Libertarian Party of Texas
|Libertarian Party of Texas|
|National affiliation||Libertarian Party (United States)|
|Colors||a shade of Blue; Yellow|
|Politics of the United States
In 1971, Texas was one of the 13 original founding state parties at the first LP convention in Denver, Colorado. Over the next five years, county affiliate parties were founded in Travis, Harris, Dallas, and Bexar counties.
In February 1980, Charles Fuller of Houston becomes the first Texas Libertarian to appear on the ballot as a Libertarian. (Previous candidates ran for write-in votes or as independents.) Fuller ran in a Special Election for State Representative District 80.
The party first qualified for statewide ballot access in 1980, and then again on September 1, 1982 with 41,000 petition signatures. The party ran 122 candidates that November. Legal issues making signature collection more difficult prevented the party from achieving ballot access in 1984, but it was able to collect the required 32,000 signatures in 1986 to once again make it on the ballot. Three statewide candidates achieved at least 5% of the vote that November, automatically granting the party ballot access for 1988.
In the 1990 statewide elections, gubernatorial candidate Jeff Daiell achieved 3.34% of the vote (129,128) and Comptroller candidate Gill Grisham received 5.8%, guaranteeing ballot access through 1994. Mr. Daiell's showing is still the LP of Texas record in a gubernatorial race.
On March 9, 1998, U.S. District Judge James Nowlin stopped the State of Texas from requiring voter registration numbers alongside ballot access petition signatures in Pilcher v. Rains, brought by the Libertarian Party of Texas. In every election since except that of 2002, at least one of the party's candidates achieved 5% of the vote, guaranteeing ballot access. In May 2004 the party easily met the state's signature requirement.
In the November 2006 elections, the party ran 168 candidates, and easily secured ballot access for 2008 in two-way races for state judicial positions, with the highest vote total going to Jerry Adkins for Supreme Court Place 4: 830,331 votes, or 24.5%.
Unlike Republicans and Democrats, the Libertarian Party of Texas holds county, district, and state conventions to nominate their candidates for public office. The party also accepts no tax dollars for their conventions.
According to Texas law, no one may vote in the Libertarian conventions if they have already voted in the Republican or Democratic primaries. Nor may a person vote in the Libertarian convention, then sign a petition for another third-party or independent or write-in candidate.
The party received media attention when it announced on August 1 that Suzanna Hupp, a former Texas state representative, had called Jason Jordan and Joe Allport, two Libertarian candidates for state representative in districts Republicans were concerned with losing, asking them to drop out of the race.
In January 2010, the party announced 193 Libertarians filed for the primaries, including five gubernatorial candidates.
2012 election results
For the first time ever five Libertarians in Texas receive over 1 million votes:
- Jaime O. Perez, Railroad Commissioner- 1,122,792
- RS Roberto Koelsch, Texas Supreme Court- 1,280,886
- Tom Oxford, Texas Supreme Court- 1,030,735
- Mark W. Bennett, Court of Criminal Appeals- 1,326,526
- William Bryan Strange- Court of Criminal Appeals- 1,313,746
Lillian Simmons achieved 30% in her race for Texas House and David Kinney in Hockley County had a very competitive race for sheriff receiving 2,479 votes for nearly 42% of the vote.
In Lago Vista a Libertarian, Ed Tidwell, won his seat on City Council against a longtime incumbent.
- Under Texas law, any political party having at least one statewide candidate that garners at least 5% of the vote, is guaranteed ballot access at the next statewide election.
- Libertarian Party of Texas - Texas Libertarians make major gains, break records
- Libertarian Party of Texas - Party Rules
- Libertarian Party of Texas - 193 Libertarians File for Office
- About.com, - Best Information Page Design: Joe Spencer for State Representative