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Alaska Libertarian Party

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Libertarian Party of Alaska
ChairmanJon Briggs Watts
Founded1974; 45 years ago (1974)
HeadquartersAnchorage, Alaska
Membership (November 3, 2019)7,251 [1]
Colorsa shade of Blue; Yellow
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House of Representatives
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U.S. Senate
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The Libertarian Party of Alaska is the affiliate of the Libertarian Party (LP) in Alaska, headquartered in Anchorage.

It is the third largest active[a] party in Alaska and has the highest percentage of registered Libertarians of any U.S. state.[2] Since 2012 candidates running as Libertarians who has won the Democratic-Libertarian-Independence primary has always polled between 5% to 30% in at least one state or federal election every election.

Since Libertarian presidential candidates were on the ballot in 1976 Alaska has been a stronghold for Libertarians with it being their best performing state in every election until 1992 and was in the top five except in 2004 and 2008 and many of the first offices held by Libertarians are in Alaska.

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  • ✪ What is the Libertarian Party?
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The largest third party in the United States today is the Libertarian Party. How long has the Libertarian Party been in existence? What are some of the Libertarian beliefs? In June of 1972, the Libertarian Party held its first national convention. Those in attendance chose the name “Libertarian Party” over the “New Liberty Party” which was the second place choice. At this convention, the new party also nominated John Hospers as its first presidential candidate. Six years later, in 1978, Dick Randolph became the first Libertarian to win public office. He was elected to the state legislature in Alaska. By 1980, the party had grown enough to officially become the third largest party in the United States. In that same year, the party achieved ballot access in all fifty states. This means that the Libertarian Party presidential candidate appeared on the ballot in all fifty states, alongside the Republican and Democrat candidates. The Libertarian presidential candidate also achieved ballot access in all fifty states in 1992 and 1996. This made them the only third party in history to achieve ballot access in all fifty states in two consecutive elections. Similar to the Democratic donkey and the Republican elephant, the Libertarian Party has chosen an animal to serve as a mascot. In the early 1990s, a penguin was chosen to represent the party, which became known as the Liberty Penguin. However, in 2006, the penguin was largely replaced by the Libertarian porcupine, which is now used regularly by the Libertarian Party. The Statue of Liberty is also a regularly used party symbol. In 1972, the Libertarians adopted an official slogan to help promote their party. This slogan, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” was used by the party for many years, including the slogan’s abbreviation “TANSTAAFL.” Today, the party’s official slogan is “The Party of Principle.” In terms of their political beliefs, Libertarians are often thought to be economically conservative while being socially liberal. This means that they support many Republican philosophies in terms of economic matters and many Democratic philosophies in terms of cultural matters. Ultimately, the guiding principle to Libertarian positions is that they believe the government should have as little involvement with an individual’s day-to-day life as possible. Economically, Libertarians believe that the government should have a “hands off” approach to the economy. This would mean the government should not attempt to regulate the economy, but instead let the free market, and natural competition amongst businesses, dictate things like prices and employee wages. Libertarians also believe in free trade and free travel between nations. They feel that governments place unnecessary restraints on the movement of people and products. Many Libertarians also support the legalization of what they feel are “victimless crimes”. This would include the legalization of most drugs, prostitution, gambling, and other similar activities. They hold this belief because they feel that the government should not restrict an individual’s personal liberty. The Libertarian stances on these issues are amongst the most controversial that the party holds. Libertarians also believe things such as public schools and public healthcare should not exist. Instead, they feel that the private sector could do a better, and more efficient, job in both of these areas. Additionally, they argue that government regulation of the environment should not be necessary. They feel that private landowners would have a much stronger interest in maintaining the health and cleanliness of their own land. Libertarians are also strong supporters of unrestricted free speech. They oppose the government using its authority to censor someone who might be speaking out against the government. They defend the rights of all individuals to express dissent, whether it be through free speech or free press. This is not every belief promoted by the Libertarian Party as there are too many to be listed in this lesson. It should also be remembered that not every Libertarian shares each of these beliefs. It is difficult to categorize an entire group of people in broad terms. The party includes a wide variety of people who have their own opinions on many of these topics. The Libertarian Party has experienced varied success over the course of its existence. In the 1990s, there were more than forty Libertarians holding elected office throughout the nation. However, as recently as the 2012 presidential election, the Libertarian candidate could only be found on the ballots of thirty states. Today, the Libertarian Party is experiencing a surge once again. The Libertarian candidate for president in both 2012 and 2016 was Gary Johnson (Johnson received more than one million votes in the 2012 presidential election). There are 145 Libertarians currently holding public offices throughout the United States and more than 400,000 Americans who are registered Libertarians. There are also numerous Independents, who claim to be Libertarians, living in states where they cannot register with the party.



The Alaskan Libertarian Party was founded shortly after the national party and grew to become a stronghold for the new party in the late seventies and throughout the eighties. In 1973 John Hospers and Tonie Nathan, the party's 1972 presidential and vice presidential nominees, spoke at the party's first state convention in Fairbanks to fifty members of the party.[3][4] During the 1980 Presidential election Ed Clark and Eugene McCarthy both appeared and spoke at their state convention.[5] Two years later the party gained the most votes for a non-write in third party candidate for governor with Dick Randolph receiving 14.91% of the vote and would maintain it until 1990. However, in 1985 Randolph left to run as a Republican in the 1986 gubernatorial election.[6] Despite the success in 1982 the 1986 Alaska gubernatorial election proved to be a failure as the party leadership rejected the primary winner, Mary O'Brannon, and after failing to remove her with a lawsuit due to her failing to meet the residency requirements they instead chose to launch a write-in campaign with the lieutenant governor candidate and runner up in the primary, Ed Hoch, as their candidate.[7][8] O'Brannon defeated Hoch in terms of popular vote with 1,050 against his 107 write-in votes, but she had lost over 14% and 28,000 votes from Randolph's 1982 campaign.[9] Also in 1986 Andre Marrou, the only sitting Libertarian in a state legislature at the time, lost reelection to the state house.[10]

In 1988 the party was successful in placing three legislature candidates on the ballot after the state Supreme Court ruled the filing deadline to be unconstitutional.[11] In 1992 the Alaskan affiliate along with the state's Constitution Party affiliate won a lawsuit against the Alaskan state Elections Division after both of their presidential ballot petitions were rejected.[12]

From 2009 to 2010 the party was engaged in a voter registration drive to reach 9,786 registered voters due to a 2004 bill that changed the Alaskan party qualification rules so that a party using the registration test must have registration of 3% of the last vote cast resulting in mid-term years having higher voter registration amounts needed than presidential election years. From April to June 2009 party registration increased by over 1,000 voters.[13][14]

In 2016, Cean Stevens withdrew after winning the state Libertarian primary to allow Republican Party member and Tea Party favorite nominee of the 2010 U.S. Senate election, Joe Miller her spot on the ticket in the 2016 Senate election and Miller was unanimously approved by the executive board to take Stevens' place.[15] Miller came in second place and garnered nearly 30% of the vote, the highest percentage ever received by a Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate, but did not beat the total vote record established in 2002 Massachusetts Senate election by Michael Cloud.

Current officials

  • Bethel City Council Richard Robb (2017–present)[16]
  • Cordova City Council Ken Jones (2017–present)[17]
  • Alaska Public Office Commissioner Robert Clift (2017–present) - Appointed to a five-year term by Bill Walker
  • Alaska Public Office Commissioner Adam Schwemley (2017–present) - Appointed to a five-year term by Bill Walker

Former officials

  • State Representative Dick Randolph (1978-1982) - First person to be elected to partisan office under the banner of the Libertarian Party
  • State Representative Ken Fanning (1980-1982) - Second person to be elected to partisan office under the banner of the Libertarian Party
  • State Representative Andre Marrou (1985-1987) - 1988 Vice Presidential Nominee and 1992 Presidential Nominee
  • Juneau City Council Sara Chambers (2006-2010)


  • Terrence Shanigan (2016-2016)[18]
  • Jon Watts (2016–present)[19]

Electoral performance


Year Presidential nominee Votes Change
1972 John Hospers (write-in) 45 (0.05%) Steady
1976 Roger MacBride 6,785 (5.49%) Increase 5.42%
1980 Ed Clark 18,479 (11.66%) Increase 6.17%
1984 David Bergland 6,378 (3.07%) Decrease 8.59%
1988 Ron Paul 5,484 (2.74%) Decrease 0.33%
1992 Andre Marrou 1,378 (0.53%) Decrease 2.21%
1996 Harry Browne 2,276 (0.94%) Increase 0.41%
2000 Harry Browne 2,636 (0.92%) Decrease 0.02%
2004 Michael Badnarik 1,675 (0.54%) Decrease 0.38%
2008 Bob Barr 1,589 (0.49%) Decrease 0.05%
2012 Gary Johnson 7,392 (2.46%) Increase 1.97%
2016 Gary Johnson 18,725 (5.88%) Increase 3.42%


Year House nominee Votes Change
1986 Betty Breck 4,182 (2.32%) Steady
1988 None None Decrease 2.32%
1998 None None Steady
2000 Len Karpinski 4,802 (1.75%) Increase 1.75%
2002 Rob Clift 3,797 (1.67%) Increase 0.08%
2004 Alvin A. Anders 7,157 (2.39%) Increase 0.72%
2006 Alexander Crawford 4,029 (1.72%) Decrease 0.67%
2008 None None Decrease 1.72%
2010 None None Steady
2012 Jim McDermott 15,028 (5.19%) Increase 5.19%
2014 Jim McDermott 21,290 (7.61%) Increase 2.42%
2016 Jim McDermott 31,770 (10.31%) Increase 2.70%
2018 None None Decrease 10.31%

Senate Class II

Year Senate nominee Votes Change
2002 Leonard Karpinski 2,354 (1.03%) Steady
2008 Fredrick Haase 2,483 (0.78%) Decrease 0.25%
2014 Mark Fish 10,512 (3.72%) Increase 1.94%

Senate Class III

Year Senate nominee Votes Change
1986 Chuck House 3,161 (1.75%) Steady
1992 None None Decrease 1.75%
1998 Scott A. Kohlhaas 5,046 (2.27%) Increase 2.27%
2004 Scott A. Kohlhaas 1,240 (0.40%) Decrease 1.87%
2010 David Haase 1,459 (0.57%) Increase 0.17%
2016 Joe Miller 90,825 (29.16%) Increase 28.59%


Year Gubernatorial nominee Votes Change
1982 Dick Randolph 29,067 (14.91%) Steady
1986 Mary Jane O'Brannon[b] 1,050 (0.58%)[c] Decrease 14.33%
1990 None None Decrease 0.58%
1994 None None Steady
1998 None None Steady
2002 William Toien 1,109 (0.48%) Increase 0.48%
2006 William Toien 682 (0.29%) Decrease 0.19%
2010 William Toien 2,682 (1.05%) Increase 0.76%
2014 Carolyn Clift 8,985 (3.21%) Increase 2.16%
2018 William Toien 5,402 (1.91%) Decrease 1.30%

Voter Registration

The stagnate registration rate is due to the fact that the Democratic-Libertarian-Independence primary is open which allows any member of either party to vote for a candidate.

Year RV. % Change
2002 7,235 (1.56%) Steady[20]
2003 7,235 (1.56%) Steady[21]
2004 7,331 (1.57%) Increase 0.01%[22]
2005 6,932 (1.45%) Decrease 0.12%[23]
2006[d] 9,400 (2.03%) Increase 0.58%[24]
2007 8,587 (1.83%) Decrease 0.17%[25]
2008 8,117 (1.69%) Decrease 0.14%[26]
2009 6,742 (1.34%) Decrease 0.35%[27]
2010 9,280 (1.90%) Increase 0.56%[28]
2011 8,804 (1.77%) Decrease 0.13%[29]
2012 8,051 (1.63%) Decrease 0.14%[30]
2013 7,687 (1.50%) Decrease 0.13%[31]
2014 7,523 (1.60%) Increase 0.10%[32]
2015 7,176 (1.40%) Decrease 0.20%[33]
2016 7,477 (1.46%) Increase 0.06%[34]
2017 7,599 (1.43%) Decrease 0.03%[35]
2018 7,579 (1.43%) Steady[36]
2019[e] 7,251 (1.25%) Decrease 0.18%[37]

See also


  1. ^ The Alaskan Independence Party has more registered voters, but has only ran four candidates in the past decade and none in 2018
  2. ^ The party leadership rejected O'Brannon and ran a write-in campaign with Ed Hoch as their candidate
  3. ^ Hoch: 107 (0.06%) Decrease 14.85%
  4. ^ Listed as political group
  5. ^ Listed as political group


  1. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2019".
  2. ^ Winger, Richard (September 6, 2016). "Colorado Libertarian Registration Exceeds 1%; First Time any Libertarian Registration That High in Any State, Except in Alaska". Ballot Access News. Archived from the original on September 7, 2016. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  3. ^ "Hospers featured speaker for Libertarian meeting". Archived from the original on 2019-05-01. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  4. ^ "Libertarian leader explains difference at confab here". Archived from the original on 2019-05-01. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  5. ^ "Alaska Libertarian Party 1980 convention".
  6. ^ "Libertarian Leader Quits Party; Seeking GOP Nod For Governor in '86". Archived from the original on 2019-04-10. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  7. ^ "Alaska Libertarian Party launches write-in against Libertarian Party primary victor 1986".
  8. ^ "Former Libertarian in Jail Over Ads". Daily Sitka Sentinel. March 17, 1986. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  9. ^ "1986 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Alaska" (PDF). Alaska Division of Elections. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
  10. ^ "Libertarians Lose". Daily Sitka Sentinel. November 5, 1986. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  11. ^ "Judge: Libertarians Should be on Ballot". Daily Sitka Sentinel. September 13, 1988. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  12. ^ "Libertarian, Taxpayers Parties to be on Ballot?". Daily Sitka Sentinel. September 22, 1992. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  13. ^ "Alaska Libertarian Party Registration Drive Ahead of Schedule". Ballot Access News. January 2, 2019. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  14. ^ "Alaska Libertarian Party Makes Headway on Ballot Access". Ballot Access News. November 7, 2019. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  15. ^ Herz, Nathaniel (September 6, 2016). "Joe Miller to run as Libertarian in hopes of unseating US Sen. Lisa Murkowski". Alaska Dispatch News. Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  16. ^ "2017 Bethel City Council Candidate Richard Robb". Archived from the original on 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  17. ^ "Kenneth Byron Jones wins City Council Seat B". Archived from the original on 2017-03-23. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  18. ^ "LNC Minutes July 17, 2016" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on July 1, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  19. ^ "Alaska Libertarian party boots chair weeks before election". Archived from the original on 2019-04-12. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  20. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2002" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-12-25. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  21. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2003" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-12-23. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  22. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2004". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  23. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2005". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  24. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2006". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  25. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2007". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  26. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2008". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  27. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2009". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  28. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2010". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  29. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2011". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  30. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2012". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  31. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2013". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  32. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2014". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  33. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2015". Archived from the original on 2019-04-11. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  34. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2016". Archived from the original on 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  35. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2017".
  36. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2018".
  37. ^ "Alaska Registered Voters 2019".

External links

This page was last edited on 11 November 2019, at 00:33
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