RALEIGH, March 11 — The Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina (LPNC) voted unanimously today to endorse Adam Brooks in the May 8 Libertarian primary election for the office of Randolph County sheriff. As part of the same action, the committee voted unanimously to condemn the candidacy of Eric Scott Hicks for the same office.
Hicks, who was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for sheriff in 2014, has stated in public that he filed for the Libertarian nomination this year because he feels it would be too difficult to secure his own party’s nomination.
“The Libertarian Party of North Carolina endorses Adam Brooks for Sheriff of Randolph County in the May 8 Libertarian primary election,” said LPNC Chair Susan Hogarth. “We also condemn Republican candidate Eric Scott Hicks for exploiting the Libertarian Party’s years of efforts to gain and maintain major party status by registering Libertarian solely to avoid the primary race in his own party.”
In a February 21 video post to his campaign’s Facebook page, “Hicks for Randolph Sheriff 2018,” Hicks explained that he intends to use the Libertarian ballot line as a path to the general election because of his past differences with the local Republican Party. Saying “I’m really not Libertarian, guys,” and adding a moment later, “I have switched to make it through the primary,” Hicks advised his supporters to change their voter registrations to “unaffiliated” so they can use the Libertarian ballot to vote for him on primary day. This video can be viewed at https://m.facebook.com/groups/219435081559341?view=permalink&id=911635752339267.
Hicks had the option, available to all candidates for public office in North Carolina, to gather petition signatures to run as an unaffiliated candidate. Among his public statements, Hicks has admitted he rejected that approach because it was “too hard.” Yet the LPNC’s current ballot status, which Hicks seeks to misappropriate, exists only because thousands of Libertarian candidates and volunteers spent decades doing exactly that kind of hard work.
Hogarth said the maneuver Hicks is attempting in Randolph County is only a new and blatant example of a larger problem: the practice of running primaries as public elections at taxpayer expense. Parties are civic organizations, not part of the government, and the LPNC would prefer to have each party pay for its own nominating process via a convention or other means..
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