Yesterday, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky appeared on Fox News and encouraged those who voted for Libertarian Party candidate Shane Hazel in one of the two US Senate races in Georgia earlier this month to vote for the Republican candidates in the two runoff elections on January 5. The runoffs feature incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue facing Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, and Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock challenging incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler. If Republicans win one of the races they retain control of the Senate. If Democrats win both races then the Senate splits 50-50 and Democrats gain control due to the tiebreaking vote of presumptive Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
In the interview with Julie Banderas of Fox News, Paul commented:
One of the things that I’ve take upon myself is to try to encourage . . . there was a little over 100,000 people who voted for Shane Hazel, the Libertarian candidate and I think those people can find a place and reason to vote for Republicans. Look, I get fed up with Republicans not spending money wisely and adding to our debt but they are better than the Democrats, even if only sometimes marginally so, but on some things like packing the Court and DC statehood, Republicans will help protect the country from all branches of government being controlled by the Democrats. So I think there is some argument for some of these 100,000 Libertarians to actually vote Republican and I’m going be spending some time trying to encourage them to vote Republican in the runoff.
Hazel was on the ballot In the initial race featuring Perdue and Ossoff. According to the latest count from the Associated Press, Hazel finished in third place, receiving 115,039 votes or 2.3 percent. Perdue fell 0.3 percent short of receiving the 50 percent majority he needed to avoid a runoff. Libertarian Brian Slowinski was on the ballot in the initial Warnock-Loeffler race and received 35,431 votes for 0.7 percent, which amounted to 13th place in the 20 person race.
There is no indication on Twitter that Hazel has endorsed either candidate in the race but he did retweet the following, which asked Perdue and Loeffler to appear on his podcast and earn the support of Libertarians:
If @SenateGOP and @sendavidperdue and @KLoeffler want to win GA senate seats they are both going to need to motivate and activate the libertarians and the liberty movement. They need to sit down with @ShaneTHazel and have a conversation. Maybe on his podcast. Earn our votes.
— Eric (@Ericp904) November 13, 2020