2020 Libertarian Party presidential primaries

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Libertarian Party presidential primaries, 2020

← 2016 TBD 2024 →

Delegates vote at the Libertarian National Convention

Previous Libertarian nominee

Gary Johnson



The 2020 Libertarian Party presidential primaries and caucuses will be a series of electoral contests to indicate non-binding preferences for the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate in the 2020 United States presidential election. These differ from the Republican or Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses in that they do not appoint delegates to represent a candidate at the party's convention to select the party's presidential nominee. The party's nominee will be chosen directly by registered delegates at the 2020 Libertarian National Convention from May 21–25, 2020 in Austin, Texas.

Background[edit]

The 2020 United States Presidential election will be the thirteenth contested presidential election that the Libertarian Party will participate in. The 2016 election saw the highest vote total and percentage of votes for a Libertarian presidential ticket ever, with former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson and his running mate former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld receiving over four million votes and 3.28% of the total vote. During his presidential campaign in 2016, Johnson often stated that it would be his last run for the presidency.[1] Johnson won the nomination after winning five of the six 2016 Libertarian Party presidential primaries. There has been a Libertarian presidential primary in at least one state in every election since 1988.[2][better source needed]

Candidates[edit]

Declared candidates[edit]

The following is a list of declared candidates who either meet Wikipedia's notability guidelines or have participated in at least one Libertarian Party-sponsored debate.[citation needed]

Name Born Experience Home state Campaign
Announcement date
Ref.
Max suit small.jpg
Max Abramson
April 29, 1976
(age 43)
Kent, Washington
New Hampshire state representative from NH-20 (2014–2016 and 2018–present)
Libertarian nominee for Governor of New Hampshire in 2016
Flag of New Hampshire.svg
New Hampshire
Max Abramson 2020 logo.png
June 30, 2019
FEC Filing[3]
[4]
Dan Taxation Is Theft Behrman for President 2020.jpg
Dan Behrman
April 24, 1981
(age 38)
Los Angeles, California
Software engineer, internet personality and podcaster
Nominee for Texas state representative from TX-125 in 2014
Flag of Texas.svg
Texas
Behrman 2020 logo.jpg
January 30, 2019
FEC Filing[5]
[6]
Gray - replace this image female.svg
Souraya Faas
December 19, 1981
(age 37)
Miami, Florida
Former member of the Miami-Dade County Republican Executive Committee
Republican candidate for U.S. representative from FL-26 in 2018
Independent candidate for President in 2016
Flag of Florida.svg
Florida
May 3, 2019
FEC Filing[7]
[8]
Kokesh2013.jpg
Adam Kokesh
February 1, 1982
(age 37)
San Francisco, California
Libertarian and anti-war political activist
Candidate for U.S. Senate from Arizona in 2018
Republican candidate for U.S. representative from NM-03 in 2010
Flag of Arizona.svg
Arizona
AdamKokesh2020CampaignLogo.png
July 18, 2013
FEC Filing[9]
[10]
John McAfee by Gage Skidmore.jpg
John McAfee
September 18, 1945
(age 74)
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire,
United Kingdom
Founder and CEO of McAfee, Inc. 1987–1994
Candidate for President in 2016
Flag of Tennessee.svg
Tennessee
McAfee 2020 logo.png
Campaign
June 3, 2018
FEC Filing[11]
[12][13]
Gray - replace this image female.svg
Kim Ruff
Peoria, Arizona Vice chair of the LP Radical Caucus
Write-in candidate for Arizona State Mine Inspector in 2018
Flag of Arizona.svg
Arizona
RuffPhillips 2020 campaign logo.png
March 25, 2019
FEC Filing[14]
[15]
Lozwp DSC00677.jpg
Vermin Supreme
June 1961
(age 57)
Rockport, Massachusetts
Performance artist and activist
Candidate for President in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016
Candidate for Mayor of Detroit, Michigan in 1989
Candidate for Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland in 1987
Flag of Kansas.svg
Kansas
Vermin Supreme A Dictator You Can Trust.svg
May 28, 2018
FEC Filing[16]
[17]
Arvin Vohra on The Tatiana Show.jpg
Arvin Vohra
May 9, 1979
(age 40)
Silver Spring, Maryland
Vice Chair of the LNC 2014–2018
Nominee for U.S. Senate from Maryland in 2018 and 2016
Nominee for U.S. representative from Maryland in 2012 and 2014
Flag of Maryland.svg
Maryland
Arvin Vohra 2020 logo.png
July 3, 2018
FEC Filing[18]
[19]
Gray - replace this image female.svg
Jo Jorgensen
May 1, 1957
(age 62)
Libertyville, Illinois
Psychology Senior Lecturer at Clemson University
Libertarian nominee for Vice-President in the U.S. presidential election, 1996
Flag of South Carolina.svg
South Carolina

August 13, 2019
FEC Filing[20]
[21]


Withdrawn candidates[edit]

Name Born Experience Home state Campaign Ref.
Zoltan Istvan public profile photo (cropped).jpg
Zoltan Istvan
March 30, 1973
(aged 45)
Los Angeles, California
Transhumanist activist and futurist
Transhumanist nominee for President in 2016
candidate for Governor of California in 2018
Flag of California.svg
California
Announced campaign:
November 25, 2017

Suspended campaign:
January 11, 2019 (publicly revealed)

[22][23]
Gray - replace this image male.svg
William Hurst
Alabama Defense contractor Flag of Alabama.svg
Alabama
Announced campaign:
July 30, 2018

Suspended campaign:
February 19, 2019

(Endorsed Ruff)

[24]
Gray - replace this image male.svg
Christopher Marks
Columbia City, Indiana Lawyer and technician Flag of Indiana.svg
Indiana
Announced campaign:
February 7, 2017

Suspended campaign:
August 8, 2019

[25]


Individuals who have publicly expressed interest[edit]

Individuals in this section have expressed an interest in running for president within the last six months.


Declined to be candidates[edit]

The individuals in this section have been the subject of speculation about their possible candidacy, but have publicly denied interest in running.

Timeline of the race[edit]

2018[edit]

The spate of candidates for the Libertarian nomination began to form in early 2018, when Adam Kokesh officially launched his campaign at an event in Texas, having already announced his intention to run for president during a jailhouse interview in 2013.[56] On the day of his announcement, Kokesh was stopped twice by Texas state troopers, and placed under arrest and charged with possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence.[57] Kokesh joined transhumanist philosopher Zoltan Istvan, who in late 2017 had announced his intention to run for the Libertarian 2020 presidential nomination, while he was running for California governor as a Libertarian in 2018.

Contrary to an assertion he made at the 2016 convention, John McAfee announced on June 3 via Twitter that he would run for President again in 2020, either with the Libertarian Party or under the banner of a party of his own creation.[58] Arvin Vohra, after an unsuccessful bid for re-election to his position as vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee, announced his candidacy for the party's 2020 presidential nomination on July 3.[59]

On October 19, after having been asked during a Q&A session a few days prior if he would be interested in running for president as a Libertarian, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne indicated that he "almost definitely" was not going to run for president in 2020.[30] By the end of 2018, several individuals had announced or expressed in running for the Libertarian Party nomination, including performance artist and perennial candidate Vermin Supreme, vice chair of the LP Radical Caucus Kim Ruff and then-chairman of the Libertarian Party of Henderson County, Texas Benjamin Leder.[60][61]

2019[edit]

The start of 2019 saw changes to the list of candidates and potential candidates for the Libertarian Party nomination. Biomedical researcher and candidate for the party's presidential 2008 nomination Mary Ruwart confirmed on Twitter that she was not planning on seeking the nomination on 2020 in order to focus on writing.[39] On January 11, erstwhile candidate for California governor Zoltan Istvan announced via his website that he had left the Libertarian Party some time before, and was no longer seeking its nomination for president in 2020.[62]

The announcement of Istvan's departure from the race was shortly followed by reports that presumptive front runner Bill Weld, who had served as Gary Johnson's running mate in 2016, had left the Libertarian Party and rejoined the Republican Party to challenge Donald Trump in the Republican primary.[63] Weld had been the subject of fierce criticism from within the Libertarian Party for his soft approach to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, as well as for his several positions that were out of step with libertarian activists. During the libertarian-oriented LibertyCon, U.S. representative Justin Amash warned the Libertarian Party not to nominate a "squishy Republican", a comment widely seen as directed at Weld.[53]

On January 22, McAfee announced via Twitter that he would be continuing his campaign "in exile", following reports that he, his wife, and four of his campaign staff were being indicted for tax-related felonies by the IRS. McAfee indicated that he was in "international waters", and had previously tweeted that he was on his way to Venezuela.[64] The IRS has not commented on the alleged indictments.[65] On January 23, McAfee confirmed on Twitter that he had docked in the Bahamas, where he would remain for the foreseeable future.[66]

Weld confirmed the rumors that he had left the Libertarian Party on February 15 by announcing the formation of an exploratory committee for the Republican nomination.[67] Weld officially launched his campaign for the Republican nomination on April 15.[68] At the same time, Amash declined to rule out running for the Libertarian nomination himself.[69]

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was also suggested as a Libertarian candidate, but Schultz later made clear that any presidential run by him would be done as an independent.[44][45][47] On April 19, Jacob Hornberger, an activist and political scientist who had run for the Libertarian presidential nomination in 2000 and U.S. Senate in Virginia as an independent in 2002, confirmed that he had rejoined the Libertarian Party and was actively considering a second run.[70] On April 22, Larry Sharpe, candidate for Vice President in 2016 and nominee for Governor of New York in 2018, told The Niagara Gazette that he was unlikely to run for office in 2020, and was instead looking at running for Governor again in 2022.[71] On May 10, retired decorated U.S. Coast Guard officer Ken Armstrong announced his candidacy for the Libertarian nomination.[72][73]

On May 18, congressman Justin Amash broke ranks with the Republican Party and became the first Republican in all of Congress to call for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump,[74] further escalating rumors that Amash would join the Libertarian Party and mount a challenge against Trump as the party's nominee in 2020.[75] In an interview with Salon, Libertarian National Committee chairman Nicholas Sarwark concurred with Amash's conclusions, saying, "of all the members of Congress, his [Amash] positions seem to most closely match those of the Libertarian Party."[76] On May 22, Sharpe reported receiving two calls from "people close to Amash" inquiring about the Libertarian Party.[77] On June 30, New Hampshire state legislator Max Abramson announced his candidacy for the Libertarian nomination.[78] On July 4, Amash announced via an op-ed in The Washington Post that he had left the Republican Party, becoming an independent.[79] On August 22, former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee, who announced he had joined the Libertarian Party in a Boston Globe op-ed published in July, expressed interest in making another bid for the presidency, this time as a Libertarian.[27][80]

Overview[edit]

Active campaign
Withdrawn candidate
New Hampshire primary
Libertarian convention
Zoltan Istvan2020 Libertarian Party presidential primaries2020 Libertarian Party presidential primariesArvin VohraVermin Supreme#20202020 Libertarian Party presidential primariesJohn McAfee 2020 presidential campaignAdam Kokesh#2020 presidential campaign2020 Libertarian Party presidential primaries2020 Libertarian Party presidential primariesMax Abramson#2020 presidential campaign

Endorsements[edit]

Kim Ruff
State legislators

Primaries[edit]

The Libertarian Party will be eligible to participate in presidential primaries in numerous states.[82]

Debates[edit]

Debates among candidates for the 2020 Libertarian Party U.S. presidential nomination
Date Place Host Participants
 P  Participant.  A  Absent.  O  Out of race (exploring, suspended, or not yet entered) Abramson Behrman Faas Kokesh Marks McAfee Ruff Supreme Vohra
March 31, 2019[98] Issaquah, Washington Libertarian Party of Washington O A O P A A A A P
April 13, 2019[99] Bay City, Michigan Libertarian Party of Michigan O A O A P A A P P
April 27, 2019[100] Colorado Springs, Colorado Libertarian Party of Colorado O A O P A A A P P
May 28, 2019[101] Tampa, Florida Libertarian Party of Florida O P P P A A A A P
June 1, 2019[102] Toledo, Ohio Libertarian Party of Ohio O A A P P A P P P
July 13, 2019[103] Somerville, Massachusetts Libertarian Party of Massachusetts P P A P A A P A P
November 2, 2019[103] Florence, South Carolina Libertarian Party of South Carolina
TBD
O
TBD
November 9, 2019[104] Olean, New York Cattaraugus County Libertarian Party
TBD
O
TBD

Primary election polling[edit]

National polling[edit]

Poll source Sample size Date(s) Kokesh Seder McAfee Supreme Vohra Others
Third Party Watch[105] 730 Registered Libertarian Voters March 10–14, 2019 34% 43% 21% 2% 0% N/A

Online straw polls[edit]

The following are early unofficial online polls that have included various speculative and potential candidates, including some that are not members of the Libertarian Party.

Poll source Date(s) Amash Campbell Ince Istvan Johnson Kerbel Kokesh McAfee Miron Paul Perry Petersen Ruwart Sanford Seder Supreme Sarwark Schiff Sharpe Ventura Vohra Weld Others
The Libertarian Vindicator[106] January 2–4, 2018 2% 3% 6% 0% 9% 1% 4% - 8% - 55% - - 6% None of the Above 6%
TheJackNews[107] August 13–19, 2017 29.1% 2.9% 0.9% 3.9% 1.1% 2.8% 8.2% - - 28.5% - - N/A
TheJackNews[108] July 9–15, 2017 6% 6% 10.2% 10.2% - - - 16% - 43% Undecided 8%
A Libertarian Future[109] March 2017 8% 4% 2% 3% 26% 1% 18% 1% - - 25% 3% - 8% None of the Above 1%
A Libertarian Future[110] November 2016 5% 10% 1% 3% 33% 1% 27% 6% 4% 9% - - - None of the Above 1%

Campaign finance[edit]

This is an overview of the money used by each campaign as it is reported to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and released on July 15, 2019. Totals raised include loans from the candidate and transfers from other campaign committees. As of yet, most of the Libertarian candidates have not filed with the FEC, and financial data for those candidates are therefore not available.

Candidate Financial information reported as of June 30, 2019
Raised Ind. contrib. % <$200 Spent COH Debt
Max Abramson[111] filed statement of candidacy
Kenneth R. Armstrong[112] $8,538.68 $6,653.38 32.86% $6,209.89 $2,421.15 $1,977.66
Dan “Taxation Is Theft” Behrman[113] $15,166.45 $465.00 19.35% $15,166.45 - -
Adam Kokesh[114] $185,217.27 $69,721.93 12.57% $181,968.12 $3,249.15 $16,927.76
Joseph Maldonado[115] $1,094.00 - - - -
John McAfee did not file
John R. Phillips Jr.[116] $5,343.17 $3,593.79 5.29% $5,165.30 $177.87 $1,654.75
Kimberly M. Ruff[117] $5,885.98 $4,835.98 5.79% $366.61 $5,519.37 $1,050.00
Vermin Supreme[118] filed statement of candidacy
Arvin Vohra[119] filed statement of candidacy

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Amash is not a member of the Libertarian Party, but has been the subject of speculation as a potential Libertarian Party candidate.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h This individual is not a Libertarian Party member, but has been the subject of speculation and/or expressed interest in running under this party.

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  112. ^ "ARMSTRONG, KENNETH REED". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  113. ^ "BERHMAN, DAN TAXATION IS THEFT". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  114. ^ "KOKESH, ADAM". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  115. ^ "MALDONADO, JOSEPH". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved May 6, 2019. Candidate's most recent report was for the period ended December 31, 2017.
  116. ^ "PHILLIPS, JOHN R JR". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  117. ^ "RUFF, KIMBERLY MARGARET". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved May 5, 2019. Candidate's most recent report was for the period ended March 31, 2019.
  118. ^ "SUPREME, VERMIN LOVE". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  119. ^ "VOHRA, ARVIN MR". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved July 16, 2019.

External links[edit]

Official campaign websites