The nomination for U.S. Senate was contested at today’s Michigan Libertarian Party convention. Leonard Schwartz, the 2006 nominee for the same office and 2008 vice-presidential hopeful, ran against seven-time Libertarian candidate, Scotty Boman.
Boman, an active Ron Paul supporter from the Detroit area, had been campaigning for the Senate nomination for the past two months. Schwartz did not begin actively campaigning until after returning from the Denver national convention, where he withdrew his candidacy for vice president after Bob Barr was named the party’s presidential nominee. Schwartz still managed to receive one vote in the first round of balloting in Denver, despite his withdrawal.
After nominating speeches for both candidates, the assembled Michigan Libertarians cast their ballots with the end result being 38 votes for Scotty Boman, and 11 for Leonard Schwartz.
In his acceptance speech, Boman praised Schwartz’s record of supporting libertarianism and the Michigan LP, and said he would nominate Schwartz for any office for which Schwartz chose to run. Ultimately, Schwartz decided to run for the U.S. House, District 5, despite not living in the district, since no other candidate stepped forward to run there. Michigan CD-5, it’s important to note, was Ron Paul’s strongest in the state’s January Republican primary, and includes Flint, Saginaw, and Bay City.
There was one other contested race, as there were three aspirants for University of Michigan Board of Regents, while the party could only nominate two candidates. Eric Larson, a medical doctor and U of M alumnus; and Kerry Morgan, a lawyer and former U of M Ph.D. candidate who was allegedly expelled from the university’s program due to his liberty-minded dissertation topic; easily defeated anti-bar association activist, David Raaflaub. Larson and Morgan each received approximately 40 votes, while Raaflaub netted just six. Delegates were allowed to vote for two candidates.
Two other candidates of particular note were nominated for U.S. Congress. The first, Greg Creswell, was the Michigan LP’s 2006 candidate for governor. He used his ’06 candidacy to agitate for passage of Proposal 2, an anti-affirmative action ballot initiative, which passed, despite both major-party candidates for governor opposing it. Creswell will now face the often-unopposed Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick in CD-13. Creswell raised over $16,000 for his 2006 gubernatorial bid.
Secondly, Neil Stephenson, a Gravel backer in Denver and one of three principals behind Revolution Broadcasting, was nominated for CD-10. He says he will run on a Gravel-Paul hybrid platform, carefully emphasizing the libertarian aspects thereof, which many feel Gravel failed to do. Stephenson says Gravel’s National Initiative for Democracy, which he supports, cannot be used to take away rights guaranteed individuals under the Constitution.
Michigan Libertarians nominated a full slate of 15 congressional candidates, plus candidates for all 10 statewide offices. Democrats had urged the Libertarian Party to not nominate a candidate for State Supreme Court Justice, but this only seemed to motivate the party to find someone willing to run.
Several candidates for state legislative, county, and local races were also nominated.