William Hunt Jr. of the Libertarian Party of Rhode Island finished second in a four-way special election race for a seat in the 68th state House of Representatives on March 5, obtaining 615 votes and 28.4 percent of the vote. In addition, he defeated incumbent Kenneth Marshall, who ran as an independent and wound up with 511 votes. Democrat June Speakman won with 862 votes.
The special election was called for when the winner of the seat from last November’s general election, Democrat Laufton Ascencao, stepped down rather than take the oath of office for admitting to falsifying documents related to his campaign account. Hunt also ran in that race, finishing second in the two-way race with 35 percent of the vote.
According to the GoLocalProv.com website, LP Rhode Island’s John Fennessy posted the following notice to Facebook: “Libertarian Billy Hunt came in 2nd place in a 4-way race for RI State Representative tonight, coming within a couple of hundred votes of beating the Democrat machine in one of the bluest States in the country. Proud as hell of Billy and this team tonight.”
Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee, congratulated Hunt for all his hard work and effective campaigning.
“Many thanks to Billy and his team for running a great campaign and for representing our party and ideas in Rhode Island,” Sarwark said. “The phenomenal efforts of people like Billy Hunt and all our dedicated campaign volunteers are the most crucial ingredient in spreading the Libertarian message, providing visibility for our growing party, gaining ballot access, and achieving elected office to change public policy. We can’t thank them enough for all that they do.”