USA Today: Not a Republican, not a Democrat: Wyoming’s Marshall Burt wins Libertarian Party’s first statehouse seat since 2002

Marshall Burt

Marshall Burt

From USA Today on November 5, 2020:

The Libertarian Party earned a historic victory Tuesday [November 3], clinching a statehouse seat for the first time in nearly two decades.

Marshall Burt was elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives in its 39th district, defeating Democrat incumbent Stan Blake, said Bob Johnston on the Libertarian National Committee.

“This is only the fifth time in Libertarian Party history a candidate running only on the LP label has been elected to a state legislature, and the first time in 20 years,” he wrote in a statement.

Before Burt’s victory, the Libertarian Party’s last state win was in 2002, when Vermont Rep. Neil Randall was reelected to his second and final term in the state Legislature. [Note: Mr. Randall was elected as a fusion candidate, running as a Libertarian and a Republican. The last legislator to be elected solely on the LP ticket prior to Mr. Burt was Steve Vaillancourt in New Hampshire in 2000.]

Burt will be Wyoming’s first third-party legislator in more than a century, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

The Star-Tribune labeled Burt’s victory as “stunning” and described Blake as “a beloved figure in local politics” who often voted with Republicans in the Wyoming House.

“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Sweetwater County,” Blake wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday night. “They have spoken with their votes. My efforts came up short. I have so many people to thank who contributed, put up signs, walked with me and gave tremendous support. I congratulated my opponent and wished him luck. I am so excited for what the future holds.”

The Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, Jo Jorgensen, received the second-highest number of votes in the party’s 49-year history. Only Gary Johnson, who received 3.28% of the vote in 2016, has received greater support in a presidential election.