The Libertarian Party of West Virginia hosted two events coinciding with the 2015 Bridge Day Festival in West Virginia.
Bridge Day is a B.A.S.E. (Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth) Jumping event that takes place on the New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville on the third Saturday of October each year. The jumpers descend over 800 feet into the gorge for the world's premier BASE jumping experience.
On Friday, October 16, 2015, the LPWV held our first annual Raleigh County Round-Up in Beckley. This social (which we hope to make an annual event) brought together over a dozen new Libertarians and inaugurated a resurgence of the party back where it first kicked off in the state.
The LPWV is currently working to hold additional meetings such as this across the state and we strongly encourage everyone interested to check in frequently to our events page to see where we will be meeting next.
A pleasant surprise in attendance was Joy Johnson (pictured to the right with Michael Wilson the LPWV State Chairman), the widow of Dr. Wallace Johnson (the namesake of the Dr. Wallace Johnson Flame of Liberty Award, and the first Candidate for Governor to gain the Libertarian Party Official Major Party Status in 1996). In addition to Mrs. Johnson, the evening featured David Moran (the 2012 and 2016 LPWV Candidate for Governor); John Buckley (the 2014 LPWV Candidate for U.S. Senate); and Michael S. Wilson (the current LPWV State Chairman).
On Saturday, October 17, 2015, the LPWV set up our second annual booth at the West Virginia Bridge Day Festival. With some controversy surrounding this year’s event (the Bridge Day Committee proposed requiring biometric scans of all vendors and jumpers), the LPWV nearly declined participation in the event. In any event, we never heard further about security scanning and had one of the most successful outreach events in our state party’s history.
The volunteer at the booth distributed hundreds of copies of the “World’s Smallest Political Quiz. “ Upon completion of the Quiz’s 10 questions, results were scored on an easel with color-coding to indicate political party affiliation. Although the overwhelming majority of participants were self-identified Republicans, Democrats, or “independents” (i.e., no party) (but we did find nearly a score of Libertarians in the crowd!), 54.47% of the test-takers fell in the libertarian quadrant of the political spectrum!
In addition to the success of the political quiz, David Moran, our 2016 candidate for Governor, distributed nearly 2,000 pieces of campaign literature, greeted hundreds of perspective voters, and took dozens of photos with passers-by and pageant queens.
In addition to Wilson, Moran, and Buckley, many thanks to Luke Brumfield, Alexis Brumfield, Karl Kolenich, Erika Klie Kolenich, Travis Simms, Searra Carter, Sara Starkey, and Kristen Smith for helping staff the booth.
Finally, the LPWV unveiled our newest brochure (featuring our new membership requirements and an application for membership) that was well received and generated new members to the state party throughout the weekend’s festivities.