Kerry Douglas McKennon announces candidacy for Libertarian Vice Presidential nomination

Photo from "Kerry Douglas McKennon for VP" on Facebook.

Photo from “Kerry Douglas McKennon for VP” on Facebook.

Press Release submitted to IPR:

My name is Kerry Douglas McKennon. I wish to express my intent to become the Libertarian Party nominee for Vice President of the United States.

I have been active in the Libertarian Party for a number of years, currently serving as the Hale County Chair, a senate district representative of the Libertarian Party of Texas Executive Committee, the Platform Committee Chair for Texas, and the National Secretary for Outright Libertarians. I chose to independently seek the nomination for Vice President to give our voters a choice instead of just accepting the pick of our Presidential nominee. While we can assume that great care went into their decision, ultimately it is left to the Libertarian Party to select the candidates who will represent them nationally.

I believe I bring a great compliment to a Libertarian Party ticket. My devoted work to the cause of liberty in Texas, in the various roles I have served, are testament to my belief in the mission of the Libertarian Party.

As a member of the LGBTQ community, I also offer insight to the struggle to uphold civil liberties. It wasn’t until recently, my husband and I could even have our marriage recognized by the majority of the states.

As you have stood by us in our struggle, I will stand by you in defense of individual liberty. I humbly ask for your consideration.

Individual Liberty for All,
Kerry

32 thoughts on “Kerry Douglas McKennon announces candidacy for Libertarian Vice Presidential nomination

  1. Andy

    I’ve been an LP member for over 19 years, and I follow what goes on in the party pretty closely, and this is yet another candidate for the Presidential ticket of whom I have never heard of them.

  2. paulie

    yet another candidate for the Presidential ticket

    I had not heard of Lord, Jorgensen, or Campagna before those conventions either, as far as I can recall. Not sure about Olivier. I did hear of Root and Gray before they ran for VP, but I may not have heard of Root before he ran for president. I have heard of McKennon, and pretty sure I met him, but granted he is not a big celebrity.

  3. Andy


    paulie

    October 4, 2015 at 12:34 am

    ‘yet another candidate for the Presidential ticket’

    I had not heard of Lord, Jorgensen, or Campagna before those conventions either, as far as I can recall. Not sure about Olivier. I did hear of Root and Gray before they ran for VP, but I may not have heard of Root before he ran for president. I have heard of McKennon, and pretty sure I met him, but granted he is not a big celebrity.”

    I was not in the LP when Lord ran for VP. I was just finding out about the LP when Jorgensen ran. I had never heard of Campanga, and I recall hearing that he came to the convention with promises of big donations being lined up if he got nominated, and these donations never materialized, and from what I recall, he did not add much to the ticket.

    I had heard of Art Olivier prior to the 2000 convention because he had been an elected Libertarian of the city of Bellflower, CA.

  4. Andy

    “because he had been an elected Libertarian of the city of Bellflower, CA.”

    Should read, “because he had been an elected Libertarian Mayor of the city of Bellflower, CA.”

  5. Andy Craig Post author

    I figured the fact that he ran for office in 2014 as a Libertarian, and has the positions he lists with LP-TX and Outright, meant it at least passed enough of a smell test for an IPR posting. A couple of other Libertarian friends I floated it past had also at least heard of him before. The novelty and relative rarity of an independent campaign for the VP nomination also seemed noteworthy. That’s happened before, but they aren’t terribly common. But I agree, he is not exactly a big-name candidate or anybody I’m familiar with either.

    It does raise some interesting general questions though. Should presidential candidates, as Johnson did in 2012, name their preferred running mate before the convention as part of their pre-nomination campaign? Should the party have contested and open pre-nomination campaign for the VP nomination, separate and distinct from the pres. nomination? (cf. the ‘Vice Presidential primaries’ that have been suggested by some in the major-parties?) Or, as has often been the past practice, should the VP nomination be given as the consolation prize to whichever of the runners up is willing to accept it (or whose delegates for pres. can deliver the majority), as a show of unity or ‘ticket-balancing’?

    I think the pres. nominee de facto picking their running mate is actually the superior system. It allows for the running mate to be an integral part of the campaign and its strategy from day one, and ensures that both persons on the ticket are comfortable with each other and ready to work together. The pres. candidate, pre-convention, has more opportunity to vet their short list and weigh the options, vs. the assembled delegates on the floor shooting from the hip. I think we saw this in 2012. Whether you agree with Jim Gray or not on whatever issue (and I’m sure somebody will chime in with those disagreements), for those reasons he was quite easily the most *effective* VP nominee we’ve had. He actively campaigned, served as a ready surrogate, was involved in the campaign, had a good working relationship with the nominee, and provided a credible answer to the question “Who’s your Vice President?” – which is basically everything we should want in a VP nominee.

    I think that model works better, than the cases where we have saddled the pres. nominee with a running mate not of their choosing, or when a deal is made on the convention floor with a runner-up (a la 2008). Other candidates not named Johnson seeking the 2016 nomination, would be well-served to team up with an endorsed running mate. If nothing else it would help them stand out from the pack, and demonstrate a greater modicum of seriousness than has been present in the race thus far.

  6. Andy Craig Post author

    Also, out of curiosity, is it possible to register a *vice* presidential campaign committee with the FEC? How does that work?

  7. Andy

    The Presidential candidate should be able to name which VP nominee they prefer (if they desire to do this), but the nomination should still be up to the delegates.

  8. Andy

    Andy Craig said: “Jim Gray or not on whatever issue (and I’m sure somebody will chime in with those disagreements), for those reasons he was quite easily the most *effective* VP nominee we’ve had.”

    I would not automatically assume that he was the most effective VP candidate that the LP has had without doing an analysis of all of the past VP nominees.

  9. Andy Craig Post author

    You could make a case for David Koch I suppose, albeit in a very different manner.

  10. steve m

    Jim Gray was tasked with calling me up and getting more cash. He was effective and their teams effort as too how much each contributor had put in was up to date and correct.

  11. paulie

    I would not automatically assume that he was the most effective VP candidate that the LP has had without doing an analysis of all of the past VP nominees.

    I assume the major financial contribution David Koch was able to make by virtue of being the VP candidate in 1980, even though everyone understood he would not be actively campaigning when he was nominated, should count for something. Tonie Nathan added a couple of interesting historical footnotes to the Hospers ticket. Maybe some others.

  12. Andy Craig Post author

    It’s hard to say much about the general election performance of a ticket that was only on the ballot in two states, so I don’t think you can really compare Hospers/Nathan ’72 to later tickets. Nathan certainly did a lot for the party over the years, but I don’t think she had much to do with MacBride’s decision to cast a faithless EV.

    Bergland (76) and Marrou (88) went on to be the presidential nominee in their own right. Marrou’s status as an elected Libertarian State Rep. probably added something to Paul’s 1988 campaign, but I”m not sure how much. Other than that we have Jim Lewis (’84), Nancy Lord (’92), Jo Jorgensen (’96), Art Olivier (’00), Richard Campagna (’04), and of course The Notorious W.A.R.

    I’m not saying any of those were bad candidates (other than Root anyway). But the fact that they remain relatively obscure names even in L.P. circles kind of speaks for itself.

  13. Andy

    Andy Craig: “But the fact that they remain relatively obscure names even in L.P. circles kind of speaks for itself.”

    Art Olivier went on to run for Governor of California, and then later made a movie about 9/11. It is not like he’s a huge name, but he has remained active and did not disappear into obscurity like some of the others.

  14. Andy

    Andy Craig said: “I’m not saying any of those were bad candidates (other than Root anyway).”

    I am not a fan of Root, but he did get a lot of media coverage (by LP standards).

  15. Andy

    Andy Craig said: “Marrou’s status as an elected Libertarian State Rep. probably added something to Paul’s 1988 campaign, but I”m not sure how much. Other than that we have Jim Lewis (’84), Nancy Lord (’92), Jo Jorgensen (’96), Art Olivier (’00), ”

    I gathered petition signatures to place Harry Browne and Art Olivier on the ballot in a couple of states. One question that I periodically have been asked over the years while gathering petition signatures for the Libertarian Party is if the party has elected anyone to any offices. When I worked on the petitions to place Harry Browne and Art Olivier on the ballot and I got asked this question, I responded with something like, “Yes, the Libertarian Party candidate for Vice President, Art Olivier, has been elected as the Mayor of Bellflower, California.” This at least gave me an answer that directly related to one candidates for whom I was gathering ballot access petition signatures at the time.

  16. David

    There were plenty of folks who thought Nancy Lord would have been a good presidential candidate. I saw her speak at a rally during the 1993 LP Convention in Salt Lake City.

  17. Andy

    “paulie

    October 4, 2015 at 10:41 am

    ‘I am not a fan of Root, but he did get a lot of media coverage (by LP standards).’

    So does Augustus Invictus.”

    I am not aware of Augustus Invictus getting a lot of media coverage, outside of IPR.

  18. Andy

    “George Phillies

    October 4, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Campagna was the bottom of the lot as a VP candidate. Root’s post-election actions are a separate issue.”

    Root got a lot of media coverage (by LP standards), but his media coverage failed to grow the party.

  19. Andy Craig Post author

    “I am not aware of Augustus Invictus getting a lot of media coverage, outside of IPR.”

    Since Wyllie’s resignation the story has been picked up several mainstream media sources, at least compared to IPR.

  20. Andy Craig Post author

    “I am not a fan of Root, but he did get a lot of media coverage (by LP standards).”

    This is true, and I think he was actually right to brag about that. Of course, Root doesn’t exactly leave a positive impression, but such as it was his job to get on TV and be identified as the LP VP nom., he did that.

    But, when it comes time for the top of the ticket to answer that question as to who their VP is, “a retired prosecutor and judge who has spoken out for legalization” (or as you note in 2000 “the former Mayor of a 70k+ pop. city”, or in 1992 “an elected Libertarian State Representative”) sounds a lot better than”a cracked-out Vegas bookie and D-list political pundit.”

    Whether or not we’ve seen it happen to past LP tickets is debatable, but I do think it’s true that the ticket can lose votes from having a manifestly unqualified candidate for VP.

  21. paulie

    Of course, Root doesn’t exactly leave a positive impression, but such as it was his job to get on TV and be identified as the LP VP nom., he did that.

    True as well.

  22. Andy

    Andy Craig said: “or in 1992 ‘an elected Libertarian State Representative’) ”

    Andre Marrou was Ron Paul’s VP running mate in 1988. He was the Presidential candidate in 1992. Nancy Lord was his VP running mate.

  23. Deja Vu All Over Again

    I think that when Joe Voter first hears about any Libertarian Party candidate it’s good to have them pass the “aware of basic strategic concepts” sniff test, in addition to the “is a principled libertarian” sniff test. Now, it’s become pretty obvious that the latter test is the only one that Libertarians care about. However, there’s a growing contingent of angry small-L libertarians who wish that the LP would care, even slightly, about WINNING ELECTIONS. Many of these people are “Ron Paul”-style semi-inconsistent libertarians.

    That said, a candidate photo says a lot about the candidate. If he’s not capable of smiling, looking clean, and making eye contact with a camera lens, that sends a psychological signal to the viewer: (This person might be a nutjob) + (I’ve never heard of him before) = (I might embarrass myself if I support this guy, and, I’d probably be wasting my time, since he clearly has zero chance of mobilizing support).

    Sure, some people will make an effort to find out what this guy’s views are, and he has more chances to put a decent photo of himself out there. Nonetheless, it is my belief that superficial voters outnumber those who “do their homework.” I think the current situation in the USA is evidence of this fact. The American people don’t know there’s a problem, so too few of them are looking for a solution.

    This is a “freedom” “buyer’s market.” All these various Hitlers, Stalins, Maos, Trumps, etc. have their style of “freedom” and all are trying to get the average American idiot to buy. They are all squirming about, trying to find the right philosophical and strategic territory to cover. Very few are guided by anything other than polling numbers, in their search for the message and image that unites enough demographics for a winning level of financial donations. Some of them have an image solely because they have money and are belligerent and loud, and this is popular with people, because strong willed people with money often “get things done.”

    This shows what the caliber of the debate is: People just want something to “get done” but they have no idea what should “get done.” …Much as Ayn Rand and her students have noticed, America is rudderless, drifting without a philosophy, in similar fashion to Germany in 1934.

    The average unprincipled idiot sometimes sees the Libertarian Party in that squirming mass of politicians. They also see Rand Paul, somewhat more frequently. They also see Adam Kokesh, Stefan Molyneux, Peter Schiff, and other people who are “not fully in the political fight.” They also see prospective fighters, although it’s mostly the early adopters who see these candidates.

    As conditions worsen, people will be more open to a libertarian alternative, even if the LP remains a tactically and strategically incompetent organization.

    I expect an alternative to the LP to emerge suddenly, when this becomes the case, since the LP “doesn’t do what it needs to do.” Because the LP is disloyal it can’t retain its activists, and because it hasn’t retained activists and therefore isn’t large, people rightfully don’t trust it. Now, every organization “has to start somewhere,” …but the LP started in 1971. Maybe it took 20 years to detect and eliminate “fuckery” (unfair ballot access, FBI infiltration, etc.). …But if it still hasn’t done so, then maybe it can’t do it.

    This leads to one inescapable conclusion:

    What the LP needs to do has not changed for 30 years, but they either don’t know what to do, or are unwilling to do it. …It doesn’t matter why this is the case, although some likely-accurate suspicions have been floated on this site.

    Continuing to run “nobodies” who lack basic strategic political awareness(yes, it’s different from philosophical awareness) isn’t smart. It usually doesn’t deserve the coverage it gets. (NOTE: I’m not saying it shouldn’t be covered.) The LP often runs, if I had to guess, 1,000 or so such nobodies per election, and they usually fail miserably, because none of them effectively walk their local districts with smiles on their faces. Perhaps they should be reported here, but it would be good to report them in undifferentiated bulk, perhaps on a scrolling webpage with maybe a photo of uniform size and a 100-word description below with a link to their websites.

    In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter what such candidates do, as they will not impact any meaningful policy. It’s all the worse when they run for an office that people actually care about, because this diminishes the LP in the eyes of the average voter, and emboldens the mainstream coercive sociopaths who will ultimately win that office to believe that libertarian opposition to their grand plans is ineffectual and negligible.

  24. Mark Axinn

    I have to say I wondered about the photo too.

    BTW, Jo Jorgensen was a dedicated candidate and a really nice person, like her mentor Harry Browne, but she dropped off the planet after 1996. I met her a few times that summer (the LP Convention that year was Independence Day weekend in DC and she came to New York a few times as she was friendly with out then New York Chair Gail Bova).

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