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Vermont Legislator Jarrod Sammis Joins Libertarian Party

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Vermont legislator Jarrod Sammis of Castleton announced his decision to switch his party affiliation from Republican to that of the Libertarian Party. He becomes the first Libertarian legislator to serve Vermont since Neil Randall’s 1998 electoral victory.

A video screenshot from local Vermont media WCAX3 on 5/3/2023.

Joining LNC Region 8 Representative Pat Ford and Libertarian Party of Vermont Chair Olga Madach-Duclerc, Sammis addressed a small crowd of his fellow legislators and local press at the Vermont State House in Montpellier. “True freedom and opportunity is the ultimate form of equity for all Vermonters and all Americans, and the Libertarian Party understands this,” the Rutland Herald quotes Sammis as saying to the audience at the time.

During his conference, Sammis spoke more about what attracted him to the Libertarian Party than what drove him away from the Republicans, including its position on social issues, civil liberties, and ending the war on drugs. Sammis also supported proposing legislation forbidding Vermont’s National Guard from being activated and deployed overseas in lieu of a formal declaration of war.

There is some uncertainty and speculation surrounding when Sammis changed his partisan affiliation to that of a Libertarian. Over a week before Wednesday’s press conference, he requested the press and those with inquiries to direct all questions to LNC Region 8 Rep Pat Ford, who he also stated was acting as his press secretary. He also claimed to be a fusion candidate for both the Libertarians and Republicans during his campaign and that his constituents were aware; however, he only appeared on the ballot under one designation.

It is unknown at this time the proximity in which Rep. Jarrod Sammis will work with either the Vermont Libertarian Party or the Libertarian National Committee or what immediate intraparty plans he has next. However, speaking in conversation with Independent Political Report, LNC Region 8 Representative Pat Ford explained that while he expects Sammis to be “much more” involved with his legislative responsibilities, it’s also likely Libertarians will see him at future events and conventions.

To Ford, one of the most critical things about Stammis joining the Libertarian Party is what it means to the average Vermont voter. “We’re emphasizing the notion [that] we’re giving Vermonters a choice,” Ford said.

Independent Political Report will be revisiting Rep. Jarrod Sammis, his party change, and what plans he has in the Libertarian Party in conversation at a later date.

Sammis became a freshman lawmaker after his success in the 2022 state election. He represents the newly drawn Rutland 3rd District (or Rutland-3), composed of Castleton, Bomoseen, and Hydeville. Before legislative reapportionment the term prior, the Rutland 3rd District was a multi-member legislative district. As a member of the legislature, he currently serves on the Vermont House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development.

As a Republican candidate, Sammis narrowly defeated Democratic challenger Mary Droege with a 43-vote lead out of 1,634 votes cast. During his campaign, Sammis faced scrutiny by some Democrats at the time for his earlier online presence. Detractors cited his YouTube channel, pushing back on him for producing videos showcasing firearms he owns and, at one point, allegedly questioning the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign victory in a joking manner.

At this time, Sammis has not publicly stated whether he will caucus with the Democratic or Republican Parties.


  1. George Whitfield George Whitfield May 18, 2023

    Congratulations to Jarrod Sammis and welcome to the Libertarian Party!

  2. Richard Winger Richard Winger May 5, 2023

    It is noteworthy that every time a sitting state legislator joins the Libertarian Party, that only happens when the Libertarian Party is ballot-qualified. It has happened in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Nebraska, and Nevada, always when the party was already on the ballot. It seems no legislator wants to switch into a party that is not on the ballot. This is one more reason why being a qualified party is so important.

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