(Flatwoods, WV) The Libertarian Party of West Virginia (“LPWV”) held its best-attended state convention ever over the past weekend, nominated a full slate of candidates for all of the six statewide races (and for congressional, legislative, and local candidates), and kicked off a campaign season vowing to offer voters a viable choice other than Republicans and Democrats.
The Libertarian state convention in West Virginia, held at the Days Inn Conference Center in Flatwoods, was one of the largest state conventions in the country this spring.
For the first time in modern West Virginia politics, a third party is fielding a slate of candidates for Governor- David Moran of Preston County; for Attorney General – Karl Kolenich of Upshur County; for Secretary of State – John Buckley of Hardy County; for Treasurer - Michael A. Young of Putnam County; for Auditor – Brent Ricketts of Jefferson County; and for Commissioner of Agriculture – Buddy Guthrie of Monongalia County. Moran was the Libertarian candidate for Governor in 2012; Buckley was the party’s candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014.
In addition, the Libertarians have nominated Zane Lawhorn of Mercer County for U.S. House of Representatives in the third Congressional District. In 2006, Lawhorn sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
Also nominated for the state legislature are: Matt Persinger of Hardy County for State Senate in the 14th Senate District; Travis Simms of Fayette County for House of Delegates, District 32; Eddie Wagoner of Monongalia County for House of Delegates, District 51; and Tonya Persinger of Hardy County for House of Delegates, District 55. James Copley was nominated to run for Sheriff of Cabell County. Two candidates were nominated to run for local office in Wood County: Brent West of Vienna for Sheriff and Stephen Smith of Parkersburg to run for County Commission, District A.
In other business at its convention, the LPWV elected five individuals, State Chair Michael Wilson, State Secretary John Buckley, Kanawha County resident David Fisher, WV High School Libertarians coordinator Michael Hess of Parkersburg, and Zack Vannatter of Cabell County to serve as Delegates to the Libertarian Party national nominating convention, to be held in Orlando over Memorial Day weekend, at which the Libertarians will nominate their candidate for President of the United States. The Libertarian Party is expected by to be the only political party other than the Republicans and Democrats to have its candidate for President on the ballot of all fifty states, according to the online political daily journal Politico and other political observers.
The Libertarian Party of West Virginia expects to field additional candidates as more individuals, disgruntled by the choices offered by the Democrats and Republicans, come forward to run for office during the course of the spring and summer. These nominations will be acted upon by the Libertarian Party of West Virginia State Executive Committee.
With more than 3,200 registered Libertarians on the voter rolls, the LPWV is the third largest political party in the Mountain State.