Arizona Libertarians Impact election results

Arizona Libertarians ran a slate including an active candidate for U.S. Senate and candidates for Congress in 6 districts out of 9. In the Senate race and 3 Congressional districts the Libertarian candidate received significant vote totals.

Attorney Marc Victor ran for U.S. Senate against Rep. Jeff Flake (Rep) and Richard Carmona, a Democrat who served as Surgeon General under President George W Bush. Mr Victor is a defense attorney who recently won an acquittal for a client charged with possessing 82 pounds of marijuana. Marketing himself as “Attorney for Freedom” Mr Victor has been an active Libertarian for years, and is profiled in the book “I Chose Liberty” by Prof. Walter Block.

Rep. Jeff Flake has been a strong voice against big government budget busting and has criticized the record of President Bush and Congressional Republicans as well as President Obama and the Democrats. Rep. Flake was elected with 49.8% over Dr Carmona, who received 45.8%. Attorney for Freedom Marc Victor won the support of more than 88,000 Arizona voters to get 4.4% and denied a majority to Sen-elect Flake. Results @ http://www.politico.com/2012-election/results/senate/arizona/

In the 1st Congressional District, with no incumbent, Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, a former member of Congress, was elected with 48.5% of the vote, defeating Republican Jonathan Paton, a former State Senator, who received 45.5%, Kim Allen received more than 14,000 votes on the Libertarian ticket, 6% that kept the winner from claiming a majority.

In the 9th Congressional District, former State Sen. Kyrsten Sinema claimed the seat for the Democrats with 48.3% of the vote. Paradise Mayor Vernon Parker (Rep) came in second with 45.3% while 13,835 votes were cast for Libertarian candidate Powell Gammill, 6.4% of the vote. Again the Democrat won with less than 50% of the vote.

Libertarians know that politicians are elected all the time even though many if not most people disagree with them on important issues. In the 1st and 9th Congressional Districts in Arizona, the newly elected members of Congress cannot claim that a majority sent them to Washington, so any attempt to claim a mandate is hollow.

In th 7th District, long-time Libertarian activist Joe Cobb faced incumbent Democrat Ed Pastor in a two way race. With votes still being counted, Joe Cobb has received the support of 20,102 voters, totaling 19% and the highest percentage of any Arizona Libertarian candidate for Congress this election.

Results for all nine Congressional Districts @ http://www.politico.com/2012-election/results/house/arizona/

Arizona Libertarian candidates have been able to appeal to the state’s long tradition of distrust of government. A tradition that the current Republican Party has moved away from as it has pushed new regulations against recent immigrants. This has lead to a backlash, with the founder of “Somos Republicanos” – once the nation’s largest Hispanic Republican network, quitting the Republican Party, becoming an Independent supporter of Gary Johnson. Among Republicans only Barry Goldwater Jr and Sen-Elect Jeff Flake have spoken out against the anti-immigrant movement.

Watch Arizona for future growth of The Libertarian Party, as the issues of immigration, marijuana legalization and the size of government continue to divide Republicans in that once solid red state.

16 thoughts on “Arizona Libertarians Impact election results

  1. Richard Winger

    Good post.

    Arizona Libertarians also helped defeated Prop. 121, which would have imposed a top-two system in Arizona. Green Party members also helped a great deal. The measure lost by a 2:1 margin.

  2. Krzysztof Lesiak

    Looks like Libertarian candidates have been spoilers in a ton of races this year. They helped lead to Rehberg losing his Senate bid and probably took away enough votes from Richard Tisei and Mia Love to cost them what would have been almost guaranteed pickups for the GOP.

    And, I think it’s probable that a Libertarian took away enough votes from Kerry Bentivolio to make him lose his special election. Now the Liberty movement will have to wait until January for him to take office and he’ll lose seniority that would be helpful with committee assignments.

    I think that Libertarians should maybe not be so quick to get into these really close races that could be won by candidates who are slightly less hostile to liberty than the Dems.

  3. give-me-liberty

    #3 – If the truly are liberty candidates they have nothing to worry about. The LP should continue running candidates in these races to force the GOP to move in a more libertarian direction.

  4. Thane Eichenauer

    @2
    “…should maybe not be so quick to get into these really close races…”
    I would assert that Libertarians should get into any and all races especially close ones.
    Either party, but in this case the Republicans, could easily capture tens of thousands of votes by advocating for much more peace and freedom instead of slightly more. If they can’t bear to clearly and publicly advocate for peace and for freedom then tough.
    Marc Victor won 4.4% of the vote despite being excluded from the last 2 of the three public televised debates. If (in this case) Jeff Flake can’t bring himself to advocate for the constitutional position that the US government has no enumerated power authorizing it to arrest and harass marijuana users, growers, distributors and salesmen then I say “With advocates of freedom like this who needs enemies?”
    http://qr.net/jLLR
    ^–Marc Victor’s article advocating legalization of methamphetamine

  5. George Phillies

    Republicans are by definition not closer to liberty than are Democrats. When you elect a Republican to Congress, you are electing a collection of far right wing fruit cakes — torture advocates, warmongers, antiabortionists — as committee chairs, etc.

  6. NewFederalist

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you, George but what do we get when we elect a Democrat to Congress?

  7. paulie

    candidates who are slightly less hostile to liberty than the Dems.

    Rehberg is certainly more hostile to liberty than the Democrat.

    As for the others: depends on what issues you find important.

  8. Robert Capozzi

    While it can’t be steered, I continue to believe the best we can hope for is divided government. Gridlock allows us to self-repair while the government is stalled.

  9. Richard Winger

    The more instances of minor party and independent candidates seeming to tilt the outcome, the greater the pressure on major party politicians to support Instant-Runoff Voting (also called Ranked Choice Voting). There should be more mention of that in IPR. Also other alternative forms of voting are good also, such as cumulative voting, approval voting, and the best, proportional representation.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    RW @ 14,

    “The more instances of minor party and independent candidates seeming to tilt the outcome, the greater the pressure on major party politicians to support Instant-Runoff Voting (also called Ranked Choice Voting).”

    True. But also the greater the pressure from the major party politicians to implement schemes like “top two.”

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