Libertarian Party Officially Recognizes Five 2016 Presidential Candidates

The Libertarian Party added a new page to its website under the tab “Elections.”  The page, entitled “2016 Presidential Candidates,” provides the Libertarian Party’s criteria for recognizing presidential candidates and lists five candidates who meet that criteria.

The Libertarian Party recognizes 2016 Presidential candidates who have campaign websites, are dues-paying members of the LP, have met all U.S. Constitutional requirements to serve in office as president, and are not running for the nomination of any other political party. They have filed with the FEC, with the exception of Darryl Perry, who has chosen not to file as a protest against the FEC, claiming it lacks constitutional authority.

The 2016 Presidential candidates currently recognized by the Libertarian Party are:

  • Marc Allan Feldman
  • Darryl Perry
  • Steve Kerbel
  • Rhett Smith
  • Cecil Ince

Marc Allan Feldman

US President, Ohio

Phone: (216) 312-4169



Darryl Perry

US President, New Hampshire



Steve Kerbel

US President, Colorado



Rhett Smith

US President, Texas

Phone: (210) 300-4750



Cecil Ince

US President, Missouri

Election Date: November 8, 2016



94 thoughts on “Libertarian Party Officially Recognizes Five 2016 Presidential Candidates

  1. NewFederalist

    It’s good to see all the fine candidates seeking the LP nomination. Glad to see that Governor Ventura was somehow missed! I guess the stand-in for Newt Gingrich was not recognized. Gee, how could THAT happen? 🙂

  2. Richard Winger

    Rhett Smith was a Green Party nominee for US House in Texas in 2012. He had filed for US House in Texas as a Democrat in 2006 and 2010. But his only filing for 2016 is as a Libertarian. He filed with the FEC on August 5, 2015.

  3. Edward L Garrett

    Mr Rhett Smith has provided very little data on his platform on his website, leaving individuals like me with no idea what he stands for. There are other FEC Filed declared Libertarian candidates not on this list also. I have contacted a few of them to let them know about it.

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  5. Matt Cholko

    Some thoughts about the candidates:

    Though I didn’t read it word-for-word, I think I like Perry’s platform. I’d like to see him get some professional photos, and a better website. I’d also like to see him drop his anti-FEC civil disobedience, as the possible legal consequences could be catastrophic to his campaign. I’m not sure that I can support the LP taking the risk associated with that kind of civil disobedience. I also think he should remove his statement that the US Government should be abolished. It’s too far over the top for a POTUS candidate’s website.

    Feldman’s $5 thing is a deal breaker for me, as it guarantee’s that his campaign won’t be able to do anything of substance, unless his is going to put at least $1MM of his own money into the campaign. He has the nicest, most professional looking website, by far. Its very short on information about his positions though.

    Some of Kerbel’s platform looks good to me, but I can’t get behind his tax, immigration, or job creation planks. I think freedom of movement (immigration) is my main issue these days. So….

    Smith’s website provides no information. I can’t take him seriously.

    Ince’s website provides very little information. I can’t take him seriously.

  6. Mike K

    I think this is a fair criteria. I’m still in disbelief that in 2012 the website had no candidates listed prior to the nominating convention.


    So I don’t know any of these gentlemen, and I’ll bet 99.9999% of Americans don’t either.
    The chance of any of them getting to advance their ideas from the White House is nil. What the LP needs in a candidate is a charismatic orator who can sell Libertarian ideas to more Americans. And he or she also needs a plan for actually BUILDING the LP through his or hers campaign…something that has been lacking since perhaps 1996. Any candidate who lacks both these features might as well save their breath and their contributors’ bucks. There is plenty of time before Orlando for someone to step forward with something other than hot air and
    pumped up ego before we conclude NOTA should be the 2016 candidate.

  8. Andy Craig

    I preferred the slightly more restrictive criteria they used for the previous listing, which at the time was Kerbel, Feldman, and Perry. Grounds being they were travelling to and attending state conventions. That worked fine, I don’t see that anything was gained by the inclusion of the other two and it’s a fair and reasonable cut-off.

    Also: which of the stated criteria has Petersen failed to satisfy? Technically he isn’t eligible yet (he’ll turn 35 before the election), but I doubt that’s the reason.

  9. George Phillies

    Massachusetts event

    Believed to be attending: Feldman, Kerbel, Perry

    Have indicated that they will not be attending: Ince, Petersen, Smith, Waymire

    I am not sure if Petersen has filed with the FEC yet, which (or rejecting the FEC) is a requirement for LNC listing.

    Kip Lee is now running with the Ashtar Party.

  10. paulie

    Joy Waymire
    September 21 at 9:57pm

    This morning I had an email but not from a recognizable name. Stating that I had not filed my FEC form though I had before making my declaration & that I was not recognized by the NLP. So what else is new? They did not recognize me in 2012 either so they could push through their agenda that did not do what they had hoped for. LOL… Since I am a “Decline to State” voter, the FEC form did not have this option. Only thing close to it was “Unaffiliated”, so that is how I registered. So if the NLP can make an exception to D. Perry for NOT filing a FEC form, then this should not be an issue either. What do you think?

  11. Rebecca Pfleiderer

    When the conventions don’t require money and one can participate virtually, I’ll attend.

  12. paulie

    If you can’t afford to make the conventions that doesn’t send a good sign about your ability to represent the party as the nominee.

  13. Rebecca Pfleiderer

    I guess I’m just different. My definition of service is different than most. This does not mean I’m not serious. I’m not a dirty politician. The seat should not be bought. I won’t spend a single penny on campaigning. If you’d rather vote for someone with special interests in their back pocket instead of someone who genuinely wants to serve as the voice of the people, you have that right. After all, it is the way it has always been done.

  14. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Rebecca, if you refuse to spend money on a campaign — yours or that of any contributors — how do you expect to publicize your campaign? Do you expect the media to donate time?

    But why should CNN or Fox News invite you to debates, or cover you as a news story, before you proved yourself viable? If everyone who merely announced their candidacy were provided free “news” coverage, we’d have thousands of candidates announcing and expecting to participate in the debates and be interviewed on news shows, as their right. Just as we had over a hundred candidates for governor of California in 2003.

    There has to be some bar to prove one’s viability as a candidate. And raising money from supporters is one proof of viability.

    This is one reason Robert Milnes was never regarded as a serious candidate. He begged supporters to donate money so he could travel to the LP convention. But no such supporters existed. So how could anyone take him seriously as a candidate?

  15. Andy

    “Rebecca Pfleiderer

    September 23, 2015 at 12:14 am “I won’t spend a single penny on campaigning.”

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this means that you are not a serious candidate.

  16. Andy

    Root’s Teeth Are Awesome

    September 23, 2015 at 1:27 am “This is one reason Robert Milnes was never regarded as a serious candidate.”

    Well, this along with obvious mental illness.

  17. paulie

    I won’t spend a single penny on campaigning.

    Then you won’t be considered as a candidate by any significant number of people, if any at all.

    This does not mean I’m not serious.

    That depends on what your goals are. If your goal is to get delegates to vote for you for the nomination, you’ll need to meet them and make your case. You could also call, write and email them, but past results show they are very unlikely to vote for you if they don’t meet you in person.

    If you’d rather vote for someone with special interests in their back pocket

    Libertarian donors are not special interests. Special interests don’t give us money because they don’t expect us to win enough power to make a difference, and also because even if we did, we oppose the type of cronyism they seek. Libertarian donors do expect to see a candidate who will go around the country making the case for Libertarianism to non-Libertarians. To be taken seriously as the person who they may want to select for that task, it is necessary but not sufficient to get around the country to talk to those would-be donors and delegates. They don’t expect you to be able to compete in campaign spending with the establishment parties, but they do expect you to raise enough money to get to various state conventions and of course the national convention. If you are a sufficiently inspirational speaker who can’t afford the travel, you can raise enough money at each stop to make it to the next one. That’s what Michael Badnarik did in 2003-4 and went on to beat two better financed rivals for the nomination.

    On the other hand if your goal is to get marginally larger audiences for your writings on the internet, without leaving home, by declaring yourself to be a “presidential candidate,” congratulations; you’re already a winner.

  18. Rebecca Pfleiderer

    Why cant the electors pay for travel to come meet the candidates or research them online? They are bombarded with our campaign finance system that has corrupted politics.

  19. paulie

    It’s not that they can’t, it’s that they won’t. You are the one seeking their votes. They aren’t going to come to you. There are other people seeking their votes who will come to them. Besides, if you can’t get to LP delegates, how can you get to the general public? They are not going to travel to meet you or research you online. As far as they are concerned you don’t exist. It’s up to you to make them aware you exist. If you can’t or won’t even travel to LP state conventions, you can’t convince LP delegates that you will make the general public aware you exist.

    If you expect LP delegates to research online or come meet the dozens of people who are a “candidate” by being online, or the many more who would be if it worked that way, so as to select a candidate that the general public will research from among the hundreds that put up a web page now or the who knows how many thousands (or millions?) would do it if that was how it worked, you just are not dealing with reality.

  20. Rebecca Pfleiderer

    As for free news coverage, yes, I do believe the press should cover every eligible candidate. Instead, for months we have to watch the same dirty politicians day in and day out argue the same old arguments. It’s a good ole boys club. If we opened it up to all, you’d see some very creative and viable alternatives surface.

  21. Rebecca Pfleiderer

    I assure you, this is reality. We live in a virtual age. If I was an elector and I was up to me to cast a vote, I’d do my research. If I stood by and waited for candidates to come to me, I wouldn’t be doing my job. If local government offices experience a pool hundreds of candidates, federal offices should expect thousands. I understand this is more work, but this is a very serious calling. It should not be reserved for the rich and famous.

  22. Rebecca Pfleiderer

    If Anderson Cooper can cover hundreds of heroes, CNN can cover hundreds of candidates.

  23. paulie

    As for free news coverage, yes, I do believe the press should cover every eligible candidate.

    Thank you, comrade. How many millions of candidates do you expect there to be then for them to cover if that happened? Are you going to use the force of the state to make this mandatory (in your dreams, since you won’t actually get to do anything since you won’t be elected) or is it just a suggestion?

  24. Andy

    Candidates who think that they can run campaigns without money are not serious candidates, and should be disregarded from consideration.

  25. paulie

    I assure you, this is reality

    It’s not, no matter how much you want it to be.

    If I was an elector and I was up to me to cast a vote, I’d do my research.

    Good for you. The vast majority of people won’t. You wishing they would does not change the fact that they don’t.

    If I stood by and waited for candidates to come to me, I wouldn’t be doing my job.

    Voters are not the ones seeking the job. Candidates have to advertise for the same reason that businesses and religions do.

  26. paulie

    If Anderson Cooper can cover hundreds of heroes, CNN can cover hundreds of candidates.

    Except that it’s not going to happen, and if it did, it would be a lot more than just hundreds.

  27. paulie

    Candidates who think that they can run campaigns without money are not serious candidates, and should be disregarded from consideration.

    Maybe if they are really famous they can be somewhat effective. But even then, you have to travel for things like debates and in-studio interviews.

  28. Andy

    “Rebecca Pfleiderer

    September 23, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I’d accept any invitation for an interview from my home.”

    Why would anyone want to bother interviewing a candidate who thinks that they can run a campaign without spending any money?

    The only reason I can think of is for the “freak show” factor, and even then I don’t see many people interested in an interview like this.

  29. Rebecca Pfleiderer

    I’ve given one interview from my home already. I posted the link. You are welcome to listen and share the link.

  30. Rebecca Pfleiderer

    I am the most qualified candidate. My experience is highlighted on LinkedIn. My number is 402-302-9238.

  31. paulie

    I haven’t seen anything to believe you are the most qualified, any reason to look you up on linkedin or call you. If you aren’t even going to make a case for yourself, I won’t go out of my way to make one for you. Neither will pretty much anyone else.

  32. George Phillies

    We have several candidates who do not have the money to attend our convention (Petersen, Ince, Pflederer). We have two candidates who are planning on raising only limited sums (Feldman — $5 max), Perry — gold, silver, bit coins only). We have one candidate (Kerbel) who actually has money and is travelling.

  33. Jill Pyeatt

    Rebecca, if most of your campaign strategy is based on Internet traffic to and from your home, perhaps you can start aggressively getting your ideas out there. Try writing letters to editors of papers; get a FB page and work it daily; write to journalists and ask them to interview you; and so on.

    Sitting at home waiting to be contacted reminds me of single people who stay at home and whine that no one falls in love with them. They need to have people to meet first.

    Get your virtual self out there!

  34. Andy

    If this person needs to be told things that ought to be obvious to run a campaign, perhaps they should not be a candidate.

  35. paulie

    Marc Feldman posted on open thread:

    Interesting Wikipedia article involving Libertarian candidates. According to Wikipedia, the announced candidates so far are:

    Nathan Norman
    Actor and musician
    (Constitutionally ineligible – under age 35)

    Robert David Steele

    My comment and their response below:
    The Libertarian Party has published its current list of Presidential candidates. The 2016 Presidential candidates currently recognized by the Libertarian Party are:
    •Marc Allan Feldman
    •Darryl Perry
    •Steve Kerbel
    •Rhett Smith
    •Cecil Ince

    None of these candidates are currently listed on the Wiki page. Those listed under Libertarian Party are not currently recognized Libertarian candidates. [1] Mfeldmanmd (talk) 19:20, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

    None of the above candidates have been shown to meet the notability benchmarks of WP:GNG or WP:POLITICIAN, which presently is a prerequisite for inclusion on the page. Currently, there is talk of revising the inclusion standard (see here and here) to make “recognized by the party” a primary factor for inclusion, though I’m not sure that would include candidates not having standalone wikipedia articles. But for the time being anyway, the ones listed in the article meet the benchmark and the ones listed above do not.–NextUSprez (talk) 14:58, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

  36. Chuck Moulton

    Mike Kane wrote:

    I think this is a fair criteria. I’m still in disbelief that in 2012 the website had no candidates listed prior to the nominating convention.

    Deja vu… Mattson again wants the Libertarian Party to pretend we have no presidential candidates.

    Alicia Mattson wrote (LNC-Discuss):

    […] I ultimately made (and the LNC adopted) a motion in February 2012 that:

    “The LNC hereby directs Staff to remove from the Party’s website the
    listing of individuals seeking the Party’s nomination for President or Vice

    We didn’t put that in the policy manual, but an argument could be made
    about whether that’s still a directive that is in force until such time as
    the LNC says otherwise.

    The world did not implode because we no longer listed presidential
    candidates on the website. I prefer that we not do it at all and just
    leave it to delegates to decide who is serious and who isn’t, but if we’re
    going to do it, the LNC should not appear to be giving special treatment to
    anyone. […]

    I agree they should remove Darryl Perry from the website. If he’s not filing with the FEC, then he’s not a serious candidate. It’s silly and discriminatory to make an exception only for him.

    But removing the whole list from the website will yet again make it seem like we’re not running any presidential candidates and make it much harder for anyone but Gary Johnson to be noticed by the delegates.

  37. paulie

    Agreed in general, but I think the traveling around to state conventions rule also made sense and helped explain why Perry is/was included. The additional candidates that qualified by dropping that rule are marginal at best. Perry is not just ignoring the FEC paperwork because he is a fuckup or mentally ill like some of the others, he is doing it based on libertarian principle and has taken the time to explain his reasons to both the FEC and the LP. In fact, Harry Browne seriously considered and openly talked about doing the same thing but ultimately did not. I also think it is a very risky strategy and it makes me personally less likely to support him, but I think the criteria under which Perry, Feldman and Kerbel were listed makes the most sense. Petersen should certainly qualify soon under those rules as well. If/when Johnson decides to run I’m sure he will quickly qualify as well. Unless of course he waits until all the state conventions are over (Bob Barr’s strategy from 2008) which I hope will not be what he will do.

    As I explained in some detail in 2011-12, I disagree with the position Chuck quotes Alicia taking above.

  38. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Paulie, what do you think about a new IPR article with the latest string of emails between Katz and Mattson… with it being updated if more LNC members weigh in?

  39. paulie

    I’m for it if you or someone wants to do it. I’d do it in principle but not in practice. Woke up late, haven’t got off the bed yet, need to get moving and get out there. I haven’t even checked my email yet so I haven’t seen that conversation or anything else and I need to get ready and go look for a place to work plus I have two OAI conference calls this afternoon/evening, laundry to be dropped off, other errands to run, a bunch of FB discussions to get back to including the one about and some others, my obligatory morning call to let my mother know I am not dead, in a ditch or locked up in jail again, etc etc etc. TMI as usual, but the bottom line is it’s a good idea if someone besides me is willing to make it happen 🙂

  40. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Paulie, if no one else does, I will post it later tonight if I can. I have a long list too:) But I think it is an important discussion.

  41. Wang Tang-Fu

    Get rid of the stupid FEC requirement. Who cares if Darryl Perry is not filing with them out of protest and Austin Petersen did not get around to it yet. Doesn’t matter, they are an anti liberty agency anyway.

    Dues paying LP member. Check.
    Not running for any other party. Check.
    Bother to call, email or carrier pigeon the national office. Check.

    That right there gets rid of the total goofballs.

    FEC paperwork is not a barrier to them. Check the FEC website listing of candidates and their submissions if you doubt this.

    Traveling to state conventions is a good one too. Haven’t done it yet? No problem. Show us a hotel booking, plane or train ticket purchase. Something besides just “here’s 15 states I plan to go to except I am actually not really going to be at any of them in real life” (Ince) or “fuck you, it’s your job to come to me and research me and I won’t spend a penny” (Pfeiderrer) or “Well if mana drops from heaven I will but I won’t lift a finger except to hit computer keyboards” (Milnes).

    Perry has done this, Petersen can and I believe will.

    Johnson? If he stays out until after all the state conventions are done he deserves to not be listed on the website. So what, he’ll probably win with or without it. And if he doesn’t, he should have tried harder.

  42. Andy Craig

    As a candidate for Congress, I’ll go on record as officially hating Daylight Savings Time.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to vote to abolish it. The whole thing is like a case study in government idiocy.. It’s not just trivial inconvenience either, numerous studies have found increases in fatal heart attacks and car crashes correlated to the switch back and forth. None of the justifications for it, rise above the level of veracity of your average urban legend. It probably didn’t accomplish anything in WWI, it certainly doesn’t today.

    Leave my clocks alone, Big Government!

  43. Andy Craig

    ^ that would be one of the myths I was referring to.

    “And contrary to popular belief, farmers really didn’t like Daylight Saving when it was first introduced and still don’t like it to this day.

    When daylight saving was first implemented in 1918, farmers were extremely opposed to having to turn back and forward their clocks because it disrupted their schedules and made it more difficult to get the most out of hired help.”

  44. Thor

    It’s not a myth. It’s reality. If you get home from office work at 5 you get 4 hours to work the fields during the summer. Without Daylight savings you only get 3 hours. To say it doesn’t benefit farmers is bullocks.

  45. paulie

    Shift it by an hour year round, or two hours, or three. The later it gets dark the better. The twice a year changes, fuggedaboutit.

  46. Andy Craig

    “It’s not a myth. It’s reality. If you get home from office work at 5 you get 4 hours to work the fields during the summer. Without Daylight savings you only get 3 hours. To say it doesn’t benefit farmers is bullocks.”

    Try talking to an actual farmer and see what they tell you about it. First, they don’t work until 5pm in a (second?) office job. Second, the hour you gain in the evening is lost in the morning, as they themselves will tell you while rolling their eyes at the assertion that DST is done for their benefit.

    This is pure, utter myth. It isn’t even the official reason for why we have DST, which is about saving energy on lighting (that’s not true either, but at least it’s more plausible.). It was never about farmers, and in fact it was farmers who lead the *opposition* to DST.

  47. Andy Craig

    1. Daylight saving time was meant to help farmers.

    Many of us heard, at some point in elementary school, that DST was developed because of farming. The idea that more daylight means more time in the field for farmers continues to get airtime on the occasional local news report and in state legislatures — “Farmers wanted it because it extends hours of working in the field,” Texas state Rep. Dan Flynn offered after filing a bill that would abolish DST. Even Michael Downing, who wrote a book about DST, has said that before researching the subject, “I always thought we did it for the farmers.”

    In fact, the inverse is true. “The farmers were the reason we never had a peacetime daylight saving time until 1966,” Downing told National Geographic. “They had a powerful lobby and were against it vociferously.” The lost hour of morning light meant they had to rush to get their crops to market. Dairy farmers were particularly flummoxed: Cows adjust to schedule shifts rather poorly, apparently.

    Daylight saving time, in this or any other country, was never adopted to benefit farmers; it was first proposed by William Willett to the British Parliament in 1907 as a way to take full advantage of the day’s light. Germany was the first country to implement it, and the United States took up the practice upon entering World War I, hypothetically to save energy. How did farmers end up being the mythical source of DST? Downing suggests that because they were such vocal opponents, “they became associated into the popular image of daylight-saving and it got inverted on them. It was just bad luck.”

  48. Thor

    I am a farmer. Most of us don’t live off the land. We have day jobs and work the evenings. It is obvious you are not a farmer.

  49. paulie

    I understand the argument for moving clocks forward, but what’s the argument for moving them back? Why not just move it by an hour, or two hours, and keep it that way year round so we don’t ever get darkness at 5 pm?

  50. Andy Craig

    Because then you’d have kids waiting around for school buses in the dark, is the usual answer. Though I agree, that would make a lot more sense than the absurd back-and-forth.

  51. paulie

    Start school later. They don’t need to get back at 3 pm to help with the crops anymore. It would cut down on latchkey kid problems, too.

  52. Thane Eichenauer

    If farmers with day jobs that preferred Daylight Savings Time were able to voluntarily persuade enough people to continue with twice a year disorientation then great. So long as I and those that don’t want to participate are not coerced into participating I have no objection. I live in Arizona. I feel a bit of joy twice a year when I note in passing the problem I don’t have.
    “Arizona is an exception to the rule when it comes to Daylight Saving Time in the United States.” per the good folks at DateAndTIme dot com.

  53. paulie

    “Arizona is an exception to the rule when it comes to Daylight Saving Time in the United States.” per the good folks at DateAndTIme dot com.

    Also Indiana, iirc.

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