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Arizona State and National Libertarians React to Mark Victor

Earlier this week, Libertarian Mark Victor dropped out of the race for US Senate in Arizona, throwing his support behind Republican Blake Masters. Before dropping out of the race, several polls released in October that included Victor showed him performing significantly enough to cover the margin between Masters and Democrat Mark Kelly.

Word of Victor’s endorsement quickly spread across Libertarian circles and generated significant controversy. Arizona Libertarians on a local and state level were quick to condemn Victor for his actions and what it meant for the state’s tens of thousands of Libertarians.

“The party of principle does not sell out to the highest bidder or kowtow to bullies,” said Arizona Libertarian Party Chair Emily S. Goldberg in an official statement. “Many Libertarians were appropriately concerned at some off-color statements made by candidate Victor early on. Nevertheless, the party gave him credit where credit was due in having obtained the amount of signatures necessary to appear on the ballot. In appearing there, Marc Victor accepted the trust of AZLP’s 40,000 voters, and the independent and party not declared voters who routinely vote with us. His last-minute divert to endorse the GOP’s candidate is a breach of that trust and was not supported by the AZLP.”

A statement from the Maricopa County Libertarian Party echoed the state affiliate’s sentiments. “Arizona Libertarians have waited years for representation on the ballot, and unfortunately, Marc Victor has removed that option from the equation”, a statement released by County Chair Brandon Slayton read. “Forcing Arizonans to continue to wait for a dedicated liberty alternative, who is committed enough to seeing the race through the end on election day.”

The response from Libertarian National Committee members has been mixed, with several members denouncing the action of Victor but preferring to leave it up to Arizona to decide ultimately.

Region 6 Alternate Mark Tuniewicz wrote in an email titled “Unprincipled Libertarian US Senate canddiate [sic] endorses old-party candidate” that the LNC needs to take “swift action.”

“This Committee has been quick to try and remedy other situations […] intervening significantly where we see a wrong done,” Tuniewicz wrote in an email prompting the discussion. “In my view, this is worse than many of those situations. I hope that our leadership is ready to censure, ban, or otherwise condem [sic] Mr. Victor for his betrayal of his supporters and the party in general.”

Other members felt similarly to Tuniewicz that the endorsement was improper but that it wasn’t the place of the LNC to intervene. Referencing an earlier Facebook post, LNC Secretary Caryn Ann Harlos said she’s of the position that it “violates [LNC] bylaws implicitly,” however she will not be signing on to any action. “This is AZ’s business. Is Region 6 calling to interfere in Region 1?”

“The Region 1 Alternate who actually lives in Arizona has asked us in much nicer terms to butt out. And I will respect that. They are handling,” Harlos said in a follow-up response.

LNC Chair Angela also felt it appropriate for the Libertarian National Committee to remain uninvolved and instead focus on the hundreds of other candidates running for office across the country. “We have over 600 candidates who are still working on their campaigns and those people need our attention right now. Stirring up conflict on the public list is not helpful. Reaching out to candidates to see if they need last minute support is helpful. I recommend we focus on that. It’s what I’ve been doing.”

Vice Chair Joshua Smith added that he “won’t be interested in condemning the non violent actions of an individual candidate that [the LNC] did not endorse nor fund.”

Victor will remain on the ballot despite dropping out of the race. His actions are reminiscent of the Green Party candidate in Arizona’s 2018 US Senate election, who would also drop out and endorse the Democrat then-Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, but have their name remain on the ballot. Early voting in Arizona is currently underway.

About Post Author

Jordan Willow Evans

Jordan is the managing editor for Independent Political Report. She has appeared on ABC News, NBC Boston, Sky News, BNT 1, and numerous local outlets. She is a proponent of civic inclusion and awareness and was featured in Represent: The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World and the Worcester Historical Museum exhibit PRETTY POWERFUL: 100 Years of Voting & Style.

11 Comments

  1. NewFederalist NewFederalist November 7, 2022

    Gene Berkman- I’m not sure the LP can do anything to protect itself. The Mises folks have pretty much taken over the party and I fear if someone other than Trump gets to GOP nod then they might hand him the LP nomination. A very sad state of affairs indeed!

  2. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman November 6, 2022

    In the article linked by Michael Francis Gilson there is this:
    “Biasco has positioned himself to the right of DeGroot on a number of issues. He has called Joe Biden an “illegitimate” president and falsely states that Donald Trump was the winner of the 2020 presidential election.”

    Just as well that Biasco has dropped out. Too bad he can’t take his name off the ballot.

    New Jersey has very easy ballot access, and every year since 1974 the NJ LP has qualified candidates in most Congressional districts, and none have done well, and the few who might have voted for Biasco won’t make much difference, even if they hear about this endorsement.

    The Libertarian Party is growing in terms of voter registration in states where that is counted, And more people have heard of The Libertarian Party than at any time in the past. But in local communities, LP groups tend to be small, with few activists, and candidates are recruited on the basis of who wants to run gets to run, because there are usually no other volunteers.

    The growing visibility of The Libertarian Party has made it a back-up option in a few cases for right-wing candidates who can’t get a Republican nomination. The Libertarian Party is bigger than the Constitution Party everywhere except possibly in Nevada, so a right-wing candidate looking for a ballot line is more likely to find the Libertarian Party than the Constitution Party. That appears to be the case here, it is certainly the case in New Mexico, and also, possibly in the Colorado race for U.S. Senate.

    In short, right-wingers in and around the Trump movement are a current threat to the Libertarian Party. Not sure what we can do with the resources available.

  3. Jared Jared November 5, 2022

    Justin Amash called the move “pathetic,” and I’m inclined to agree. I’d apply the same label to Dave Smith’s earlier endorsement of Blake Masters.

  4. Con calma, amigos.

    Yes, in general the candidates and state Chair/Board should have worked all this out beforehand, and lacking that a candidate should follow the Chair’s/State Party strategy. To this end LNC created a model by-laws 20 years ago for both LNC-authrized state parties and associations, but as far as I know it’s not being used. The Libertarian Institute (LI–mine, the original) developed a successful program of vetting/training beforehand that helps prevent any surprises. LNC has those materials and demographic studies, they were sent to every state, plus my permission to use them. Lacking these tools in place, candidate knows best but should take advantage of the wisdom of people like Marc T.

    The real US LP/LP focus should, in my opinion, again be the original 1971 agenda of doing what was done in Florida: Implement Direct Democracy of 60% vote on the State Constitution so an informed public can bit by bit implement libertarian-direction policies suggested by LP and LI, ballot access and income/small home tax abolition and a condominium statute to implement voluntary libertarian eco-socialism (as opposed to phony coercive socialism as in Florida) being the first. The LP neglects this so is stuck in a cycle of being whipsawed by e.g. pricey state ballot access concerns instead of this solution. Using the ‘D.E.M.O.C.R.A.C.I.A.’ agenda as set by Party fathers (of which I’m the last, to be continued by the Gilson family) and creating libertarian-direction candidates to create libertarian-direction states as Florida is the solution to a lot of this.

    The current Mises group seems to understand some of this with their localist agenda. LNC has a lot to handle, AZ had tools it did not use, and for now the suggested focus on the other 600 candidates is wise. But as I say how do you hard/lead cats and don’t re-invent flat tires–Libertarian Management 101.

    US LP was created as a Libertarian centristic kindergarten, rally point, and playground to experiment for the public, then up-and-out back to the other parties… plus convert the many infiltrators sent against us…and as long as it is a venue that does conferences, gets people informed and conversant with fielding candidates/activism via conventions, expands abroad–all of which is happening–it’s good. LI and the other LIO projects as does the rest. Ad interim, this run up a good 6% poll tally than endorse, as long as something is negotiated, is a valid tactic. Maybe it should be made conscious and added to the state tactical toolkits…No matter what happens, they owe their position to the LP/libertarian-fan voters. So ask for something (a Federal law for open ballot access? I’m sure there’re many points of common ground)–this is a local opportunity, not a problem.

    As it stands, LI uses any libertarian including LP grist in its mill. While the Kansas LP debated with newbies (which is fine–it should do that) LI just had a nice abortion victory in Kansas and I’ll be meeting with folks here in DC interested in judicial matters to explain the facts of life to them. If the AZ GOP endorsee gets elected and is suitable he may get a little visit from me or a Gilson representative to discuss cat herding. As it is I’m in DC for aa bit talking to many people discussing LI current objectives (and recent Libertarian International Organization work in Russia/China/Ukraine) they can expect to continue over the next century, plus data on what is really going on in Russia vote tallies, etc. As to the other Gilson and De Lemos growing children, the liberal Parties need to spread to all nations and the Greens and their issues is left of Stalin in the US and Germany but its original libertarian-lite condo eco-socialist small community in other countries, and just not a priority.

    LNC can create only one state party….but it can create numerous state Libertarian-Direction/fan associations to do a variety of things and experiment as the locals like. It may use that more to handle some of the agita over Mises Caucus setting a direction.In addition there’re other groups, some of which it set, that handle functions as Congressional Federal candidates. LNC has a lot of tools at hand. Remember that.

    So–con calma. I remember when my father taught Lew Mises how to pronounce ‘libertarian’ correctly. (‘LibraTAREniung!’)… Things are cooking, libratareniungs.

    Many cats self-leading to the cooking smells. Tigers too.

    (Ms. Evans: Getting odd messages from Captcha. If there is a double or multiple post, sorry. Please post this one. Thanks. Keep up the good work!)

  5. Thane Eichenauer Thane Eichenauer November 4, 2022

    While news coverage identifies Marc Victor as a Libertarian candidate, all of his campaigning was done using his Live and Let Live Movement branding. He expressly disclaimed any loyalty to the Libertarian Party. He has publicly stated that he plans to pursue the Republican party nomination in 2024 to run against US Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

    His campaign website appears at a glance to not mention the Libertarian party at all.

    https://www.liveandletliverevolution.com/

  6. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman November 4, 2022

    I think NewFederalist and George Whitfield are being a little unfair to Marc Victor.
    Because of a law passed by Republicans in the Arizona legislature that makes it hard for Libertarian candidates to enter the LP primary, there have not been any Libertarian candidates on the Arizona ballot for US Senate since Marc Victor ran against Sen. Jeff Flake in 2012.

    Mark Victor paid for a petition drive to qualify for the ballot in 2022. I am not sure why he decided to drop out, but it could be an issue like having to file reports on his fund-raising and his assets. Or maybe he just did not want to face the demands on his time of campaigning.

    It is tragic that the first statewide Libertarian candidate in Arizona since 2018 has dropped out, and even more tragic that he endorsed a candidate who has called libertarianism ” a failure” but I don’t think recriminations are useful. We can hope Marc Victor remains active in The Libertarian Party and makes better judgment calls in the future.

  7. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman November 4, 2022

    I think NewFederalist and George Whitfield are being a little unfair to Marc Victor.
    Because of a law passed by Republicans in the Arizona legislature that makes it hard for Libertarian candidates to enter the LP primary, there have not been any Libertarian candidates on the Arizona ballot for US Senate since Marc Victor ran against Sen. Jeff Flake in 2012.

    Mark Victor paid for a petition drive to qualify for the ballot in 2022. The Libertarian National Committee did not provide any support to his petition drive or campaign, and I have no information to indicate what the Arizaon Libertarian Party might have done to support him. It seems that his Senate campaign was a matter of his own initiative in the first place. He did not betray the LNC which by its own admission provided no support to his campaign, and he did not betray the Arizona LP which had not qualified any statewide candidates in the last 6 years.

    I am not sure why he decided to drop out, but it could be an issue like having to file reports on his fund-raising and his assets. Or maybe he just did not want to face the demands on his time of campaigning.

    It is tragic that the first statewide Libertarian candidate in Arizona since 2018 has dropped out, and even more tragic that he endorsed a candidate who has called libertarianism ” a failure” but I don’t think recriminations are useful. We can hope Marc Victor remains active in The Libertarian Party and makes better judgment calls in the future.

  8. George Whitfield George Whitfield November 3, 2022

    I agree New Federalist. If a person wants to be a candidate for office then they should carefully consider all the factors before seeking a nomination. If they think that at some point they would withdraw and endorse someone else, then they should refrain from proceeding. The place for withdrawals is in the competitions prior to a nomination whether that is the primary method or convention method. But once a political party nominates a candidate, they should understand the obligation to stay in the race because they represent not just themselves but a whole group of people. I think Mr. Victor betrayed the people who nominated him and campaigned for him.

  9. NewFederalist NewFederalist November 3, 2022

    There is really very little good that can be said about this betrayal. If you don’t really want to run then don’t. If you seek the LP nomination for anything and then squander it… well, shame on you. I hope Mr. Victor joins the GOP if that is where he belongs. 30 pieces of silver… Benedict Arnold… you know all the usual stuff.

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