Columbus, Ohio was the scene of a stunning upset this evening as the delegation to the 2014 Libertarian Party National Convention voted the leadership position of Libertarian National Committee Chair over to 34-year old Coloradan Nicholas Sarwark.
Sarwark — who was most recently the Vice Chair of the Colorado Libertarian Party — was pitted against incumbent Chair Geoffrey Neale, Clark County Nevada LP Chair Brett Pojunis, Sharchild, and of course anarchist favorite “none of the above”.
Neale trailed the first round by seven percent, only to have the gap widen to thirteen percentage points in a second-round runoff against the young contender.
|ROUND 1||41%||34%||17%||< 1%||8%||Sarwark +7|
While older readers may know Sarwark as an editor for Hammer of Truth, news has traveled quickly of his plans to craft a strategic message and vision for the future of the Libertarian Party since his announcement last month on his website. Sarwark employed a clearly effective, one-page campaign site.
On his site for chair he writes, “We’ve spent too many years trying to attract Democrats and Republicans; it’s time to start targeting young, unaffiliated voters. This is not a strategy to win the next election, or even the election after that. This is a strategy to become the dominant political party in 20 years.”
He went on to note that he’s “attended every national convention since Anaheim in 2000 and have been interested and engaged in the floor debates at all of them.”
And while some libertarians have long lamented that the LP has become an ineffectual debate club, Sarwark’s response has been to do the heavy lifting required to put people on the ballot.
“While Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, I was very active in recruiting candidates for public office and am proud to state that Colorado is running more candidates in 2014 than any state affiliate other than Texas (despite having 1/5 the population of Texas).”
UPDATE: We did reach out to the chairman-elect for some commentary on whether or not he would be moving to the D.C. swamp. Sarwark could not be reached in time for this article, and we’re safely assuming he’s busy celebrating, as at least one other Colorado delegate was seen posting social media updates from the banquet afterwards:
UPDATE 2: We asked, and Chairman-elect Sarwark was gracious enough to confirm with Hammer of Truth that he will not be moving to the viper infested swamp known as Washington, D.C. — Similar to Geoffrey Neale continuing to reside in Texas during his term as chair.
UPDATE 3: Here’s a fantastic Q&A/debate that took place between Neale and Sarwark on Independent Political Report.
And we have some HoT trivia for our LP historians: Currently age 34, turning 35 in August, Sarwark was beat to the “youngest chairman” by party founder Ed Crane — who took the position at the ripe young age of 29. Crane would later go on to manage Ed Clark and David Koch’s failed LP presidential campaign in 1980. And the rest of that dustup is still history in the making.