If the 2018 gubernatorial candidate for the Libertarian Party of Arkansas (LPAR) receives at least 3 percent of the vote, the party will retain ballot access for the first time in its history. An Aug. 2 article in Independent Arkansas highlights the campaign of Mark West, a potential LPAR candidate for governor in 2018, and explains the importance of that percentage threshold.
“In some states, including Maine and Vermont, voters recently have elected non-major party candidates to major offices,” author Steve Brawner writes. “But at the state and national levels, Arkansas is a Republican state except in those pockets where it’s solidly Democratic.”
Brawner continues, “Still, elections aren’t simply about picking winners and losers. They’re also a conversation about what government should look like. Libertarians are the party of not just less government, but much less. As West pointed out, he’ll be the opposition candidate making the case against Arkansas Works, the program using federal dollars to purchase private health insurance for lower-income Arkansans. [Republican Gov. Asa] Hutchinson embraces it while seeking to shrink it; the Democrat will surely support it wholeheartedly. West also will be the candidate arguing for the fullest gun carry rights in a very pro-gun state. Ultimately, he would cut government far more than Republicans and Democrats would, and more than many voters would as well.”
West ran for the U.S. House first district for the LPAR in 2016, getting 24 percent of the vote in a two-way race.