Rhode Island State House member Daniel P. Gordon, Jr., elected as a Republican to his first term in November 2010, was expelled by the Republican House caucus earlier this month after he was arrested for not having appeared some time earlier in a Massachusetts court. See this story about his legal troubles. On September 21, he became a dues-paying member of the Libertarian Party. It is not clear if he has changed his voter registration from “Republican” to “Libertarian.” If he does so, the state will consider him a registered independent, because the Libertarian Party has never been a qualified party in Rhode Island. However, the voter registration form includes a blank line for “political party” so he is free to write in “Libertarian” on the card.
Gordon supported Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, and says he has long been a libertarian by philosophy. His election to the Rhode House in November 2010 was extremely close; the vote was 2,707 for Gordon and 2,660 for his Democratic opponent. He represents the 71st district, centered on Portsmouth. Thanks to Eric Dondero and Austin Cassidy for this news.