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One libertarian was actually elected in the DC metropolitan area

21 Dec

John Vihstadt, a small “l” libertarian who ran as an independent in Arlington County (one of the wealthy DC suburbs with a population of over 200,000 and containing the Pentagon) was re-elected in November, the first non-Democrat on the county board in decades, with 56% of the vote.  Vihstadt had been elected only a few months previously in a special election.

Vihstadt, an attorney, was endorsed by Democrats, independents, Greens, Libertarians, and the Arlington County Young Republicans, a local Republican club dominated by supporters of Ron Paul and the Campaign for Liberty.

In one ad, Vihstadt is endorsed by two Democrats, a Green Party voter, a Republican, and Laura Delhomme, a Libertarian Party candidate who won 27% of the vote in an Arlington district in a 2013 run for the Virginia State Legislature.

Initially Vihstadt was going to face an additional candidate, Evan Bernick, a Libertarian Party candidate who is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago Law School.  The owner of this blog asked, actually fairly innocently, simply out of curiosity, at Mr. Bernick’s initial fundraiser, how he would distinguish himself from Vihstadt, who was not simply a libertarian leaning Republican, but a libertarianish Independent.  Bernick had a lengthy answer whose actual content was difficult for me, as a non-lawyer, to comprehend; however, he withdrew from the race shortly thereafter.

Vihstadt campaigned mainly on issues of controlling the budget, especially ending planned mass transit boondoggles.

A note on Libertarian Pragmatism

25 Oct
A continuing tension in the libertarian movement, which isn’t going away, is about whether libertarians, or those libertarians who believe in (at least sometimes) working in electoral politics, should work in the Libertarian Party or in one of the incumbent parties (usually taken to be the Republican Party).