By MOLLEE BRELAND, Alabama Daily News
Auburn, Ala. – For the first time since 2002, the Libertarian Party will have candidates on the November general election ballot.
Party Chairman Gavin Goodman, who is also running for Alabama’s U.S. House District 7, said more than 60 candidates, from Congress to county commissioner, are expected on the Nov. 8 ballot. Candidates will not be certified until Aug. 26, according to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.
Per state law, to get on the ballot, the party needed to gather more than 50,000 signatures statewide. It ended up with more than 70,000.
To get there, the party recruited candidates.
“We started with 14, and knew it wasn’t enough,” Goodman said.
Defeating well-known Republican incumbents will be a challenge, Goodman acknowledges.
“There are a few different metrics we are looking at,” Goodman said. “We know the Republican incumbents kind of expect our vote at this point. Some of these candidates have towed the party line, and we are trying to highlight that. The big question is: What has their reelection really done for you? There is a difference between what is said and what is done.
“We know it will be hard, but the main goal is to change up the conversation.”
According to the Libertarian Party of Alabama’s website, “The Libertarian Party of Alabama is committed to America’s heritage of freedom: Individual liberty and personal responsibility, a free market economy of abundance and prosperity, and a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade.”
The party advocated for no votes on the May 24 constitutional amendment to allow the state parks system to borrow $80 million for upgrades at various parks. It said the upgrades should be paid for through fees paid by those who use the parks.
About three dozen possible candidates are running for the state Legislature.
Libertarian Kyle Richard-Garrison, running for State Senate District 6, knows he’s an underdog against two-term incumbent Larry Stutts, R-Tuscumbia.
Richard-Garrison says he agrees with Stutts on some things, but there are some circumstances where they are going to differ.
“The most important thing Alabamians need to know about me is that I fully support individual freedoms,” he said. “The biggest difference between Sen. Stutts and I is that I actually want a smaller government. I want to legalize/decriminalize maruijuana, and I want to disband the Alabama ABC Board. I also want to stop for-profit police tactics like civil asset forfeiture.”
Stutts on Wednesday welcomed another candidate for the seat.
“I think competition makes everybody better, and a third-party having full ballot access is great because it keeps everybody honest and doing their job,” Sen. Stutts told ADN.
Richard-Garrison will have a financial challenge in running against Stutts, who has about $117,000 in his campaign account. Richard-Garrison plans to campaign at local festivals, farmers markets and other events.
Alabama Libertarian’s slate of state and federal candidates, according to its website.
U.S. Senate: John Sophoclues
U.S. House District 1: Alexander Ramey
U.S. House District 2: Jonathan Realz
U.S. House District 3: Thomas Casson
U.S. House District 4: Johnny C. Cochran
U.S. House District 5: Phillip “PJ” Greer
U.S. House District 6: Andria Chieffo
U.S. House District 7: Gavin Goodman
State Auditor: Leah LaChine
Governor: James “Jimmy” Blake
Lt. Governor: Ruth-Page Nelson
Secretary of State: Jason “Matt” Shelby
State Treasurer: Scott Hammond
House District 6: Greg Turner
House District 7: Marc Durocher
House District 8: Angela Walser
House District 9: Gregory Bodine
House District 10: Elijah Boyd
House District 13: Marc Davenport
House District 18: Talia Shimp
House District 29: Clifford Foy Valentin
House District 38: Charles Temm Jr.
House District 41: Matthew Morris
House District 42: Doug Ward
House District 43: Jason Burr
House District 44: John Wiley Boone
House District 45: Kari Mitchell Whitaker
House District 48: Bruce Stutts
House District 56: Carson B. Lester
House District 57: Manijeh Nancy Jones
House District 60: J.P. French
House District 61: Damon Pruet
House District 64: Jeff May
House District 76: Scott Manges
House District 79: Amanda Frison
House District 88: Justin “Tyler” May
House District 94: Margaret “Maggie” Helveston
House District 100: Peyton Warren
House District 104: Jonathan “Jon” Dearman
House District 105: Mark Lewis
Senate District 3: Rick Chandler
Senate District 6: Kyle Richard-Garrison
Senate District 15: Micheal Crump
Senate District 17: John Fortenberry
Senate District 19: Danny Wilson
State Senate 23: Portia Shepard
State Senate 24: Richard Benderson
Senate District 25: Louie Albert Woolbright
Senate District 28: David Boatwright
Senate District 29: Floyd “Pete” McBroom
Senate District 35: Clifton Hudson