Austin Petersen today won the Libertarian Party of West Virginia’s presidential straw poll at the party’s state convention in Flatwoods. The win is apparently his first statewide straw poll victory of the 2016 Libertarian nominating cycle. This past week has been a busy one for Petersen, whose campaign has attracted the interest of some Republicans unwilling to support presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, including a RedState blogger who mentioned Petersen’s name twice in a CNN interview. Petersen’s campaign added several thousand Facebook likes since Trump essentially clinched the GOP nomination on May 3rd and a video posted to his Facebook page addressing former Ted Cruz supporters has received over 161,000 views.
The results of the West Virginia straw poll (courtesy of Petersen’s Facebook page) are as follows:
Austin Petersen: 22 votes
Gary Johnson: 18 votes
John McAfee: 1 vote
Darryl W. Perry: 1 vote
NOTA: 1 vote
According to the Libertarian Party of West Virginia’s website, in addition to Petersen attending the convention, Gary Johnson was also a speaker at the event. Additionally, Libertarian Party executive director Wes Benedict, LP political director Carla Howell, and LNC regional representative James Lark were presenters. Two Republicans engaged the attendees as well: Republican Liberty Caucus of West Virginia chair Ashley Stinnett and Republican state delegate Pat McGeehan.
The LP West Virginia website lists the following candidates the party is running in the 2016 elections:
- David Moran for Governor
- Karl Kolenich for Attorney General
- John Buckley for Secretary of State
- Buddy Guthrie for Commissioner of Agriculture
- Brent West for Treasurer
- Brent Ricketts for Auditor
- Zane Lawhorn for U.S. House, 3rd Dist.
- Matt Persinger for State Senate, 13th Dist.
- Travis Simms for House of Delegates, 32nd Dist.
- Michael Ray for House of Delegates, 50th Dist.
- Eddie Wagoner for House of Delegates, 51st Dist.
- Tonya Persinger for House of Delegates, 55th Dist.
- James Copley for Cabell County Sheriff
- Amanda Shultz for Pleasants Co. Board of Ed.
- Joel Davis for Paden City Mayor