Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sharpe raises $100K in run for NY governor

A New York rarity: A serious Libertarian candidate - Bill Mahoney, Politico:

"January 25m 2018 - "The $5.9 million in contributions Gov. Andrew Cuomo received in the past six months easily topped the growing field of potential challengers this year. Who came in second place?...

"By a wide margin, the declared candidate who received the second-highest contribution total was Larry Sharpe, who’s planning to run on the Libertarian line. He raised $102,596 during the filing period, most of which he said came from small donors who contributed online.

"In a state in which voters are reluctant to embrace Republicans — Democrats have won the past 19 statewide races — Sharpe plans to present himself as a potential alternative....

"'The Republican vote is a wasted vote,' he said. 'There is no way a Republican can win in this state. The advantage that I have is I’m not a Republican, I’m a Libertarian. … So when New York state looks at the Republican and says, "Not that guy," and they look at Cuomo and say, "Not that guy" — I’m their guy.'

"Sharpe, a former trucking company executive and Marine, sought the national party’s nomination to be Gary Johnson’s running mate in the 2016 national election. He came close, losing with 47 percent of the vote on the second ballot... He’s already gained Johnson’s endorsement, and partially as a result of his efforts in 2016, Sharpe has a substantial online presence. A Facebook page for his gubernatorial campaign has 41,000 followers.... Much of that following and his fundraising likely comes from Libertarians from other states. But the magnitude of it, coupled with the fact that Sharpe already has started to campaign, makes it realistic to imagine a scenario in which he crosses the magic threshold of 50,000 votes.

"When a candidate hits that number in a gubernatorial election, a little more than 1 percent of the votes cast, the party becomes official in New York. For the next four years, the party has automatic ballot access, appears on voter registration forms and has the state fund its primaries.... But outside of a 48,359-vote performance by Warren Redlich in 2010, Libertarians have never come particularly close.

"Sharpe said it was 'a joke' to talk about his chances of garnering at least 50,000 votes. 'I already have a base of [176,000] people who vote[d] for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld in 2016,' he said. 'I’ll get that easily'....

"Sharpe says he’s running not just to legitimize the party, but to win. 'Only about 4 million New Yorkers are going to vote,' he said.... 'So that means all I need is about 1.5 million and I’m governor. That’s a mountain, but that’s not impossible.'

"He says there are four areas that will determine who is ultimately elected — traditional media coverage, public speaking, social media and debates. While he’s ready to concede coverage by traditional media, he thinks he can be competitive in the other three."

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