Libertarians win historic court case putting partisan LP Tennessee candidates on ballot

Jim Tomasik for TN State House
Jim Tomasik,
LP Tennessee
Candidate for state House

Represented by Oklahoma Libertarian attorney Jim Linger, the Tennessee Libertarian Party (LPTN) and state chair Jim Tomasik won their case for ballot access in federal court on Oct. 31.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee ordered election officials to list Tomasik as a Libertarian on the ballot for the Nov. 21 special election for state house, rather than as an independent.

Federal Judge William J. Haynes had already ruled provisions of Tennessee’s ballot access law unconstitutional in February 2012 in response to a joint suit by the Green Party and Constitution Party, a decision that the state is appealing.

The law put Democratic and Republican candidates on the ballot automatically, while minor-party candidates were required to meet standards set so high that they were effectively forced to run as independents.

To gain state ballot access, third parties were required to submit roughly 40,000 signatures, all gathered by members of their own party and within tight deadlines. Tomasik maintains that even the majority parties would not be able to satisfy such prohibitive requirements.

Jim Tomasik will face Democrat Ramesh Akbari in a two-way race in State House District 91. The seat opened up when incumbent Rep. Lois DeBerry died earlier this year.

Prior to the new ruling, Republican-appointed election coordinator Mark Goins refused to identify candidates as Libertarian on the ballot.

Jim Tomasik commented to about the court’s decision:

“Judge Haynes has ordered Mark Goins and [election officials] to correct their deceptive attempt to keep vital information from voters. [It] is a milestone for the 1st Amendment in Tennessee. I’m very honored to be the first Libertarian Candidate vying for a Tennessee legislative seat in history to have proper party recognition.”

Jim Tomasik is running for legislature on a platform to:

  • repeal all asset forfeiture Laws
  • work to restrict no-knock raids, which have caused numerous deaths of innocent people, and
  • end the sales tax on food.

Tomasik has been a political activist for nearly 10 years. He has promoted civil liberty issues and innovative tax reform ideas both in the U.S. Congress and in Nashville, and he has encouraged Tennessee LP activists to promote bills that restore and protect the Bill of Rights.

Visit the Jim Tomasik website.