The National LP issued the following press release…
Libertarian Fusion Candidates Win Three State Representative Primaries in Green Mountain State
(Washington, D.C.) Benjamin Todd and Jeff Manney are running for Vermont State Representative seats on a Libertarian-Republican fusion ticket. As their races were uncontested, they easily won Tuesday’s Republican primary elections for their districts. Vermont’s other four LP fusion state representative candidates had to fight a bit harder, but still pulled off an impressive win/loss ratio.
Vermont Libertarian Party Chair Hardy Machia was responsible for recruiting most of the candidates and orchestrating the state representative campaigns. He stated that he is “very pleased with the showing of our candidates in the major parties’ primaries.”
Two of the winners were Bob Wolffe and David Atkinson in the Orange-Addison-1 district. According to the latest election returns, Atkinson won his race by one vote. Machia wasn’t merely coordinating campaigns; he was running in the Grand Isle-Chittenden-1-1 race himself – a race which he won.
“Running a fusion campaign as a Libertarian-Republican makes it easy to talk to Democratic and Independent voters who are very frustrated with the Republicans in DC, because I can empathize with them against the war in Iraq, against out-of-control spending, and against infringements on our civil liberties,” Machia said. “The voters I talked to want to see change. They want the property taxes problem fixed.”
The Wolffe and Atkinson campaigns were assisted with GOTV calls from the national Libertarian Party’s Ballot Base. Machia felt confident enough about his potential to win his own race that he insisted the other candidates receive the priority for GOTV telephone calls.
The single defeat these Libertarian candidates took isn’t a complete loss. While Kevin Volz lost the Democratic primary in Rutland-5-4, he will still be on the ballot as a Libertarian in the November General Election.
In addition to their fusion candidates, the Vermont Libertarian Party will be running three more candidates for state representative positions on the Libertarian Party ticket: Thomas Carpenter, Jr. in Rutland-5-3, Andrew Thomas in Chittenden-3-8, and Don O’Donnell in Washington-6.
Recent polling has shown Libertarian candidates performing at higher than normal levels in multiple states and races around the country. In Vermont, the combination of voter discontent, an effective state strategy and the Libertarian Party’s Ballot Base program was the deciding factor in this set of Libertarian victories.
“The incumbents have been ineffective and are not addressing voters’ concerns,” Machia said. “A lot of people are ready for change. It’s time to take the momentum from this win into the general election.”