Washington LP has three candidates finish first or second to advance to the general election

LPWA chair Steven Nielson
LPWA chair Steven Nielson

The Washington Libertarian Party had three local candidates finish first or second in their primary elections on August 4, and they will appear on the general election ballot this November.

Washington state has a two-only (“top two”) primary system, in which all candidates for a specific office appear on the primary ballot, but only the top two finishers, regardless of party, advance to the general election.

“The Libertarian Party strongly opposes the two-only voting system,” said Carla Howell, Political Director for the national LP. “It’s one more way in which Democratic and Republican party elites rig elections.”

“Whereas our Washington state affiliate has done a fantastic job running candidates in the face of this obstacle, they remain excluded from the limelight of top-ticket races such as governor and U.S. Senate and any race that is not a ‘safe seat’ due to this onerous and unjust law,” she said.

Local candidates, such as the Libertarians running this year, do not get a party label on the ballot, but candidates in state and federal races can be listed with a “prefers xxx party” label. 

The candidates advancing to the general election are:

  • Gavin Keefe – Yakima City Council, District 6
  • Don Myers – Moses Lake City Council, Member #3
  • Joshua Penner – Pierce County Charter Review Commission, District 1 Position 3

Mr. Penner finished first in his primary, with over 46% of the vote. He is also a member of the Orting City Council, having been elected in 2011.

From LPWA chair Steven Nielson: “The success of our candidates…is a direct result of their dedication to our party’s resurgence.  We have clear goals and we as a state party are encouraging as much diversity in how regions and campaigns are delivering on those goals.”

“We are learning from what is working and refining what does not.  In doing so we are realizing consecutive years with measurable success and creating an environment that is “safe” for more citizens to explore outside the traditional two party box, so much so that high ranking political retirees are volunteering to help our move against the entrenched establishment.  That alone is a key measure of success; one that is owed directly to those brave enough to place their name on the ballot and stand for liberty.”

“I encourage every libertarian to donate and support our Washington candidates as we continue to make history in a system clearly intended to be stacked against us.”

The LPWA will have ten candidates on the November ballot.