Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark runs for mayor of Phoenix

Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee, files his candidacy for mayor of Phoenix.
Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee, files his candidacy for mayor of Phoenix.

Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee, is officially a candidate for mayor of Phoenix, Ariz. When Sarwark filed for the office, he quoted Irish poet John Anster’s interpretation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it, Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” As LNC chair, Sarwark has been instrumental in the push for the Libertarian Party to field more than 2,000 candidates for local, state, and federal office this year. By filing papers to run as a candidate for mayor of Phoenix, Sarwark is doing more than talking the talk. He’s walking the walk.

“I saw … a need to have somebody with some business experience in addition to public service to kind of take a fresh look at it and say, ‘Is there a way that the city can meet the obligations it has by balancing the checkbook, making the kind of hard decisions and bringing people to the table for discussion that you have to do all the time in business if you have payroll to make?’” Sarwark said to the Arizona Republic shortly after first announcing his candidacy in December.

This will not be a paper candidacy. For several months, Sarwark has been busy raising money, building a campaign website, recruiting campaign volunteers, and developing a comprehensive plan for dealing with Phoenix issues, with bold Libertarian solutions for the city budget, the pension crisis, public safety, city services, the homeless population, and more.

The Phoenix mayoral race is officially nonpartisan, but Sarwark contends that partisan Democratic and Republican behavior has led the Phoenix City Council to less than optimal decisions. He will focus on safe streets and clean water, not partisan pet projects.

“I’m trying to take the partisanship out of it and I feel like there’s no better way that people will trust that I’m not partisan on this than to point out that I’m not part of either of those teams that spent all of the council meetings throwing rocks at each other,” Sarwark said to the Arizona Republic. “I don’t play for either of those teams so everybody’s going to be treated fairly.”

Sarwark is a Phoenix native. He and his wife Valerie have three children, Ruth (7), Joel (6) and Ava (3). After practicing law as a public defender in Colorado for several years, Sarwark returned to Phoenix to become vice president of his family’s auto dealership. Founded by his grandfather in 1942, it is the oldest independent car dealership in Phoenix.

“In 1942, my grandfather, Roman ‘Slim’ Sarwark, came to Phoenix with one lung, the change in his pocket, and a dream,” Sarwark said. “A dream to build a life for his family. Phoenix is my family’s home. After finishing law school and starting my legal career, I came back home to Phoenix to fulfill that dream for my wife, Valerie, and our three children. Phoenix is our home. We want Phoenix to be a great and safe place to raise your children, start a business, and fulfill your American dream. Phoenix is your home.”