Libertarians had their best election night ever on Tuesday, capturing 2.6 percent of the vote in the presidential race and topping 20 percent in three of the four congressional races.

"But they needed 3 percent of the presidential votes in order to keep their status as a political party in Arkansas.

"As a result, Libertarians won't automatically qualify for the state's 2018 elections. They'll have to collect 10,000 valid signatures and submit them to the secretary of state's office in order to regain ballot access.

"Frank Gilbert, the party's U.S. Senate candidate, said it's a ritual that Libertarian activists are already familiar with.

"'It takes a lot of time and money to get back on the ballot,' the former Tull mayor said. 'We've done it three times. Now we'll start on the fourth'....

"William Brackeen, the group's secretary, said the party's trajectory is encouraging, despite Tuesday's results.... Libertarian candidates made gains despite losing, he said.

"Their presidential nominee, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, received 29,593 votes, according to unofficial state returns. That's nearly double the 16,276 votes he captured in 2012.

"Gilbert, who got 1.9 percent of the vote when he ran for governor two years ago, claimed 4 percent of the vote in his latest race.

"Overall, the four Libertarian U.S. House candidates garnered nearly 200,000 votes statewide. In three of the districts, they were the only obstacle between Republicans and re-election....

"With the 2016 election over, Libertarians will need to start raising money again. It takes between $30,000 and $40,000 to finance the signature drive, Brackeen said.

"'That would buy a lot of yard signs and TV advertising,' Brackeen noted."

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