The state Libertarian Party Executive Committee just added several people to its leadership team.
They elected former chair J.J. Summerell to fill the vacant vice chair position. Summerell stepped down as chair in June to run for Congress.
Michael Desantis was named political director. Desantis was Summerell’s campaign manager. He also worked on three other campaigns, including interning with current Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.
Bruce Basson, Wake LP vice chair, was named to chair the Strategic Planning Committee. He is the senior scientific advisor at Quintiles IMS.
Jeremy Hussey was also named County Affiliate Development Director. He is an at-large member of the executive committee and has been serving as affiliate coordinator for central North Carolina.
A three-judge federal court panel on Tuesday ordered North Carolina to hold a special legislative election next year after 28 state House and Senate districts are redrawn to comply with a gerrymandering ruling, according to this story in the News & Observer.
For the third time a row, the Libertarian Party preserved its ballot access status when Lon Cecil won more than two percent of the vote for governor. The Libertarians are the only party in North Carolina history to achieve this, other than the Democrats and Republicans. The party made another historic first when Gary Johnson earned 2.72 percent of the vote for president.
“It is indeed a great year to be a Libertarian,” said Brian Irving, state party chair. “We're extremely proud of this double accomplishment. It's a fitting testament to the hard work of thousands of volunteers and all of our candidates.”
Less than 4,500 votes separate the Democrat and Republican gubernatorial nominees. Although Democrat Roy Cooper claimed victory, there are still thousands of provisional votes to count. Cecil received more than 20 times that margin, 101,049 votes.
“So the election is not over,” Irving noted. “Regardless of which establishment party candidate wins, it's clear the Libertarian Party made a significant impact on this race.”
Another example of that impact is the race for Wake County's state House 49, Irving observed. Democrat Cynthia Ball unseated incumbent Republican Gary Pendleton by 852 votes. Libertarian David Ulmer pulled 2,258 votes. This was one of the most expensive General Assembly races in the state.
“We're sure the Republicans and Democrats will continue to spread the falsehood that we Libertarians are 'spoilers' or 'steal' votes from them,” Irving said. “But the truth is we don't. People are just feed up with the two-party duopoly that's failed them in so many ways at so many levels. They're looking for an alternate, leaders who will put people first, not politics.”
U.S. Senate candidate Sean Haugh earned the highest number of votes, 165,163 (3.56 percent). Jacki Cole got 130,252 votes (2.85 percent) for lieutenant governor.