Libertarian candidates receive major endorsements

William Hunt Jr.
William Hunt Jr.

At least three Libertarian Party candidates for public office have received recent endorsements by major media. The latest to receive such an endorsement is William Hunt Jr., the Libertarian Party candidate for Rhode Island House of Representatives in District 68, who received the endorsements of two prominent Rhode Island Democrats and two equally prominent Rhode Island Republicans on Oct. 30. The incumbent in the office for which Hunt is running, Democratic Rep. Kenneth Marshall, signed a letter endorsing Hunt, along with former Democratic Rep. Jon Malick of District 67, as well as two Republicans, Bristol GOP Town Committee Chair Thomas Carroll and Warren GOP Town Committee Chair Mark Smiley.

“National partisan politics have created a shameful divide in our nation,” said the Hunt endorsement letter, which was released at the Bristol candidate form held by the League of Women Voters of Rhode Island. “Both the left and the right have moved to extreme ends of their respective political philosophies and created a barrier to compromise and reason. We … officially endorse Libertarian candidate William Hunt Jr. to be the next state representative of District 68, Bristol/Warren.”

Hunt previously ran against Marshall for the District 68 seat in 2016, garnering 38 percent of the vote.

“Electing me as a third-party candidate will go a long way toward bridging that political divide and bringing opportunities for collaboration and principled compromise back to the political arena,” Hunt said in response to the endorsement. “When elected, I will work with Democrats, Republicans, and independents on issues that align with the Libertarian philosophy, which practices fiscal responsibility and protects personal freedoms.”

Lucy Brenton
Lucy Brenton

People are increasingly realizing that Libertarian Party candidates are both more fiscally responsible than their Republican opponents and more socially tolerant and accepting than their Democratic opponents. Democrats in Indiana, for instance, recently sent out mailers to conservatives that Lucy Brenton, the Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate from Indiana, is more responsible on fiscal issues than the Republican candidate.

“They’re right,” said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark, who is also running for mayor of Phoenix. “We’re waiting for Indiana Republicans to point out to Hoosier liberals that Brenton is also better on police reform and foreign wars than the Democratic candidate.”

Libertarians are in a unique position to build bridges between radical populist Republicans and radical progressive Democrats.

“This is now the sweet spot for Libertarians,” Sarwark said. “We like being the voice of reason, moderation, and common sense. Gerrymandered districts and the increasingly tribal nature of the dinosaur parties leaves Libertarians alone in the middle, defending everyone’s constitutional freedoms all the time.”

Dan Fishman
Dan Fishman

Libertarian Party candidates are not only receiving endorsements from Republicans and Democrats, major newspapers are also endorsing Libertarians. The Boston Globe recently endorsed Libertarian Party candidate Dan Fishman in his campaign for state auditor of Massachusetts.

“The unfolding payroll scandal at the State Police — which somehow escaped the incumbent Democratic auditor’s notice — is a good example of the sort of waste and abuse that a real activist in the job might ferret out on behalf of taxpayers,” the Boston Globe endorsement said. “An auditor without any partisan axes to grind could shake up the state. In that spirit, the Globe endorses Daniel Fishman of Beverly, the Libertarian candidate, in the Nov. 6 general election.”

Jeffrey Hewitt
Jeffrey Hewitt

The Riverside Press-Enterprise has endorsed Calimesa Mayor Jeff Hewitt for Riverside County supervisor in the 5th District.

We strongly urge voters elect Jeff Hewitt to the Board of Supervisors.

Backed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Hewitt is the rare sort of politician who can get straight to the point about the problems of county government and speak honestly about what the region needs to have happen.

Hewitt is not just a talker. He gets things done. One of his most notable successes as mayor of Calimesa was working to get his city out from under Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department, saving the citizens money without compromising public safety.

He’ll bring that same approach to Riverside County. Recognizing the folly in contracting with a high-cost consulting firm to find efficiencies in county government, Hewitt suggests working with department heads and county staff to do so instead. It’s a common-sense perspective the board could desperately use.

Steve Dutner
Steve Dutner

The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., has also endorsed Steve Dutner for Illinois secretary of state.

But the person who offered the most pragmatic ideas as to how to modernize and improve the secretary of state’s office is Libertarian candidate Steve Dutner.

He wants to cut down redundancies between the secretary of state’s police force and the 10 other state police agencies. He suggested getting rid of the front license plate requirement, something many other states do. These ideas have merit and demonstrate a mindset toward providing a more efficient government for taxpayers.

Dutner recognizes the need to protect the plethora of information the secretary of state’s office has on Illinois residents in order to minimize threats of identity theft. He would make the website easier to navigate and include a mobile app, as well as streamline the FOIA process for the office.

He also wants to consider contracting out driver services. That would include bringing kiosks to places like grocery stores and libraries where basic tasks — like renewing a license or a plate — can be done. We’d like to see some proof that savings can be guaranteed with such a move before we’d consider it seriously. But we like that Dutner is thinking differently about how to run an office that most Illinois residents come in contact with fairly regularly.

Dutner offers the most practical solutions that could improve and modernize the office, and comes with the least political baggage. Dutner is endorsed.

There are more than 800 Libertarian Party candidates running for local, state, and federal office this year. That’s a 39 percent increase over 2016. Whether or not they are endorsed by media outlets, Democrats, or Republicans, they are all running campaigns that focus on common-sense strategies to bridge our partisan divide while protecting our freedoms and, slashing government spending, and cutting taxes.

Did you Know?

There are more than 225 Libertarians in elected office. Here are some of the newest.