Booster PAC: Travis County, Texas may be the most Libertarian large county in America

The leaders of Libertarian Booster PAC, Wes Benedict and Arthur DiBianca, suggest that Travis County, Texas is the most Libertarian large county in America.

(“Large” defined as 100,000 or more total votes for president in the November 2012 election. That includes roughly 250 counties.)

Based on the 2010 census, Travis County is the 39th-largest county in the U.S. with a population of 1,024,266.

Some 2012 stats to consider:

  • 31 Libertarian candidates on the Travis County ballot, more than any other county in America
  • 2.7% for Gary Johnson, the highest percentage nationwide for large counties outside of New Mexico (Johnson’s home state)
  • Four Libertarians got over 40% of the vote for the portion of their district within Travis County:
    1. RS Roberto Koelsch (Supreme Court, Place 2)
    2. Mark W. Bennett (Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 7)
    3. William Bryan Strange, III (Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 8)
    4. Ben Easton (U.S. Representative, District 17)
  • Six Libertarians running for offices contained within Travis County, and running against both a Republican and Democrat, got over 5% of the vote:
    1. Joe Edgar (State Representative, District 48)
    2. Jaclyn L. Finkel (Travis County Sheriff)
    3. Mike Burris (Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector)
    4. Pat Dixon (Travis County Commissioner, Precinct 3)
    5. Raul “Roy” Camacho (Travis County Constable, Precinct 2)
    6. Scott G. McKinlay (Travis County Constable, Precinct 3)

While no Travis County Libertarian candidates in partisan races won their elections, Travis County resident Ed Tidwell, a dues-paying Libertarian Party member, won his race for Lago Vista City Council. Current Texas LP Chair Pat Dixon served two terms on the Lago Vista City Council.

The current chair of the national LP, Geoffrey Neale, lives in Travis County, and the previous executive director of the national LP, Wes Benedict, is a former Travis County resident and former chair of the Travis County Libertarian Party. 2004 Libertarian presidential nominee Michael Badnarik had previously run for office as a Libertarian in Travis County, and his presidential campaign headquarters were located in Travis County.

Travis County is also the home of Libertarian Booster PAC, which had the highest revenue of any non-federal political action committee in the U.S. dedicated to promoting Libertarian Party candidates in the 2012 election cycle.

http://www.libertarianboosterpac.org/

14 thoughts on “Booster PAC: Travis County, Texas may be the most Libertarian large county in America

  1. johnO

    The county should claim the mantle “Live Free or Die.” New Hampshire lost it with this years election of all D’s.

  2. Pingback: The most Libertarian place in America | The Penn Ave Post

  3. Gene Berkman

    Just so everyone knows, Austin, Texas is the largest city in Travis County. Austin is the state capitol and home of the largest campus of the Unversity of Texas, with more than 40,000 students.

    Also significant – Whole Foods Market started in Austin, Texas, and John Mackey, President of Whole Foods is a supporter of The Libertarian Party.

    Austin has had a very active Libertarian scene for many years. I lived there from 1977 to 1982, and was Chair of Travis County Libertarian Party in 1981 and 1982. We had an active group and a public presence, but the Libertarian Party has grown tremendously in Austin and Travis County since then.

  4. Andy

    “Gene Berkman // Dec 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Just so everyone knows, Austin, Texas is the largest city in Travis County. Austin is the state capitol and home of the largest campus of the Unversity of Texas, with more than 40,000 students.”

    When the LP of TX had to petition to get back on the ballot in 2004 the campus police at the University of Texas in Austin ran petition circulators off of the campus under the threat of arrest. The problem never did get resolved.

    “Also significant – Whole Foods Market started in Austin, Texas, and John Mackey, President of Whole Foods is a supporter of The Libertarian Party.”

    John Mackey claims to be a libertarian, but he will not allow petition signature gathering for Libertarian Party ballot access or for anything else to take place at Whole Foods, unless it is in a state or place where he is forced to allow it by law. This means that people are prevented from gathering petition signatures in front of Whole Foods at the majority of their locations across the country.

    I’m not aware of John Mackey ever having donated even a penny to the Libertarian Party itself, but I know that he did donate $5,000 to Gary Johnson’s campaign as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President.

    Several people, myself included, have contacted John Mackey about the problems related to ballot access, and why it would be a tremendous help if he could issue a letter or statement giving the green light to petition signature gathering at Whole Foods, yet in spite of this, he still refuses to allow it, even though we agreed to follow common sense rules such as not blocking the door, and even though we have pointed out that there are a few other stores (although the majority of stores will not allow it, unless they are force to allow by law in the few states that enforce this such as California, and even there it is not always enforce uniformly) that have allowed us to do this.

    I found it to be rather ironic this past summer when a petition circulator who was gathering signatures to place Gary Johnson on the ballot got run out of a Whole Foods in Alabama just a few weeks after John Mackey had donated $5,000 to the Gary Johnson campaign.

    Somebody may say something like, “If you can’t go to Whole Foods to gather petition signatures then just go somewhere else.” The problem with this is finding other locations where there is enough foot traffic to gather petition signatures and where you will not get run out by the police, government bureaucrats, security guards, or a store manager. There really aren’t that many places left in this country where one can gather petition signatures and not get hassled and run off by somebody.

    One would think that a person who is fortunate enough to be in the position that Mr. Mackey is in and who claims to be a libertarian would want to do something about this, but Mr. Mackey doesn’t seem to care if Libertarian Party candidates or libertarian issues make the ballot or not.

    “Austin has had a very active Libertarian scene for many years. I lived there from 1977 to 1982, and was Chair of Travis County Libertarian Party in 1981 and 1982. We had an active group and a public presence, but the Libertarian Party has grown tremendously in Austin and Travis County since then.”

    When I was in Austin in 2004 they seemed to have one of the more active local party chapters that I’ve seen across the country.

  5. Andy

    I just remembered, there were actually 2 petitioners who got run out of Whole Foods in Alabama (I was not one of them as I never tried that location). The first one wrote an article about it for their blog, Here’s a link to it:

    witmer.blogspot.com/2012/08/nerf-libertarians-fairweather-friends.html

  6. paulie

    Of course there’s still statism, but it’s nice to not feel alone in fighting it.

    I’ve been to Austin, of course (no place of any decent size in the mainland US that I haven’t been to), but I’ve never spent much time there. I’d like to spend more time there some time.

  7. Richard Winger

    Travis County, Texas, which includes Austin, gave Gary Johnson 2.72% of its presidential vote. That is the best showing any Libertarian Party presidential nominee has ever made in any Texas county, except for Michael Badnarik’s polling 3.75% in 2004 in Loving County, Texas, the least populated county in the U.S.

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