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PA: Libertarian Marakay Rogers on the ballot for Superior Court Judge

from Ballot Access News
Libertarian Party Has Statewide Nominee on Pennsylvania 2009 Judicial Election

October 3rd, 2009

Pennsylvania voters elect Supreme Court Justices, and Superior Court judges, on November 3, 2009, in partisan elections. The Libertarian Party has one nominee on the ballot for Superior Court Judge, Marakay Rogers. This is the first time a minor party or independent candidate has appeared on the statewide ballot in Pennsylvania in an odd year since 1993.

The party was able to place Rogers on the ballot this year because one of the Superior Court races is a special election. Pennsylvania does not require qualified parties to submit a petition in order to place a nominee on the ballot in a special election. The Libertarian Party is the only “qualified” statewide party in Pennsylvania. It has that status because it polled more than 2% of the highest vote-getter’s vote for a statewide office in 2008. Normally, “qualified” status doesn’t mean much, because another Pennsylvania election law says “qualified” parties must be treated as though they weren’t qualified unless they have registration membership of over 1,000,000 voters. But, the law makes an exception for special elections, and the Libertarian Party has put that loophole to good use this year.

The last time a minor party had a nominee for one of the partisan statewide judicial races in an odd year was 1993. The Patriot Party placed Robert Surrick on the ballot for Supreme Court Justice. He polled 112,820 votes, or 5.38%.


  1. Mik Robertson Mik Robertson October 9, 2009

    Me? Clarion County, northeast of Pittsburgh.

  2. Ross Levin Ross Levin October 9, 2009

    Mike, where in PA are you?

  3. Mik Robertson Mik Robertson October 9, 2009

    I should clarify that the statewide candidate evaluation does not include LP candidates for President of the United States.

  4. Mik Robertson Mik Robertson October 9, 2009

    That was Jack Perry in 1992, a candidate for US Senate who filed as a Libertarian Party candidate and ran on a strong pro-life platform. The LPPA board of directors at the time, who have the authority to withdraw endorsement of candidates for cause, withdrew support from him before the election, apparently due to the pro-life stance. He won 219,319 votes, or 4.57%.

    The result of that action was the formation of the Constitution Party in Pennsylvania, and in 1994 Peg Luksik and Jim Clymer ran for Pennsylvania Governor/Lt. Governor. They received 460,269 votes (12.8%) as CP candidates. LP Governor candidate Pat Fallon had just over 33,000 votes that year.

    The next three highest vote totals including the next best percentage after Jack Perry, for statewide Pennsylvania LP candidates were the three statewide candidates we had on the ballot in 2008, including Marakay Rogers.

    There have been over 20 statewide Libertarian Party candidates in Pennsylvania since 1982.

  5. HumbleTravis HumbleTravis October 9, 2009

    Mik wrote:

    the only statewide “LP” candidate doing better was one who ran on a pro-life platform and had the nomination rescinded prior to the election by the LPPA board of directors

    Who was this & why was the nomination rescinded?

  6. Mik Robertson Mik Robertson October 9, 2009

    @34 Just to note, qualifications don’t matter when you are talking about running candidates within the “two-party” system versus those running from without. Lynn Swann had no real political “qualifications” for governor other than having been chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, yet did rather well in vote totals.

    When it comes to judicial candidates, some knowledge of the law and the role of the judiciary is helpful, and Marakay has those qualifications. I’m not sure electing a judge who “knows how the system works” is any advantage for a branch of the government with the role of looking not only at compliance with the law, but the constitutional compliance of the law itself.

    Many of the Pennsylvania LP candidates who run for state and federal offices have in fact served in local government. I think that is part of why we are making slow progress.

  7. Mik Robertson Mik Robertson October 9, 2009

    Thank you. That makes it much clearer.

  8. John Famularo John Famularo October 9, 2009

    Mik Robertson wrote,
    “Is this saying Marakay Rogers is not a credible candidate for Superior Court?”

    Yes, that is what I’m saying. After 35 years the LP should have candidates that were elected to township and county offices and served with distinction. Candidates for the Supreme court should have served as elected officials in a judicial capacity. If the LP does not settle on a electoral victory mission statement and a realistic strategy to achieve that mission, it will be in the same position 35 years from now.

    If you are satisfied with 1% to 5% of the vote, just keep doing what you have been doing for the last 35 years.

  9. Mik Robertson Mik Robertson October 7, 2009

    Is this saying Marakay Rogers is not a credible candidate for Superior Court?

    I think much of the LP’s lack of credibility had to do with the LP taking stands and putting forth positions that most voters correctly see as non-starters for reform of the government. It is not just limited to Pennsylvania.

    Other factors include the election code, gerrymandered election districts, and campaign finance laws that heavily favor participation in one of the two old political parties. This is not to mention the patronage jobs and extra-legal persuasive techniques used by the entrenched political machines to keep people in the fold.

    Things are slowly getting better for us. Three of our statewide candidates last year set records for votes, with the only statewide “LP” candidate doing better was one who ran on a pro-life platform and had the nomination rescinded prior to the election by the LPPA board of directors, which was in the first half of the 1990’s.

  10. John Famularo John Famularo October 7, 2009

    The LP of PA has been in operation since 1974. It is also the home of the founders of The Society for Individual Liberty (SIL) now ISIL. Why is it that after 35 years the LPPA doesn’t have a credible competitive Libertarian candidate for statewide office?

  11. Erik Geib Erik Geib October 5, 2009

    I certainly didn’t intend to imply it would only be for geos, but merely a home for geo-friendly sentiments, as y’all have suggested. EcoLibertarian, Green Libertarian, Free World Libertarian, whatever… I just think it’s time we had a group advocating eco-friendly policies from a libertarian perspective within the LP. I’ll be sure bring this up in the Y! Group and see where it goes from there.

  12. Brian Holtz Brian Holtz October 5, 2009

    I keep a list of geo-leaning Libertarians at the bottom of this page:

    A broader green/eco caucus would probably be better than a narrower geoist one — and it makes it easier to find prospects for recruitment to full geolibertarianism. 🙂

    I would recommend broaching the subject at, which is the oldest/biggest such forum — although not very active. I too am very interested in spreading the green/geo-libertarianism around the LP, and it would be good to finally have an LP caucus that straddles the usual internal faultlines.

  13. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi October 5, 2009

    Eric, a geo caucus might be very small. A Green L caucus that includes geos and geo symphathizers would likely be larger.

  14. Erik Geib Erik Geib October 5, 2009


    I have to admit I’m a fan of (I believe we’ve been in agreement over many geo-related issues on various threads). To what extent might you be interested in forming a geo caucus within the LP? I would be heavily interested in helping organize such a group.

  15. Erik Geib Erik Geib October 5, 2009

    The Dan Sullivan article that Brian references is solid, btw, for those who haven’t read it before now.

  16. Third Party Revolution Third Party Revolution October 5, 2009

    She is still appealing to the Greens since this article is published on GPW

  17. Aroundtheblockafewtimes Aroundtheblockafewtimes October 5, 2009

    Marakay deserves credit for answering the statewide League of Women Voters questionaire last year thus insuring her views appeared in the Guide printed in all the media. The other two statewide candidates didn’t and, as long time LP activitists, should be ashamed of themselves.

  18. Mik Robertson Mik Robertson October 5, 2009

    Marakay Rogers was in fact the Libertarian candidate for Pennsylvania Attorney General last year.

  19. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes October 5, 2009

    & where would you say progressives plot on your graph, Brian?

  20. HumbleTravis HumbleTravis October 4, 2009

    Wasn’t (LP congressional candidate) Kevin Barrett a Green before he his campaign in Wisconsin?

  21. Brian Holtz Brian Holtz October 4, 2009

    My graph is a standard Nolan chart, just like Carl’s older chart at I can’t make much sense out of Carl’s newer “upper-left” chart, and specifically its “aristocracy” dimension. The chart seems broken, because the upper-right corner of 100% liberty + 100% “aristocracy” is oxymoronic and thus completely unoccupied. Another symptom of confusion here is how far apart Stalin and Hitler end up.

    I suspect that by “aristocracy” he’s trying to talk about what I call privilege and enfranchisement at Extra Nolan Chart Dimensions. However, these minor dimensions don’t do much to carve the modern American polity at its joints. Modern Americans just don’t disagree nearly as much along these dimensions as they do along the two Nolan chart dimensions.

  22. citizen1 citizen1 October 4, 2009

    The Greens I know are not libertarian on most economic issues.

  23. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes October 4, 2009

    Brian, how would you compare this graph to Milsted’s “new upper left party”?

  24. Michael H. Wilson Michael H. Wilson October 4, 2009

    @ 14 Ian Wilder refers us to

    Allow me to offer an idea or two that might make a difference.

    Most Libertarians that i know are against the bank bailout. Does that make Libertarians responsible people, or conservative? What color that is is another story?

    On the environment most Libertarians take a hard line and insist that those who pollute be held responsible for their actions. A number also suggest that some simple solutions can solve a host of problems. Opening the transit market can help reduce urban CO2 emissions significantly as well as help reduce street congestion, reduce poverty, etc.

    Healthcare is another area where some simple actions may improve lives and save dollars at the same time. All done with not more government, but less. Example: midwives were just about outlawed in America thanks to the MDs and their legal leg work. Libertarians suggest that we need more midwives. Mothers should not be deprived of the right to choose the type of birth they want for their children and from what we know midwives have better results and lower costs than MDs do.

    Voting reform: Most Libertarians that I am aware of are for IRV or some variation on that system.

    Now how “progressive” is that?

  25. libertariangirl libertariangirl October 4, 2009

    i got 100/100 , duh

  26. Brian Holtz Brian Holtz October 4, 2009

    The chart is misleading, because only 6 out of 19 issues are economic. If you plot an equal number of issues of economic liberty and civil liberty, the result is more like this:

    Prof. Fred Foldvary and other geolibertarians have been pushing progressive green libertarianism for decades, and there are good prospects for the LP to become more green. Here is Foldvary in 2007 asking Does free plus green equal victory? Here is Dan Sullivan in 1992 writing Greens and Libertarians: the yin and yang of our political future. The LP and GP can agree on a broad range of civil-liberty issues, as well as on decentralization and electoral reform. The LP and GP should both support a Green Tax Shift, using market means to achieve green ends. The LP ultimately needs to move toward geolibertarianism and EcoLibertarianism, of the sort expressed in the Free Earth Manifesto.

  27. George George October 4, 2009

    Good chart, although I spotted at least one mistake (libertarians on bank bailout). But that only reinforces the point that Greens and Libertarians have more in common than either does with Democrats and Republicans.

  28. Ian Wilder Ian Wilder October 4, 2009

    You should see the chart in Sam Smith’s PUTTING OBAMA BEHIND US to see how Greens are closer to Libertarians than they are to Democrats or Republicans.

  29. Kimberly Wilder Kimberly Wilder October 4, 2009

    Citizen 1 –

    A – It is ridiculous to say that the Green Party and Libertarian do not have a normal migration. They have a lot in common. In addition, I can think of candidates who had a foot in both parties – Jennifer Daniels ran for Lt. Governor of NY on the Green Party line, and she went to the Libertarian convention that year to talk about it.

    B – As I said, I think when Marakay was a green she had some different opinions. Perhaps those were the ones that make her a Libertarian.

    Here is a list of some issues in common:

    -Greens and Libertarians both fight for civil liberties. Both oppose the Patriot Act.

    -Greens and Libertarians both oppose most modern wars.

    -A difference is often gun control. Though, in NY, many greens upstate, and an important green here in Suffolk, agree with Libertarians that people must ultimately have the right to guns.

    -Both are suspicious of current government. Many greens have hope that if we make the government transparent and accountable it will become an entity where “the people lead” and the poor and oppressed can be helped through positive group dynamics.

    Anyway, I liked Marakay when she was a Green. And, I like her now.

    And, I think that the main thing a judge needs is intelligence, independence and integrity. I know Marakay has that.

  30. Mike Mike October 4, 2009

    I don’t really see it as a problem, the Greens and Libertarians do have a lot in common.

  31. citizen1 citizen1 October 4, 2009

    paulie // Oct 3, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    What’s wrong with switching parties?

    Nothing I’m just curious if she has change views. The two parties here do not seem to be a normal migration.

  32. Mik Robertson Mik Robertson October 3, 2009

    Working toward many of the Green values through Libertarian means is not inconsistent. Marakay Rogers is a veteran statewide candidate and we are very proud she is our nominee for Superior Court Judge.

  33. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes October 3, 2009

    Yes, she does seem to appeal to both sides. Somebody contact her so she can get with the program!

  34. Third Party Revolution Third Party Revolution October 3, 2009

    She probably would endorse the PLAS, as she has appealed to Wilder and she used to be with the GP.

  35. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes October 3, 2009

    Another opportunity for victory to be squandered. This candidate should declare support for The Progressive Libertarian Alliance Strategy. Then specifically request the progressive vote in addition to the libertarian vote. First do some polling. Then do some After polling. There should be a spike. Then publicize that BOTH progressives & libertarians are voting for this candidate. Polling should go up steadily.

  36. Ross Levin Ross Levin October 3, 2009

    She ran for attorney general as a Libertarian in 2008, but I believe she had the Green Party’s blessing, as well. I might not be remembering that correctly, though.

    I did convince my mom and brother to vote for her 🙂

  37. paulie paulie October 3, 2009

    What’s wrong with switching parties?

  38. citizen1 citizen1 October 3, 2009

    from green to libertarian? makes me wonder where she stands.

  39. Third Party Revolution Third Party Revolution October 3, 2009

    We here at Third Party Revolution endorse Marakay Rogers in her campaign for Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge, along with many other third party and independent candidates seeking public offices nation-wide, ranging from local to federal levels.

  40. Kimberly Wilder Kimberly Wilder Post author | October 3, 2009

    Wow! I love Marakay Rogers. I can’t wait to share more info about her specifically and her campaign.

    Marakay used to be in the Green Party years ago. (My personal evaluation of the situation is that she quit because she had a couple of issues differences, she did not like how they treated Nader at times [Marakay once served as a volunteer lawyer for the Nader campaign], and Marakay had too much integrity and common sense for the game-playing at national…)

    But, Marakay is a lawyer running for judge (hard for a third party to find); very smart; and very likeable. Man! This will be a good race for third parties.

    Marakay Rogers is a Libertarian I can root for!

    Cool if she could win it…

    But, she will use the platform well, regardless…

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