Larry Sharpe (politician)

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Larry Sharpe
Larry Sharpe portrait.jpg
Born (1968-07-12) July 12, 1968 (age 52)
EducationUniversity of Maryland University College (B.A.)
OccupationBusiness consultant
Known for
Political partyLibertarian
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service1986–1993
RankUSMC-E6.svg Staff sergeant

Larry David Sharpe (born July 12, 1968) is an American business consultant, entrepreneur, political activist, podcaster, and candidate for the 2020 Libertarian vice presidential nomination. He was a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination for Vice President of the United States in 2016, losing narrowly to former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld. Sharpe was also the Libertarian nominee for Governor of New York in the 2018 gubernatorial election. Sharpe is the founder and managing director of the online business training company Neo-Sage Group, Inc.

Early life and career[edit]

Sharpe was born on July 12, 1968, in Manhattan, New York, and was adopted as an infant. He joined the United States Marines Corps at age 17, serving from 1986 to 1993.[1] He received a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from the University of Maryland University College.[2] After working as an English teacher, Sharpe founded Prime Distribution Inc., a trucking and distribution company which he later sold, in 2001.[3] In 2004, Sharpe built an online business training company called Neo-Sage Group, Inc.,[4][5] for which he serves as managing director.[1][2]

Political career[edit]

As a Libertarian Party activist, Sharpe has outlined a vision to grow the party by encouraging grassroots Libertarian Party campaigns across the country.[6] Sharpe served on the Libertarian National Committee as the Alternate for Region 8, until his resignation in February 2018 because of an internal LNC vote that failed to oust the party's then-vice chair, Arvin Vohra, following public controversial comments made by Vohra.[7]

2016 vice presidential campaign[edit]

Sharpe was a candidate for the 2016 Libertarian vice presidential nomination. During the 2016 Libertarian National Convention, he placed second on the first ballot with 30.4% of the vote. Because no one received a majority on that ballot, a second ballot vote was held.[8] Sharpe received 46.9% of the vote on the second ballot, finishing second to former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.[9][10]

2018 New York gubernatorial campaign[edit]

On July 12, 2017, Sharpe announced his 2018 candidacy for Governor of New York, making him the first person to mount a challenge to incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo.[11] Sharpe received the Libertarian nomination on April 21, 2018, and Andrew Hollister was selected as the Lieutenant Governor nominee for the ticket.[12]

Sharpe's campaign raised $102,596 prior to the first filing deadline, which was second to Andrew Cuomo's re-election campaign.[13] As of October 10, 2018, Sharpe raised $449,515 for his campaign, the highest amount ever raised by a Libertarian gubernatorial candidate in New York. Sharpe in addition was the only candidate in the race to have visited all 62 counties on the campaign trail.[14]

On Election Day, Sharpe received 95,033 votes (1.6%) and came in fourth place behind Cuomo, Republican challenger Marc Molinaro, and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins. Sharpe's vote total achieved automatic ballot access for the Libertarian Party of New York for the first time in the party's history.[15]

U.S. Governors
U.S. municipal legislators
Other politicians
Television and radio personalities
Commentators, writers, and columnists
Musicians and artists
Athletes and sports figures
Social and political activists
  • Matthew Kolken, immigration lawyer and elected member of the AILA board of directors[42]

Post-campaign activities[edit]

Following the 2018 election, Sharpe continued speaking tours across New York State.[49] Since 2019, he has hosted the podcast The Sharpe Way.[50]

2020 vice-presidential campaign[edit]

On April 13, 2020, it was announced that Sharpe would again seek the Libertarian Party's nomination for Vice President, as the running mate of 2012 Libertarian vice-presidential nominee Judge Jim Gray.[51] After Gray was eliminated during convention presidential balloting, Sharpe withdrew from the race.

Political positions[edit]

Sharpe supports reducing regulations such as occupational licensing as well as legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing other drugs.[52] Sharpe has advocated for raising revenue for New York by selling naming rights to bridges and highways.[53]


Sharpe considers himself "pro-choice" as well as "anti-abortion". While running for Governor, he vowed to reduce the number of abortions in New York state by increasing availability of other options instead of establishing regulations on abortion.[54]

Criminal justice[edit]

Sharpe favors marijuana legalization, calling for hemp and marijuana to be "regulated like onions".[55] Sharpe has said he would pardon those convicted of victimless crimes or otherwise non-violent offenses.[56]


Sharpe has supported deregulation to stimulate economic growth, ending the funding of enforcement of unnecessary regulations. In particular, Sharpe has cited occupational licensing as a hurdle to small business, describing mandatory licensing for jobs such as barbers and dog walkers as "barriers to entry and a tax on the poor."[57] Additionally, to reduce the state deficit, Sharpe has called for eliminating unfunded mandates.[58] He has vowed to follow this reduction in state spending with a reduction in property taxes and the ultimate repeal of the New York state income tax.[59][60]


Sharpe has called for the decentralization of education in New York State and has proposed a "K-10" model, reducing the span of high school to ready students for the workforce and/or college.[55][61] Sharpe has also rejected standardized testing until high school.[61] He stated, "everyone should be able to opt out of testing at any puts kids who have special needs at a huge disadvantage. Kids who do not test well are labeled as dumb."[62]

Additionally, Sharpe stated he would refuse federal grants for education. He would also abolish the Board of Regents.[63]

Gun laws[edit]

Sharpe vowed, if elected, to repeal the NY SAFE Act by 2020 and pardon those convicted under its provisions.[57] Sharpe supports allowing school teachers and staff to carry firearms on school grounds, on a voluntary basis.[64]

Personal life[edit]

Sharpe lives with his wife Georgia and their two children in Queens, New York.[3][65]


  • Barsouk, Adam; Van Staden, Martin (2019). Igniting Liberty: Voices for Freedom Around the World. Sharpe, Larry (foreword). ISBN 978-1793165039.

Electoral history[edit]

New York gubernatorial election, 2018[66]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Andrew Cuomo 3,424,416 56.16% +8.64%
Working Families Andrew Cuomo 114,478 1.88% -1.43%
Independence Andrew Cuomo 68,713 1.13% -0.91%
Women's Equality Andrew Cuomo 27,733 0.45% -0.96%
Total Andrew Cuomo (incumbent) 3,635,340 59.62% +5.43%
Republican Marc Molinaro 1,926,485 31.60% -0.79%
Conservative Marc Molinaro 253,624 4.16% -2.41%
Reform Marc Molinaro 27,493 0.45% N/A
Total Marc Molinaro 2,207,602 36.21% -4.10%
Green Howie Hawkins 103,946 1.70% -3.14%
Libertarian Larry Sharpe 95,033 1.56% +1.12%
SAM Stephanie Miner 55,441 0.91% N/A
Total votes '6,097,362' '100.0%' N/A
Democratic hold


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  50. ^ The Sharpe Way
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  66. ^ Cite error: The named reference auto2 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

External links[edit]

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Preceded by
Michael McDermott
Libertarian nominee for Governor of New York
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