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Libertarian Party of Oregon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Libertarian Party of Oregon is a political party representing the national Libertarian Party in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is organized as a minor party for state election law,[4] and recognized by the Oregon as a statewide nominating party.[5]

It was organized in 1971 as one of the first state affiliates of the newly established national Libertarian Party[citation needed] which nominated Oregon party member Theodora Nathan as its vice presidential candidate at the 1972 convention. Affiliated local committees have been organized in 13 of Oregon's counties.[6] The party ranks fourth in size behind the state's two major parties, Republican and Democratic and the Independent Party of Oregon at 0.8% of Oregon's affiliated registered voters as of 2004.[7]


As of 2017, there are 18,779 registered Libertarians in the state of Oregon.[8]


Theodora Nathalia Nathan, the party's nominee for Vice President of the United States, earns the first electoral vote ever cast for a woman.
Richard Burke ran for Governor in a seven-way race and finished third with 2% of the vote. Bruce Knight ran for US House of Representatives district 3 in a three-way race, finishing second with 10%.
Mitch Shults ran for State Treasurer, received the endorsement of the Salem Statesman Journal and got 4% of the vote in a five-way race.
20 Libertarian candidates ran for office, 14 of those for the Oregon Legislative Assembly. The Libertarian candidate for Governor of Oregon that year, Tom Cox, garnered 4.58% of the vote.
The number of Oregon Libertarian candidates rose to 32, nearly half of them recent converts to the party, according to Richard Burke, state executive director.[7]
Libertarian Richard Morley ran for Governor, in the party's only run for statewide office. The party fielded candidate Drake Davis in Oregon's 1st congressional district, and had candidates in 13 state legislative campaigns. None of the party's candidates was elected.
Michael Jingozian runs for president. Although he doesn't win the nomination, Michael wins election as vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee.
The party splits into two factions: the Reeves faction and the Wagner faction.[9] (see below)

Gubernatorial election results

Year Gubernatorial nominee Votes %
1982 Paul Cleveland 27,394 2.63%
1986 No candidate
1990 Fred Oerther 14,583 1.31%
1994 Danford P. Vander Ploeg 20,183 1.65%
1998 Richard P. Burke 20,200 1.81%
2002 Tom Cox 57,760 4.58%
2006 Richard Morley 16,798 1.22%
2010 Wes Wagner 19,048 1.31%
2014 Paul Grad 21,903 1.49%
2016 James Foster 45,191 2.44%
2018 Nick Chen 28,927 1.55%


The party is governed by a State Committee consisting of statewide party officers and delegates from each organized Affiliated County Party (ACP). A convention is held annually at which the statewide officers, who serve one-year terms, are elected. A Judicial Committee settle disputes involving the interpretation of the party’s governing documents.[10] The convention may serve as a nominating convention during election years.[6]

State chair history

  • 2016-Present- Kyle Markley
  • 2014-2016 - Lars Hedbor
  • 2011-2014 - Wes Wagner[11], or Tim Reeves (see below)
  • 2010-2011 - Jeff Weston [11]
  • 2008-2010 - Joseph Cornwell
  • 2008 - H. Joe Tabor
  • 2007-2008 - Wes Wagner
  • 2007 - Don Smith
  • 2007 - Alfredo Torrejon
  • 2004-2007 - Adam Mayer
  • 2003-2004 - Tom Cox
  • 2001-2003 - Mitch Shults
  • 1999-2001 - Adam Mayer
  • 1998-1999 - Bruce Knight
  • 1996-1998 - Kristopher Barrett
  • 1996 - Tom Cox
  • 1996 - Daniel Wilson
  • 1995-1996 - Michael Wilson
  • 1994-1995 - Richard Burke


1996 Election

In 1996 former Chairperson Richard Burke led an attempt to impact the outcome of the race for Oregon's first congressional district seat by not running a Libertarian candidate after the Libertarian candidate had been credited with throwing the previous race to the Democrat. Proponents of this strategy believed that as the proposed Libertarian nominee had not raised sufficient money or built a sufficient campaign organization to run a significant campaign, the Libertarian platform would be more effectively advanced by the Republican candidate who had spent time building a relationship with the Oregon Libertarian Party. Other Libertarians thought the strategy to be tantamount to a "sell out", and an intense controversy ensued. The Libertarian candidate, Richard Johnson, narrowly won the nomination. The incumbent Democrat, Elizabeth Furse, was re-elected that fall.

Fiduciary responsibilities

Wes Wagner, Libertarian Party of Clackamas County vice-chair, sued the party and its officers in December 2006. Wagner's suit alleged that the party did not obey its own bylaws with regards to its fiduciary obligations while running up a five-figure debt to Richard Burke. The case was dismissed in Washington County Court, though it was rumored it was pending appeal, for quite some time.[12]

Reeves vs. Wagner

Since 2011, the party has been internally divided in two factions following two party chairs: Tim Reeves and Wes Wagner. The March 12, 2011 annual convention only had 20 members in attendance; this fell short of a quorum as defined by the 2009 by-laws.[11] After this meeting, the chairperson Jeff Weston resigned and the vice-chairperson, Wagner, assumed the office. He called a meeting of the "State Committee" on March 31, 2011; this meeting adopted a new constitution and bylaws, with new quorum and membership requirements.[11] Only one member of the Reeves faction was present at this meeting and objected.

On April 19, 2011, the Wagner faction met and changed the scheduled May 21, 2011 annual convention into a social event at a different location. Only the Reeves faction attended the May 21, 2011 annual convention and did not achieve a quorum.[11] Immediately after this meeting, the Reeves faction met and elected their officers with Reeves as the state Chairperson.

In May 2011, the Reeves faction attempted to register their electioned officers but were rejected by the Secretary of State because the Secretary has previously recognized Wagner as the official chairperson.[11] The Reeves faction sued the Wagner faction to obtain a court decision that they are the true officers of the state party.[13] The Oregon courts issued an opinion May 21,2013, that it does not have jurisdiction on the matter and that it should be determined by the Party's Judicial Committee. [14] On December 12, 2018, the Court of Appeals in Oregon affirmed the lower court's decision.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Rothbard, Murray Newton (1978). For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto. p. 153. Even more remarkably, the Libertarian party achieved this growth while consistently adhering to a new ideological creed—"libertarianism"—thus bringing to the American political scene for the first time in a century a party interested in principle rather than in merely gaining jobs and money at the public trough.
  2. ^ "Libertarian Party opposes further intervention in Iraq". June 18, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "Ideological Third Parties and Splinter Parties". June 3, 2017. Archived from the original on January 16, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "2005-2006 Election Laws: Constitutional and Statutory Provisions," Oregon Elections Division official website
  5. ^ "Political Parties in Oregon," Oregon Elections Division official website
  6. ^ a b "Organization". Libertarian Party of Oregon. Libertarian Party of Oregon. 2006. Archived from the original (Webpage) on 2006-09-06. Retrieved 2006-12-03.
  7. ^ a b Har, Janie (August 17, 2004). "Libertarians find clout in role". The Oregonian. Portland, Oregon: Oregonian Publishing. pp. B1.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Starr, Aaron (2012-06-28). "LP Oregon: Nominating Convention Selects Candidates for November Ballot". Independent Political Report. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  10. ^ "About Us". Libertarian Party of Oregon Home. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Reeves v. Wagner". Justia Law. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  12. ^ Har, Janie (January 22, 2007). "Libertarians ask court to solve party infighting". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2007-01-22.
  13. ^ "Oregon Court Won't Adjudicate Intra-Libertarian Party Dispute | Ballot Access News". Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  14. ^ Reeves, et al., v. Wagner, et al., CV12010345 (Circuit Court of Oregon, Fifth Judicial District).

External links

This page was last edited on 10 October 2020, at 17:20
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