FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Parkersburg, WV) It’s not usual that a political organization would “boast” about being in third place, but that’s the qualified cheer going up from the Libertarian Party of West Virginia as a result of the fall 2014 election, according to LPWV State Chair, Michael Wilson of Parkersburg.
“Out of five political parties on the scene in West Virginia, the Libertarian Party has now clearly emerged in third place,” said Wilson. “It may be that we’re not yet competitive with the Republicans and Democrats,” he said, “but for the first time ever we have eclipsed the Mountain Party in a major statewide race.” The LP’s candidate for U.S. Senate, John Buckley, pulled some 7,400 votes compared to the Mountain Party’s 5,500 votes for its candidate, Bob Baber.
The Mountain Party is the state affiliate of the environmentalist, left-of-liberal Green Party, while the Libertarian Party, with its socially tolerant/fiscally conservative emphasis on small government, cuts across traditional left-right boundaries.
“While the raw numbers that Buckley received are small in comparison to the major party candidates, Capito and Tennant,” Wilson conceded, “small party outcomes have historically been indicative of trends in American politics.” “Buckley’s third place showing highlights a demonstrable libertarian trend afoot in the Mountain State and across America.”
A look at the “tea leaves” of the past year’s election in West Virginia tells the story:
- as mentioned, Libertarian candidate Buckley came in third place in the U.S. Senate contest, nosing out both the Mountain Party and the Constitution Party (which has not achieved party recognition status under state law);
- not only did Buckley come in third, the Libertarian Party received more than twice as many “straight-party ticket” votes in the November election as the Mountain Party, coming in third in straight-ticket voting in 45 counties; and
- the Libertarian Party is third in voter registration statewide, having increased its voter registration affiliations approximately 28% in the past 13 months, according to the records of the Secretary of State.
In addition to Buckley’s U.S. Senate race, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. House in the 2nd Congressional District, Davy Jones, came in third in that contest, edging out the Mountain Party-endorsed candidate, Ed Rabel.
Buckley finished ahead of Baber in the U.S. Senate race in 37 counties; Libertarians are third in voter registration in 33 counties; and Libertarians were third in straight-ticket voting in 45 counties.
“Make of it what you will in the larger scheme of things in WV politics, but there’s no denying we’re in third place and we’re growing rapidly,” boasts Wilson.