Political success doesn’t happen overnight.
Winning a single political campaign requires countless hours of work to qualify for the ballot, hone a message, reach out to potential constituents, and persuade the voting public that you’ll do a better job representing them than the other candidates would.
That single winning campaign also builds on a lifetime of other accomplishments, in school, in business, in communities, in political parties, and in more modest levels of public office.
Libertarian Jeff Hewitt just won the Nov. 6 election for his position on the Board of Supervisors in Riverside County, Calif., one of the most exciting victories in Libertarian Party history. This race was so close that officials took an extra month to count all the provisional and absentee ballots before declaring the winner, and now Hewitt will be representing a county with nearly 2.5 million residents — larger than the populations of 15 states.
How did he do it? By playing the long game.
Hewitt’s success in this important political campaign builds on his successful tenure as the Libertarian mayor of Calimesa, Calif., where he replaced the city’s contract with state and county firefighters by building a less expensive city fire department and saving the city from bankruptcy by moving them to a sustainable pension plan.
His practical experience implementing a plan of fiscal responsibility earned him endorsements in his Riverside County race from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the largest local newspaper, the Press Enterprise. It also brought fierce opposition from public-sector unions, who don’t want any of their cozy benefits to be trimmed. As hard as they fought, though, Hewitt prevailed.
Before his time as mayor, Hewitt also served on the Calimesa City Council. Before that, he spent time on the city’s planning commission. In those roles, he gained an in-depth understanding of the city’s problems and began to develop the effective solutions that he became known for implementing. Almost 20 years before that, he founded a successful small business in swimming pool construction that continues to thrive today.
Hewitt’s latest political success builds on the rest of his experience, a process that can only happen step by step. Only by laying the careful groundwork of personal education, entrepreneurial vision, public service, electoral savvy, fiscal prudence, commitment to freedom, and mountains of hard work was he able to win one of the biggest electoral victories in the history of the Libertarian Party.
Hewitt’s success is an example for all of us. Just as one campaign victory doesn’t happen overnight, neither does the influence of an entire political party. We’ve been laying groundwork for 47 years since the Libertarian Party was founded in 1971, building the third-largest political party in the United States with ballot access across the country and countless victories in local elections.
We have a long way to go before we achieve a libertarian society, and that can only come about if we elect many more Libertarian candidates who will transform a deep intellectual tradition into an engine for actually changing public policy.
On a Dec. 5 conference call with Libertarians around the country, Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark spoke at length about our strategy for 2019 and beyond. He explained why we’re all playing the long game.
“What we’re trying to do is keep advancing down the field regardless of the other things that are happening in the world or in politics,” Sarwark said. “We have to show up to every election. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a blue wave or a red wall, if it’s presidential, if it’s a mid-term or if it’s odd years.”
In order to win, we have to take every step, build on every prior success, and overcome every setback.
We win by staying in the game for the long haul, and by working as smart and as hard as we can along the way.
The only way we can do this is through the support of Libertarian Party members and activists throughout the country. Your support is the engine that moves this cause forward.
If your membership has lapsed, please take a moment to renew. If you’ve never officially joined us, please do so today! If you’re in a position to donate even more, now is the time. It’s quick and painless, and your small contribution builds on hundreds of thousands of others.
Together, we can all move toward a freer society.
As always, thank you!
Interim Executive Director