The Libertarian Party of Connecticut is a statewide affiliate of the U.S. Libertarian Party. According to the bylaws posted on its web site, the Connecticut Libertarian Party has the basic aims of furthering individual freedom and opposing the initiation of force against individuals, among other things. It does this by engaging in political, educational, and social activities.
The party leadership declined to endorse celebrity author Ann Coulter in a run for Congress in 2000, in a bid against Chris Shays for the 4th district. As a result, her congressional campaign did not take place.
Active Registered Libertarian Voters in Connecticut
To register as a member of the Libertarian Party with the Connecticut Secretary of the State, an eligible voter must write in "Libertarian" in Box 9 of the state voter registration form. As of November 3, 2014, Connecticut had 1,780 active registered Libertarians, making it the state's fourth largest party, trailing the Democratic, Republican, and Independent parties. Some areas of the state have a larger share of the membership than others. By Congressional District, party membership is distributed as follows:
18.9% reside in Congressional District 1
26.0% reside in Congressional District 2
16.0% reside in Congressional District 3
19.8% reside in Congressional District 4
19.4% reside in Congressional District 5
Between October 21, 2003 and November 3, 2014, the party experienced 177% growth in active voters registered with the Secretary of the State.
Voters may also register with the state party itself as either an associate member or a full member. An associate member does not pay dues, may not be a member of the State Central Committee or the Judiciary Committee, and does not have voting privileges at party functions, such as its annual convention. A full member enjoys all membership privileges and must pay annual dues of $25. Both associate members and full members must sign the Libertarian pledge, which states “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force to achieve political, social, or economic goals.”
A voter may register with the state Libertarian Party as either a full or associate member while remaining a registered member of another party with the Secretary of the State.
Secretary of the State's office acknowledging 2012 incorrect vote totals
After receiving the largest vote total in Connecticut Libertarian Party history, Paul Passarelli became the party's first US Senate candidate to retain ballot access for that office despite the towns of Middlefield and Washington failing to report any votes for his candidacy to the Secretary of the State. The town of Seymour also inadvertently failed to report any votes for both Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Independent Party candidate Rocky Anderson on its amended returns to the Secretary of the State after including the correct totals of 72 votes for Johnson and 37 votes for Anderson on its initial returns. The towns of East Windsor and Preston also inadvertently failed to report any votes for a combined 14 Working Families and Independent Party candidates. The unfortunate cluster of errors was not noticed until after the Statement of Vote was officially certified and changes cannot be made to the Statement of Vote after that time.
In 2010 John Szewczyk became the first and only Libertarian Party candidate to appear on the ballot as a cross endorsed candidate for a state or federal office. He was cross endorsed by the Republican, Independent, and Connecticut for Lieberman Parties.
Michael Costanza's 26.08% of the vote in General Assembly District 43 set the Connecticut Libertarian Party record for the highest vote percentage for a state or federal candidate. His 40.15% of the vote in the North Stonington portion of the two town district bested both his Republican and Democratic opponents.
The finances of the Libertarian Party of Connecticut State Central Committee are public record. Its primary expenditures involve ballot access for candidates. Its second largest expense is its annual convention. Speakers at past conventions include consumer privacy advocate Katherine Albrecht, taxpayer advocate Carla Howell, former Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik, investment broker Peter Schiff, and Scott Wilson, President of the gun rights advocacy group Connecticut Citizens Defense League. Other large expenses include fundraising and propaganda, such as yard signs, handouts, and DVDs. It does not have a regularly paid staff.
Contributions from Individuals In State
Contributions from Individuals Out of State
Contributions from Individuals of Unknown Location
Transfers from the National Party
Transfers from Presidential and Other Committees
Sales of Food, Merchandise, Advertising, Convention Tickets, and Bank Interest
The Connecticut Libertarian Party State Central Committee issues the Walter Gengarelly Jr. Award at its annual convention to a person who has exhibited a "sustained and selfless effort to support the cause of liberty" at "extreme sacrifice to him or herself." Walter Gengarelly spent nearly three decades in service to the Connecticut Libertarian Party. In 1982 he was the party's first Gubernatorial candidate and he died in 2010 in the midst of a campaign for the 5th Congressional District.