Accomplished LP state chairs who stepped down in 2015

This article was originally published in the Sept. 2015 issue of LP News (page 4).

Twenty-two LP state affiliates elected new leadership in 2015 while several long-term and accomplished state chairs stepped down.

Mark_Axinn headshot (photo) Mark Axinn

Mark Axinn was chair of the New York LP for five years. He raised tens of thousands of dollars for petitioning in his state and coordinated three petitioning campaigns that brought in more than 90,000 voter signatures for more than a dozen statewide candidates. New York is one of the toughest states for ballot access.

“I am delighted that the delegates selected a strong team headed by Mark Glogowski as our new chair, with an agenda to attract new members and add more local chapters in the Libertarian Party,” Axinn commented. “I know that the LPNY will be even stronger when my successor retires than it is today.”


Ken Moellman headshot (photo) Ken Moellman

As state chair for a total of six years (plus three years as 4th District chair), Ken Moellman grew the Kentucky LP into a statewide organization. He took a break from leadership to become a statewide candidate in 2011. He also served as a campaign manager for several campaigns and as LPKY ballot access coordinator. During his tenure, active affiliate parties, Libertarian voter registration, and overall Libertarian vote totals increased significantly.

“I want to sincerely thank all of our leaders, activists, donors, and voters,” Moellman said. “Wit hout all of you, the gains we have seen would not have been possible. LPKY is a team, voluntarily working together toward a common goal: liberty. I want to encourage those who are sitting on the sidelines, or who think our cause cannot win, t o look at the gains that we have made in such a (relatively) short period of time. There’s a role for everyone in this movement. Find your niche, and help us move forward our common cause.”


Warren Severin headshot (photo)Warren Severin

As chair of LP Arizona for four years (preceded by eight years as treasurer and secretary), Warren Severin played a key role in staving off two attempts by the legislature to enact “top two”; recovered the party from near bankruptcy; engaged in several lawsuits, including one against the Commission on Presidential Debates; and ran a solid slate of candidates for state and local office with some of t he best Libertarian vote percentages nationwide. Severin also ran for office himself five times.

“It’s been fun,” he said.


Jessica and Rodger
Paxton (color photo)Rodger and Jessica Paxton

The Arkansas LP is one of the most improved affiliates over the past four years, thanks largely to the leadership of Rodger and Jessica Paxton . They ran 18 candidates for public office in 2 012 and 28 in 2014, the first non-presidential partisan Libertarian ca ndidates ever to run in the state. They elected three Libertarians to office in 2014 and two in 2012.

“We are so thankful for the years we spent helping to grow the membership and gain ballot access for the L PAR for the first time in history,” the Paxtons said. “Without our members, candidates, and the tens of thousands of Arkansans who cast th eir votes for Libertarian candidates, the LPAR wouldn’t be where it is t oday. For now, we plan to enjoy some time off to focus on our family and The LAVA Flow Podcast while the LPAR flourishes under new, ca pable leadership.”


Cisse Spragins color headshot (photo)Cisse Spragins

Under the leadership of Cisse Spragins for two biannual election cycles, the Missouri LP fielded a full slate of candidates for all statewide and federal offices, as well as many down-ticket races.

In each election, Libertarian vote totals went up over the previou s election. Numerous campaigns set new high marks for votes and vote percentages. The party maintained a consistent presence in state polit ics through activities such as maintaining a booth at the state fair a nd printing and mailing 3,000 copies of an eight-page tabloid-style ne wsletter each year.


Kevin Knedler color candid, at microphone (photo)Kevin Knedler

Kevin Knedler served as Ohio LP state chair for eight years, achieving ballot access for seven of those years (Ohio LP had ballot access only twice before: 1982–84 and 2000–02). They ran a full slate of statewide candidates in 2010, which was the first time a small party had done this in Ohio since 1932.

He put considerable energy into building the LP for growth and fixing problems, including lifting the party from debt, moving the headquarters from an unsafe part of town, developing outreach materials and equipment, fixing numerous website problems, and updating the party’s bylaws and constitution. The Ohio LP also hosted the LP national convention in 2014.


Kevin Takenaga stepped down after serving for eight years as chair for the California LP. During his tenure, the party focused on local campaigns, electing seven Libertarians to office, and reelecting 10 over the last four years. Currently, 17 elected Libertarians are serving in office in the state.