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.
Libertarian Party Chair Geoffrey Neale, in an letter to members helping allay rumors that Ron Paul was planning to magically take over the LP ticket:
Many supporters of Ron Paul have asked what it would take to get Ron Paul included on the Libertarian Party Presidential ticket. The scenario envisioned by inquirers is either Ron Paul taking the Presidential slot, with Gary Johnson dropping to the VP slot; or Ron Paul replacing Jim Gray in the VP slot.
Either scenario requires certain things to happen, and many have serious implications for the LP Ticket:
First, we have no indication that Ron Paul is interested in or would be willing to pursue such a path. Without such an indication, this really remains an intellectual exercise.
The second consideration is found in our Bylaws regarding the role of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) in relation to our Presidential ticket. Article 14 Section 4 states: “The National Committee shall respect the vote of the delegates at Nominating Conventions and provide full support for the Party’s nominee for President and nominee for Vice-President as long as their campaigns are conducted in accordance with the Platform of the Party.” In short, the LNC does not have the authority under our Bylaws to change the ticket unless “for cause”. No matter how strong an argument is made about the benefits of such a change to our vote totals, our delegates have set strict and strong limits upon our authority.
[…] I certainly can sympathize with the supporters of Ron Paul, and their hopes for being able to vote for Ron in November, but I think the feasibility of the LP being able to do so is difficult, and could be very costly to our Presidential Ticket results, due to the loss of ballot access in so many states. Even a large gain of Ron Paul supporters could be offset by the absence of our ticket on a large number of state ballots.
What I can say with certainty is that there will be a Presidential ticket on the ballot that supporters of Ron Paul can choose to vote for, and I urge each and every Ron Paul supporter to support the Libertarian Party ticket in November. [emphasis added]
With Ron Paul officially giving his farewell to the political race on Leno (both middle fingers metaphorically extended towards the bi-assed party system), not all is lost. Gary Johnson’s campaign may yet pick up some high-profile, willing endorsers now left without a candidate if they get out the lead and realize they don’t need Ron Paul to tell them it’s okay.