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.