John Wayne Smith Dies

John Wayne Smith

According to Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) Region 6 Representative Vicki Kirkland, former Florida gubernatorial candidate and LPF Vice-Chairman John Wayne Smith has died.  He was 69.

In an e-mail to the LNC, Kirkland reports:

John had been dealing with cancer for several years and went into the hospital in August for an operation. He went back into the hospital November 24th, was discharged last Saturday, and went into Hospice care. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

According to his gubernatorial campaign website, Smith created the LPF in 1986 after the original affiliate imploded in 1984.  He then served as vice-chairman.

Smith ran for public office multiple times, most notably for Florida governor in 2006, when he received 15,987 votes in the general election.  In 2008, Smith was the ballot-listed vice presidential nominee of the Boston Tea Party in Florida.  He briefly ran for that party’s 2012 presidential nomination, but lost to Jim Duensing before the party collapsed that same year. Recently, Smith unsuccessfully vied for the LPF’s 2014 gubernatorial nomination.

37 thoughts on “John Wayne Smith Dies

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m sorry to hear this. I know he was a controversial man, but it’s a shame when we lose any activists, plus I know he lad lots of children. I talked to him on FB a couple months ago and he was hopeful that his cancer was being kept in check. Apparently, it wasn’t. 🙁

  2. Mike Kane

    John Wayne was very kind to me when I first moved to Florida and was supportive of me in starting my county affiliate. I knew he wasn’t doing well, but this was somewhat sudden.

    The Florida Libertarian Party will not be the same without him.

  3. Mark Axinn

    New York was proud to have John as a delegate to both the New York and the National Libertarian Party conventions in 2014.

    Rest in peace.

  4. Chuck Moulton

    It was great chatting with John Wayne Smith about the Libertarian Party over the years. He did a lot for liberty through his LP activism — especially for the Libertarian Party of Florida. Rest in peace. Condolences to his family.

  5. George Phillies

    This is a deep shame. He was a very dedicated Libertarian. He and Vicki Kirkland were kind enough to drive up to our state convention, when she was our Regional Representative.

  6. Robert

    IPR editors note: this comment is currently “commented off” to be less publicly visible unless/until the charges are substantiated.

    It has not been permanently deleted and can be restored if the evidence it claims is produced.

  7. Matt Cholko

    Don’t be a jerk, Robert. This is a thread about an activist’s recent death, and honoring his life. Nobody wants to hear your complaints about him at this time. If you wish to say something like that, please take it to the January 2015 open thread, in a few weeks.

  8. paulie

    Robert, please substantiate your claims. Otherwise I am tempted to remove them. I knew JWS as well as any number of his friends and detrators alike for a number of years and have never once heard any of the things you claim from him or anyone else – not even when people were attacking him and saying all sorts of nasty things. I agree with Matt that you are a jerk to post it, particularly without proof and under a first name only, and waiting until he can’t defend himself to do it. And please link the specific IPR comments you claim to be referencing. I have read almost every comment ever posted at IPR (sad but true) and never once remember seeing anything like that although there has been plenty of other stuff both good and bad said.

  9. paulie

    Rest in peace John Wayne and condolences to your family.

    Too many of my friends are dying and going to jail lately. When I said I wanted to feel like I did when I was young again that was not what I meant 🙁

  10. Lake County Florida Libertarian

    I’m wandering if you guys are getting paid to type nice stuff about John Wayne Smith or maybe you’re talking about some other John Wayne Smith I don’t know about.

    After all, it wasn’t that long ago when he wanted the “sue” the Libertarian Party of FL according to an article posted at this site.
    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/09/john-wayne-smith-says-he-will-file-criminal-charges-against-several-libertarian-party-of-florida-members/

    Really? WTF? Does a great Libertarian sue the party he claims to support?

    The John Wayne Smith I knew lived in Lake County Florida and was a pain in the neck most of the time for local Florida Libertarians like myself. I can’t pretend he was some great Libertarian when he was not. Maybe he lived too close in proximity to me. The fact is, he never even bothered to establish a local LPF county affiliate in his own back yard of Leesburg let alone “founded” the FL LP. I guess we were small potatoes for him.

    But he sure loved interfering with other county affiliates, especially if they were big and successful, such as Orange, Duval, Brevard and the Pinellas LP and of course the LPF.

    Any libertarian with common sense knows that there is no legitimate “proof” of JWS founding the LPF. If anything, JWS is rather absent from any official documented founding.

    However, those looking for proof or lack there of, you can go to the link below: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/PublicRecordsBER/wfPublicImagesBER.aspx?account=3402 which has many official old documents about the LPF.

    But guess what folks, JWS is not listed or mentioned on the official registration [founding] document the established the LPF as a party in Florida.

    All I can say about JWS is the same thing I said about Hitler… Boy…I’m glad he’s gone.

  11. Joe Wendt

    LAKE COUNTY FLORIDA LIBERTARIAN,

    JWS helped established the current LP affiliate in Lake County. He had been serving as Treasurer for that affiliate until his health got bad. Show some respect for the man.

  12. Jed Ziggler

    To Robert & Lake County Florida Libertarian:

    I don’t care how much you dislike Mr. Smith, running him down in a thread about his passing is as classless as one could possibly be. Please, if you have any decency at all, stop.

  13. Alexander George

    John Wayne Smith was a man of integrity, kindness, and generosity. Unlike most people, with JWS you knew exactly where you stood. I was proud to call him my friend. The man had not one selfish or self serving bone in his body. The LP has lost a tireless champion. Rest in Peace

  14. NewFederalist

    I did not know him but all the negative attacks make me wish I did. One way or the other he sure sounds interesting.

  15. Mark Axinn

    An aside:

    Paulie writes, in relevant part:
    >I have read almost every comment ever posted at IPR (sad but true)…

    We need to take up a donation to get Paulie something else to do with his time! 🙂

  16. Robert Capozzi

    I had the honor of dining with JWS once, and found him pleasant, good company. Condolences to all that loved him.

  17. Joy Close

    WOW!!! As a family member I am extremely saddened by the lack of respect for a lost sole, even if you didn’t agree with what he said or did in his life you should have enough self dignity not to post it here. His family love him very much and you should have some self control, I do not expect everyone to feel the same about the man I am extremely proud to call my Father in Law, no one will every have the same opinion, but what I do expect is for everyone to be a human and like the have some sense and show respect for the family!!! There are other places to post your crap. And to say “I’m glad he’s gone” is the most ugly thing to say. I will pray for you because you have a very ugly sole and you need God!!!! And good job hiding behind that name!! SMH, shame on you!! For everyone with kind thoughts and memories to share I want to say Thank you very much from the family!!!! RIP Dad you ARE MISSED BY MANY!!!

  18. Jill Pyeatt

    Please accept opur condolences on the loss of your father-in-law, Joy. I read that the Libertarian National Committee observed a moment of silence for your father and 3 other Libertarians who recently passed. We’ll miss him, too.

  19. Jeff Billman

    Well said, Joy. Your father-in-law and I didn’t get along in life, but my sincere condolences to you and your family for your loss. I’m sorry that you had to read these things about your dearly departed. That is difficult to watch, let alone accept.

  20. paulie

    I’m wandering if you guys are getting paid to type nice stuff about John Wayne Smith or maybe you’re talking about some other John Wayne Smith I don’t know about.

    Nope. No denying that JWS was an ornery man but your comparison of him with Hitler is ridiculous. Whatever his faults he was a dedicated activist who worked hard and tirelessly for many years for liberty causes, so if you can’t think of anything nice to say why bother typing?

  21. paulie

    To Robert & Lake County Florida Libertarian:

    I don’t care how much you dislike Mr. Smith, running him down in a thread about his passing is as classless as one could possibly be.

    I agree. As much as I defend the right of anonymity is doubly classless to do such things under a screen name or a first name only.

    Also, the comment from Robert has been commented off until/unless he presents evidence for his claims.

  22. paulie

    One way or the other he sure sounds interesting.

    He was!

    We need to take up a donation to get Paulie something else to do with his time!

    Instructions for donating are on the LNC meeting thread.

  23. paulie

    WOW!!! As a family member I am extremely saddened by the lack of respect for a lost sole, even if you didn’t agree with what he said or did in his life you should have enough self dignity not to post it here. His family love him very much and you should have some self control, I do not expect everyone to feel the same about the man I am extremely proud to call my Father in Law, no one will every have the same opinion, but what I do expect is for everyone to be a human and like the have some sense and show respect for the family!!! There are other places to post your crap. And to say “I’m glad he’s gone” is the most ugly thing to say. I will pray for you because you have a very ugly sole and you need God!!!! And good job hiding behind that name!! SMH, shame on you!! For everyone with kind thoughts and memories to share I want to say Thank you very much from the family!!!! RIP Dad you ARE MISSED BY MANY!!!

    My condolences. As you can see the two (or maybe it was only one) classless clowns who posted the negative comments did not post them under their full names, and one of them has been commented off because it alleged evidence for claims but none has been shown after several days.

  24. Joe Wendt

    A certain member of the LPF EC has spoken out against honoring JWS’ memory by naming an award after him for the hardest working activist the LPF, and also disparaged him in the process. Considering all the effort that JWS put into the Libertarian movement, I think that is incredibly disrespectful on that person’s part.

  25. Stewart Flood

    The first time that I met John Wayne we had a two day running argument at an LNC meeting. He had his side, I had mine. At the end, we shook hands. That was probably the only time we argued to any serious extent. He was passionate about his opinions and was never afraid to express them.

    He would never hesitate to drive a thousand miles to attend an event to help out someone in another state party. He had honor, and we should all respect that. Sometimes his belief in his position led him to actions that some considered counter productive to the LP, but were they really?

    The last time I saw him we managed to get a little time to talk about his other passion. If you knew John Wayne then you’ll understand when I say that we should all take a moment to look up in the sky at Mars and wish that if there is an afterlife, he’s up there exploring and setting up camp. I will miss him.

  26. LibertarianGirl

    I cant believe another great LP activist is dead…:( I liked John , he’s like FLA’s own Jim Burns, sometimes rubbed folks the wrong way but vigilant in his beliefs…he we be sorely missed like way way too many others lately

  27. Martin Passoli

    The few haters above are themselves a tribute to John Wayne Smith. No one gets so many good and bad things said about them when they pass on unless they have made a difference in this world.

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    I only actually met John Wayne Smith once — at the 2008 Libertarian National Convention, IIRC — but had a cordial conversation with him. I’m sad to hear that he has died, and wish he’d lived long enough to move to Mars as was, once again IIRC, his dream.

    He certainly had both personal and political detractors. They have the rest of time until the heat death of the universe to talk about why they didn’t like him. Surely it’s not too much to ask that they wait until oh, say, the new year to get started doing so in public.

  29. paulie

    wish he’d lived long enough to move to Mars as was, once again IIRC, his dream.

    Maybe he has finally made it there. We can only hope.

  30. Pingback: Three Years After: Phil Davison for President | The Saturnalian

  31. paulie

    The links clear it up somewhat, but the way you phrased that makes it sound like JWS was already deceased and Jim D was already convicted when they ran for the BTP nomination.

  32. Vicki Kirkland

    Last Saturday, January 10th, one day short of a month since John Wayne Smith’s passing, I had dinner with Steve LaBianca and Joe Wendt, two people that called John friend. We were joined by Karena Bowers Morrison and Larry Potter, two people who had only recently gotten to know John but had a lot of respect for him. We made a toast to his memory.

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