“The Libertarian Party already is on track to be on every state ballot this fall. Party chairman Nicholas Sarwark, 36, whose family owns an independent car dealership in Phoenix, says more than one of this year’s presidential contenders have been in touch to express interest in the Libertarian nomination. He won’t name names or even specify if the calls came on behalf of Republicans or Democrats, or both.
“‘There’s a lot of frustration that candidates feel like they weren’t able to get a hearing from the Republican or Democratic races, that there wasn’t enough oxygen in the room,’ he says. He says his party could be open to nominating a newcomer. ‘It would be up to that candidate to make the case that they were Libertarian or Libertarian enough.’
“The party convention is in Orlando over Memorial Day weekend, with none of the delegates bound to a particular contender beforehand. The first nationally televised debate ever among Libertarian contenders was held last Friday on Fox Business News, featuring former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, The Libertarian Republic founder Austin Petersen and anti-virus software developer John McAfee.
“Johnson, the Libertarian nominee in 2012, doubts some high-profile Republican could move in and win the nomination.
“‘They’re going to get their heads handed to them,’ he predicted in an interview, saying the GOP’s conservative views on social issues would undermine their appeal among libertarians. That said, ‘they would bring a lot of welcome attention to the Libertarian Party’ if they try.”
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