In an unprecedented move, two Libertarian candidates for governor of California were endorsed by the Libertarian Party of California during its state convention on April 29. It’s possible that both gubernatorial candidates, Nickolas Wildstar and Zoltan Istvan, could place first and second in the June primary and give voters a choice between two Libertarians in the November general election. Wildstar was endorsed unanimously by the convention delegates. Istvan was endorsed by a 45-35 vote of delegates.
Nickolas Wildstar was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wis., and moved to California 10 days after he graduated from high school. He’s been writing, producing and performing music since he was 14 years old, and is also known as the rapper QBall.
During the predawn hours on Martin Luther King Day in 2017, Wildstar was walking to the bus stop, ready to commute to his day job when he was arrested by police officers who mistakenly thought he matched the description of a suspect. The only similarity in their descriptions is that they were both black. Wildstar verbally expressed his displeasure at being stopped, so he was arrested for resisting arrest. On April 25, an Orange County jury unanimously found him not guilty of that charge. Wildstar has been traveling throughout California for several months, conducting a grassroots campaign.
Zoltan Istvan is one of the world’s leading transhumanists and futurists. He published the science and philosophy best-selling book The Transhumanist Wager, and his career has included stints as a filmmaker for the National Geographic Channel and a director of the wildlife nonprofit WildAid. He has also written futurist libertarian articles for Newsweek, Outside, the Daily Caller, the Huffington Post, Wired, TechCrunch, the Daily Beast, Gizmodo, New Scientist, Yahoo! News, and more. Istvan’s reporting from the war in Kashmir was made into the documentary Pawns of Paradise.
A graduate of Columbia University in philosophy and religion, Istvan lives in San Francisco with his physician wife and two daughters. He is also a successful real estate entrepreneur, owns a vineyard in Argentina, and invented the extreme sport of volcano surfing. While in college, Istvan was arrested by undercover cops for selling $80 worth of marijuana to fellow students, and his resulting felony conviction has informed his opposition to the drug war.
Other candidates endorsed by LP California at its state convention include Tim Ferreira for lieutenant governor, Gail Lightfoot for secretary of state, Angela McCardle to represent the state’s 34th Congressional District, Brandon Reiser for the 48th Congressional District, and a long list of candidates for the California Senate and Assembly.