Libertarians Announce Slate of Candidates for November
Thursday, January 20th, 2022
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The Libertarian Party of Georgia held their state convention last weekend and have announced a full suite of candidates for this November’s general election. A recent court ruling means that third parties will have to acquire significant numbers of voter signatures to appear on the ballot but the libertarians in Georgia are resolute in their goal to field a candidate in every race.
“We are determined that the unfair requirements for Libertarian Party candidates will not keep us off of the ballot,” says LP Georgia chair, Ryan Graham. “If we must obtain thousands of signatures to run, then that is what we will do.” The Republican and Democrat parties have no signature requirement for ballot access.
Under a social media motto of “Already Against the Next Mandate,” the convention chose candidates for November, held sessions on policy and discussed their priorities for the legislative session.
Many of the candidates may be familiar names to close ballot watchers, having run for an office or two previous but without much success. Besides a booming million votes for John Monds in a losing 2008 Public Service Commission race, the Libertarians have not seen much higher office success. There are a number of municipal official libertarians but Georgia has yet to elect a libertarian to Congress or for statewide office.
Chase Oliver will be the candidate for Senate to run against Democrat incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock and likely either Herschel Walker or Gary Black on the Republican side. Oliver previously ran for Congress to fill the seat of John Lewis after he passed away in 2020.
Republicans often grumble that Libertarians cost them wins in general election races and force runoffs but libertarians are either happy to play the role of spoiler. 2020 senate candidate Shane Hazel relished the idea of spoiler in his race when David Perdue was pushed to a runoff against Jon Ossoff, a race Ossoff notably squeaked out a win in the January runoff, handing the senate to Democrats.
Hazel was asked about the spoil effect and angry Republicans by the libertarian Reason magazine last year. “Give me your tears. They are delicious,” said Hazel. “I come from special ops in the Marine Corps and I am thick-skinned. I don’t really care what most people think of me as long as I’m standing on principle. I can take the slings and arrows. It doesn’t bother me. I hope people understand that creating a runoff should be the primary mission until the party is much stronger.”
Hazel will be running for governor this year.
Other candidates include:
Ryan Graham for Lt. Governor, previously a candidate for the Public Service Commission.
Ted Metz for Secretary of State, the 2018 Libetarian nominee for governor.
On the legislative side, the party will be pushing for a number of libertarian standards at the Gold Dome during the ongoing session. Medical freedom makes the top of the list, a nod to their stance against vaccine mandates. Criminal justice reform will also be a priority, notably a push to abolish civil asset forfeiture and reducing prosecution of victimless crimes. The party will also be supporting the expansion of gun rights, supporting statewide constitutional carry – something Governor Brian Kemp recently came out in support of.