Another elected official has switched to the Libertarian Party, this time in Maine. Zakk Maher, a county commissioner for Androscoggin County, Maine, joined the Libertarian Party on Sept. 7 after having been elected to the seat last November as a Republican. Maher defeated the challenger with 63 percent of the vote, and his term lasts until the end of 2020.
“In an effort to reaffirm my own principles, as well as my passion for community service, I am enrolling in the Libertarian Party of Maine,” Maher wrote on his website. “I believe that each of us as a ‘living creature, the creating individual,’ as Bruce Lee once mused, ‘is always more important than any established style or system.’ As a Libertarian, I feel confident that when I say we believe in you, there are no ifs, ands, or buts. And by freeing ourselves from the current political dichotomy I am positive the path forward for the County, the State and the Nation will be less turbulent, allowing our interpersonal relationships within our own community to bear much more fruit.”
Maher is the second county commissioner to switch to the Libertarian Party in the past year. Jim Byrne of the Kankakee County Board in Illinois came over to the LP on Dec. 7. They join several other elected officials who have switched to the Libertarian Party in recent months, including two New Hampshire state legislators, a Utah state senator, a Delaware city councilman, and an Iowa city councilman.
“The gains that have been made in Maine by the liberty movement have been the inspiration for me to get involved with local government,” Maher said. “We have seen a lot of support and growth of the liberty movement within the Maine Republican Party, but we are still hindered by the RNC and social conservatives that dominate the membership, even refusing to seat the Maine delegation at their national convention.”
The Libertarian Party of Maine became a state-recognized political party in June, thanks to the passage of L.D. 1571, which relaxed requirements for registered members.
“Achieving official party status offers an affiliation to Mainers that actually fits how most of us perceive the proper role of government,” Maher said. “We are a live-and-let-live type of people who are used to supporting ourselves. That is evident in the fact that we are, per capita, the self-employment capital of the United States. I am proud to be a self-reliant, native Mainer, and am now proud to work within a party that I feel confident truly believes in me, no ifs, ands, or buts.”
The Libertarian Party now has 159 elected officials.