From the Libertarian Party website:
Libertarian Jeremy Walters won 47 percent of the vote for state house in South Carolina’s 26th district in 2012, coming within inches of being elected to the highest-level office that the Libertarian Party has achieved in its history.
Winning a legislative seat in South Carolina would be especially noteworthy, given that the state is anything but a bastion of liberty and fair elections. New Hampshire, Alaska, and Vermont are the only states where a Libertarian has won a state house seat, last achieved in 2000.
Walters won his impressive vote total in spite of the fact that his Republican opponent, Raye Felder, raised and spent seven times as much money as Walters did.
Now he’s taking on incumbent Felder for round two, with no Democrat in the race. His campaign has issued phone blasts, telemarketing phone calls and fliers to voters in the district.
Walters’s 2012 race was aided by the fact that Felder had to run as a nonpartisan “petition candidate” after being struck from the Republican ticket on a technicality. Although Walters won’t have the same advantage this time, he has among the best chances of winning a state legislative seat that the LP has seen in years.
Because he campaigned extensively both in 2012 and again in 2014, he has built a name for himself in the district and has become a force to reckon with.
Walters has been active since his 2012 campaign. He successfully fought off Republicans who tried to knock him off the ballot in 2012.
Last year, he filed a lawsuit in an attempt to remove Democrat Marlin Kimpson from the 42nd district Senate seat. Kimpson won in a special election last October, but in violation of the law. If successful, Libertarian Alex Thornton, who lost in the race, would have been seated by default.
Walters is running on a bold platform to end the state income tax.
“Ending the state income tax will put more money in the budgets of working families and create thousands of new private sector jobs,” he said. “And it’s the only way to force the legislature to cut waste.”
Now serving as vice chairman for the South Carolina LP, Jeremy Walters is in the final stretch of a long-fought campaign. His website is: waltersforhouse.com
Makes sense, although the language is slightly confusing.
The intent was not that no Libertarian has ever gone there before, but that state legislature is the highest office to which a Libertarian has ever been elected, and he’s in line to potentially win that office. The article goes on to list the states in which Libertarians have been elected to state legislature.
I believe NH has the least people per representative, somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000.
Stewart Flood said: ” State law prohibits accusing a legislator of a crime within 54 days of the election,”
This sounds like another stupid law that ought to be repealed.
“it’s odd that I haven’t heard others speak of this race. Thanks for posting this, Jed.”
I have written dozens of comments in IPR about this race. I stopped because no one else seemed to care.
Watch for the news in the next few weeks about the 1000+ pages of ethics violations, which is the fancy term SC legislators use when THEY are the ones breaking the law. State law prohibits accusing a legislator of a crime within 54 days of the election, so these are waiting to be filed. Harrell has to rat all of them out while strapped to a lie detector. There are over 1000 pages of stuff already…
Why is this relevant? Jeremy’s republican opponent took bribes (commonly called campaign contributions) from Harrell.
That was why I ventured that guess. Of course it would also depend on how big each state’s legislature is; I know NH, in addition to being a low population state also has a lot of people in the legislature compared with most states. Dunno about Alaska and Vermont.
Paul said: “I’m going to guess a SC state house seat probably has more constituents than an Alaska, New Hampshire or Vermont state house seat.”
I do not know how many people are in a state house district in South Carolina, but I do know that South Carolina is the 25th most populated state, and that it has a much higher population than Alaska, New Hampshire, and Vermont, which are the only states where the Libertarian Party has elected people to seats in the state legislature. Electing somebody to a seat in a state legislature of a top 25 population state would be a big accomplishment for the Libertarian Party.
I did not even know that Jimmy Walters was running again, and I follow this type of stuff pretty closely. This is the type of race that Libertarians from around the country ought to be pouring money into. There really needs to be some kind of effort put into finding races like this, as in where a Libertarian Party candidate actually stands a decent shot of winning, and where the office is not some kind of low level race that nobody cares about, like library board of trustees, or soil & water commission, where Libertarians around the country can be alerted about such races and be encouraged to funnel donations to them.
It has been over a decade since a Libertarian Party candidates has been elected to a seat in a state legislature. This is disgraceful.
Or, it could be that he doesn’t know we have elected legislators before. It’s been many years, and it was in states far from SC.
But I wouldn’t necessarily assume either way just based on that very short phrase.
I’m going to guess a SC state house seat probably has more constituents than an Alaska, New Hampshire or Vermont state house seat. I haven’t actually checked.
The sentence can also be read to mean that it’s the highest level we have been elected to, saying nothing about whether others have also achieved that same level.
it’s odd that I haven’t heard others speak of this race. Thanks for posting this, Jed.
Good luck to him!!!
“…coming within inches of being elected to the highest-level office that the Libertarian Party has achieved in its history.”
Well, others have been elected to other state houses. Not sure South Carolina’s state house is at a higher-level than any other’s state house. But that small point aside, it’s fantastic to see the national LP getting engaged in these state house races.
Sounds like Walters might have a shot. Chad Monnin in Ohio probably has a better chance. But any victory in ANY state legislative race would be an enormous win!
The front page of his website says the following:
Jeremy C. Walters at a glance…On November 4, 2014 vote Libertarian House District 26
I am a firm believer that before you vote you should look into a candidate. If there’s one thing I learned from my first election in 2012 is that talk is cheap and time is expensive. I’m not going to sugar-coat my life story and tell you things that have nothing to do with what is affecting the residents of South Carolina. I tell it like it is and I call it as I see it. So, at a glance, here’s what you can hold me accountable for when you elect me:
-My main goal for the 2015-2016 legislative session is to eliminate the income tax and put $2200 back in the pockets of working residents of South Carolina.
-I support the legalization of marijuana and release of all nonviolent drug offenders in South Carolina prisons. The war on drugs is an epic fail and the cost and the burden will stay on the shoulders of the South Carolina tax payers until drug prohibition in South Carolina is repealed.
-I will, always and forever, support the 2nd Amendment and defend the right to keep and bear arms; not only for myself, but for every resident within the borders of South Carolina. I also support open Constitutional carry.
-I will vote no on all tax increases for the 2015-2016 legislative session and push the legislature to eliminate wasteful, unnecessary spending on a daily basis.
-I will vote no on all bills that will line the pockets of politicians using their political power for financial gain.
-I will vote no on all bills that would advance abortion.
-I will vote no on all bills that violate the United States and South Carolina Constitutions and work on repealing current laws that violate our Constitutions. (I do not believe we need any more new laws and as residents of SC we must spend time repealing these laws!)
-I will vote no on the Federal government advancing in our public school systems (i.e. Common Core).
-I will vote no on all bills that will increase warrantless government spying on the citizens of South Carolina.
I need you to know I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I am a Libertarian. I am currently Vice-Chairman of the South Carolina Libertarian Party and we encourage all of you to join in on the cause of defending liberty within the borders of South Carolina. As a candidate for the SC Libertarian Party, I differ from the SC Republicans and Democrats in this way…I am not bound by party lines. I am allowed to vote how I want and I am allowed to say what I want without being reprimanded by my party because I did not stay within their political boundaries. This is your golden opportunity to bring something to the state of South Carolina that we have never had…a third party. Not just any party, the LIBERTARIAN PARTY…DEFENDERS OF LIBERTY!
And that’s all I have to say about that. If you have any questions, feel free to call my cell at 803-370-5253 anytime.
Jeremy C. Walters Vice-Chairman of the South Carolina Libertarian Party Candidate for South Carolina House District 26
I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Walters extensively at the LP convention in Ohio. I didn’t agree with him 100%, but I can say that out of all the bigger partisan elections that I’ve been following this election cycle, he’s the Libertarian with the best shot at winning.
A 47% showing the first time around is very impressive and I know he’s been hard at work since last election.
Here’s hoping to a Libertarian State House Rep in SC come Tuesday evening.
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