Friday, November 09, 2007

Belatedly reporting: "Step Two" was a success!

Previously I reported about efforts to turnaround our state party:


http://wesbenedictforlnc.blogspot.com/2006/07/texas-two-step-turnaround-2.html


I'll let the press release below speak for itself . . .


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Texas Libertarians make major gains, break records

AUSTIN - November 8, 2006 - The Libertarian Party of Texas (LPT) showed major improvement in the 2006 general election, relative to its performance in previous years.

The party had 168 candidates on the ballot, its highest count ever.

By getting more than 5% in at least one statewide race, the LPT is automatically qualified for ballot access in 2008.

Overall trends:

In 2002, Libertarian candidates in a three-way race for U.S. House received an average of 1.6% of the vote. In 2004, they received an average of 1.7%. In 2006, they received an average of 2.6%. (Note, "three-way" means a Libertarian running against a Republican and a Democrat, with no other candidates in the race.)

In 2002, Libertarian candidates in a two-way race for U.S. House received an average of 8.8% of the vote. In 2004, they received an average of 6.9%. In 2006, they received an average of 17.0%.

In 2002, Libertarian candidates in a three-way race for Texas House received an average of 2.4% of the vote. In 2004, they received an average of 2.7%. In 2006, they received an average of 3.6%.

In 2002, Libertarian candidates in a two-way race for Texas House received an average of 10.3% of the vote. In 2004, they received an average of 9.7%. In 2006, they received an average of 16.0%.

LPT Executive Director Wes Benedict said, "The results show that voters are no longer afraid to vote Libertarian. More and more voters know who we are and what we stand for."

In this 2006 election, 22 Libertarian candidates for federal and state offices received over 20% of the vote. The last time Libertarian candidates for federal or state offices earned more than 20% of the vote was in 1992: two Libertarians broke the threshold that year.

Individual races:

Benedict said, "We're very pleased with Bob Smither's results in District 22. Bob broke the Texas Libertarian record for a Congressional candidate running against a well-funded Democrat and Republican." Preliminary results showed Smither with 6.1% of the vote.

U.S. Senate candidate Scott Jameson received 2.3%, the highest received by a Texas Libertarian for U.S. Senate since 1990.

Libertarians showed strength in local races, too. Travis County JP candidate Matt Finkel earned 34.5% of the vote against a Republican incumbent. In Brazos County, Linda Wilbert earned 18.5% in a three-way JP race. (These percentages are based on unofficial county results.)

Playing kingmaker:

It is very unusual in Texas elections for a federal or state candidate to win without a majority of the vote. However, apart from the race for Governor, several legislative races with Libertarians had winners who failed to obtain a majority. They included Texas House Districts 17, 32, 85, 93, 106, and 118.

In District 17, the Democrat led the Republican by 417 votes, while Libertarian Rod Gibbs received 1,281 votes.

In District 32, the Democrat led the Republican by 602 votes, while Libertarian Lenard Nelson received 2,026 votes.

In District 85, the Democrat led the Republican by 193 votes, while Libertarian David K. Schumacher received 798 votes.

In District 93, the Democrat led the Republican by 473 votes, while Libertarian Max W. Koch III received 755 votes.

In District 106, the Republican led the Democrat by 231 votes, while Libertarian Gene Freeman received 591 votes.

In District 118, the Democrat led the Republican by 904 votes, while Libertarian James L. Thompson received 1,699 votes.

"I'm pleased to see that we acted as kingmaker in several of these races," said LPT chair Patrick Dixon.

In 2004, Libertarian candidate Greg Knowles was credited with ousting incumbent Jack Stick from his District 50 seat. Stick lost by 569 votes, while Knowles received 2,390 votes.

Other stats:

On average, Libertarians running in two-way races for statewide judicial races received 24.1% of the vote. In 2000, their average was 16.7%. (In 2002, there were no two-way statewide judicial races.) In 2004, their average was 15.1%.

In statewide races with both a Republican and a Democrat, the best Libertarian performers were Lieutenant Governor candidate Judy Baker, with 4.4%, and Railroad Commissioner candidate Tabitha Serrano, with 4.2%.

In Congressional races, the highest Libertarian result was 21.3% for Gordon R. Strickland, running in District 16.

For State Board of Education, the highest Libertarian result was 29.6% for Martin Thomen, running in District 10.

For State Senate, the highest Libertarian result was 22.2% for Phil Kurtz, running in District 17.

For State House, the highest Libertarian result was 24.0% for Kris Overstreet, running in District 18.

The highest Libertarian vote count was for Jerry Adkins (running for Supreme Court, Place 4), who received 830,331 votes (24.5%).

Percentages and vote counts are according to the Secretary of State's unoffical results as of 4:40 pm.

Contact:
Wes Benedict, LPT Executive Director
512-442-4910
director@lptexas.org

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