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New Hampshire Libertarian Candidates Win Democratic Primary Races

Two Libertarian candidates in New Hampshire organized successful write-in campaigns to win county positions on last Tuesday’s Democratic primary ballot.

Nicholas Sarwark and Richard Manzo, who already met the requirements to appear as Libertarian candidates in the Hillsborough County Attorney and Treasurer elections before last Tuesday’s primary election, will now also appear on the ballot as the official Democratic nominees. This is because no Democratic candidate filed to appear on the primary ballot for either position, leaving the two Libertarians to mount insurgent write-in campaigns.

Totals released by the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office show that Sarwark earned 1,023 votes in his race for Hillsborough County Attorney and Manzo earned 993 write-in votes in his race for Hillsborough County Treasurer.

A text sent out by supporters of Nicholas Sarwark and Richard Manzo on the day of the primary. Image courtesy of Twitter.

While fusion voting is a practice more commonly associated with areas like New York and Vermont, a variation is allowed under New Hampshire state law in particular circumstances. Candidates who win an open seat through a successful write-in effort are allowed to appear on the ballot under their initial label and that of the party whose primary they had won.

For Sarwark and Manzo, both candidates will have their names listed on the ballot in their respective elections twice. In this particular circumstance, vote splitting is not a concern as the total number of votes cast for a specific candidate will be combined and tallied regardless of party association.

Nicholas Sarwark and Richard Manzo are both experienced candidates and were previously in Libertarian Party leadership roles.

Nicholas Sarwark served as Chair of the Libertarian National Committee for six years after succeeding Geoff Neale in 2014. He ran for Hillsborough County Attorney in 2020, earning 5% of the vote. Before that, Sarwark ran for Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona, in the 2018 cycle, where he achieved 10% of the vote in a four-way election.

Richard Manzo chaired the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire following the 2020 resignation of Brian Shields. He did not seek reelection in 2021. Manzo is a three-time elected official in Goffstown, New Hampshire, and previously sought the county treasurer position as a Libertarian in 2020, earning 5% of the vote. He additionally served on the LNC Candidate Support Committee in 2020.

Both candidates will face off against the Republican candidate they challenged in the 2020 cycle.

Disclaimer: The author of this article is a professional associate of Nicholas Sarwark and a romantic partner of Richard Manzo. 


  1. Joe McCann Joe McCann November 10, 2022

    They came pretty close to sneaking into office. Fortunately, enough people saw through their deception. They’ll have to wait another election cycle to try and mess up civic institutions.

  2. George Phillies George Phillies September 22, 2022

    Note that they are also running as Libertarians, but there was this defenseless empty ballot position.

  3. Thomas R. Eddlem Thomas R. Eddlem September 22, 2022

    Glad they’ve found a new party they’re comfortable being involved in.

    Good for them. Au revoir.

  4. Austin Cassidy Austin Cassidy September 20, 2022

    Very cool, congratulations to Sarwark and Mazo!

  5. Andy Andy September 18, 2022

    Arkansas and Alabama can both nominate candidates by convention for all partisan offices, and with no filing fees, if they complete the party status petition, which both the LP of Alabama and the LP of Arkansas did.

    The LP of Pennsylvania has 17 or 18 candidates, and since Pennsylvania has no party status petition, all candidates in PA for every office must petition their way onto the ballot. The LP of Pennsylvania broke a record this year for the most volunteer signatures ever collected on a Libertarian Party petition drive, and they may have set a record for the most volunteer petition signatures ever collected on any Libertarian Party petition drive anywhere.

  6. Johno Johno September 18, 2022

    Didn’t know about Alabama and Arkansas. Thank you very much.

  7. George Phillies George Phillies September 18, 2022

    States with really large numbers of Libertarian candidates include Alabama and Arkansas. In New Hampshire the LP has Kelly Halldorson (Governor), Nick Sarwark (County Attorney), Richard Manzo (County Treasurer), Valerie Sarwark (State Representative), Karlyn Borysenko (Governor), and Jeremy Kauffman (U.S. Senate). I’m not sure I followed your question.

  8. Johno Johno September 18, 2022

    Does the Libertarian Party have more candidates running in New Hampshire, Wyoming, or someplace else? Other than the Vermont Progressive Party in Vermont what other state has multiple parties candidates other than LP and VPP?

  9. George Whitfield George Whitfield September 17, 2022

    Congratulations to Sarwark and Mazo for clever and effective campaigning and success in gaining the nominations. I hope they will win in November.

  10. George Phillies George Phillies September 16, 2022

    There is a Democratic Party column and a Libertarian Party column (perhaps two of these) and they will appear in both, or so I understand.

  11. Johno Johno September 16, 2022

    I guess they will be LD candidate instead of LP candidate? Well, they might actually have a shot to win against the Republican opponent.

  12. George Phillies George Phillies September 16, 2022

    Sarwark and Mazo got that many votes, and won, because the made a maximum campaign effort, even though they were running unopposed. Their other choice was to line up the needed votes, say 50 for a safety margin, and keep quiet. If they had done that they would have lost, because the Republican County attorney ran his own stealth writein campaign in the Democratic Primary, got close to 100 votes, and would have won against a Sarwark stealth campaign.

    There is a lesson here: Campaign every time as if it is a life and death struggle. That’s how I won as a Massachusetts Libertarian State Committeeman. The fellow I beat, who ran a writein campaign, lied to my face as to whether or not he was running a writein effort. If I had believed him I would have lost. I won because I ran a maximum campaign effort.

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