Libertarian Party of New York

Libertarian Party of New York
Libertarian Party of New York
Chairman Mark Axinn
Senate leader None
House leader None
Founded 1971
Ideology Libertarianism
National affiliation Libertarian Party (United States)
Official colors a shade of Blue; Yellow
Politics of the United States
Political parties

The Libertarian Party of New York is a political party in the United States active in the state of New York. It is the recognized affiliate of the national Libertarian Party.

The Libertarian Party of New York is dedicated to the principle that free people have the right to do anything they please, except to initiate force, the threat of force, or fraud, against other persons or their property. Any law that violates this principle should be repealed. The only moral laws are those designed to protect this principle.

Libertarian Party of New York members currently hold one elective local offices: Dan Halloran is a member of the New York City Council. Halloran is a registered Republican who was cross-endorsed by the Libertarians.



The Libertarian Party was founded in 1971 (see [1]) on the libertarian principle: that people should be free to do whatever they wish, except to initiate force, the threat of force, or fraud against others or their property. The principle does not preclude retaliatory force, as in the redress of wrongs through courts, and as in the traditional common law of self-defense. National Libertarian Party Members, including the New York Members, have paid $25 per year, and have as a condition of membership signified: "I certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals."

The Libertarian Party of New York was founded as an unregistered political party in 1970 by Paul and Michael Gilson who became its first people in public office the next year on election to a zoning board in Upstate New York. It helped drive the creation of a national party, and was re-organized in 1972 by a group now centered around Ed Clark, later the Libertarian Party presidential candidate. Its name was changed to the "Free Libertarian Party" when the New York Board of Elections ruled that the name Libertarian Party would confuse voters with the Liberal Party of New York. However, the Board of Elections eventually allowed the name "Libertarian Party" to be used. The Statue of Liberty is their ballot symbol, and they now appear on the ballot as the Libertarian Party.

Starting in 1974, the Libertarian Party of New York has had a candidate for Governor of New York on the ballot every four years except for 1986, the only party in New York State without official ballot status to do so. Most other minor parties in New York have achieved ballot status through electoral fusion, endorsing the candidate of a major party. The Libertarian Party of New York calls itself "The Party of Principle" and has so far refused to achieve ballot status by this means, although Republican William Weld flirted with the Libertarian Party nomination in 2006.

Ballot access

The Libertarian Party of New York regularly expends great effort in petitioning to get its candidates onto the voting ballot in New York State. Special impediments in NY Election Law are responsible for the relatively slow progress, when compared to the Libertarian Parties in other states.

After it first received write-in votes in 1972 for Presidential Candidate John Hospers and Vice Presidential Candidate Toni Nathan (The first woman Candidate for Vice-President to receive an electoral vote), the Libertarian Party has obtained at least 15,000 petition signatures and placed statewide candidates on the ballot in every statewide election between 1974 and 2002, except 1986. These signatures were by law collected in a mere six-week period in mid-July to August (except in 1994, see Schulz v. Williams, 44 F.3d 48 (2d Cir. 1994)). During the six-week petition period, which is scheduled by the State Legislature, many voters are away from their voting districts on summer vacation. The petition period allotted the New York Libertarian Party excludes petitioning among the crowds of persons celebrating Independence Day.

In spite of these impediments, in the Gubernatorial Elections, Libertarian candidates included a full slate of the possible statewide candidates: Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, and, when one is up for election: Senator. In the Presidential races, candidates included the full number of Electors for President and Vice President, and when one is up for election, Senator. This regular achievement of statewide ballot status by a full slate of candidates for 29 years indicates substantial support in New York State.

The party has at various times petitioned and placed local candidates on local ballots in New York, such as in the last New York City Mayoral election. Nationally, the Libertarian Party has 208,456 voters registered by the respective state boards of election. See Richard Wingerâs Ballot Access News (Dec. 1, 2002) at (Click to the December 2002 issue) for a chart of state official registrations as of Oct. 2002 or go to:

In Green Party, et al., -vs- NYS Board of Elections, et al., 02-CV-6465 (JG), Judge Gleeson, in his Memorandum at pages 5–6, recognized the anomalous unfairness of using the 50,000 vote threshold in a race for governor, as the sole means to qualify as a recognized party. Indeed, the criterion seems calculated to minimize the possibility of a new party receiving such status. Or the criterion can wipe a small party out, if that party's governor candidate stops running at the wrong time, as happened to the Liberal Party. By Order of Sept. 13, 2003 Judge Gleeson gave voters a right to enroll as Libertarian. He was affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

The major parties have a history of passing laws to disadvantage minor parties in New York. Where three-judge court panel had struck down an election statute on Equal Protection grounds, the New York legislature simply reenacted the provision. Schulz v. Williams, 44 F.3d 48, 60 (2d Cir. 1994).

It should also be noted that though the Libertarian Party has not yet achieved automatic ballot access, several other political parties outside the Democratic and Republican Parties have. Currently, four "third parties" (the Conservative, Independence, Working Families and Green) have automatic ballot access, and it is not uncommon to see competitive three-way elections in New York. The first three of those four parties have made extensive use of electoral fusion and often endorse established candidates from one of the two major parties; the Libertarian Party has historically resisted that strategy and almost never cross-endorses candidates, limiting their opportunity to gain the requisite 50,000 gubernatorial votes. (Other than the Greens, the last political party in New York to have automatic ballot access without significant cross-endorsements was the Right to Life Party, which lost ballot access in 2002.) The party has also been, for the most part, unable to find self-financing candidates, as the Independence Party did with Tom Golisano in the 1990s, and the candidates the Libertarian Party has put forward have historically had few resources to run a viable statewide campaign. (Gubernatorial candidate Howard Stern could have been an exception, but he pulled out of his 1994 race due to a dispute over disclosure laws.)

Vote totals for Libertarian candidates in New York


Year Candidate Votes
1974 Jerome Tuccille 10,503
1978 Gary Greenberg 18,990
1982 John Northrup 16,913
1990 Gary Johnson 24,611
1994 Robert Schulz 9,506
1998 Christopher Garvey 4,722
2002 Scott Jeffrey 5,013
2006 John Clifton 15,068
2010 Warren Redlich 48,386

In 2006, Lt. Governor candidate was Donald Silberger. In 2010, Lt. Governor candidate was Alden Link. Both gentlemen are in their 80's. (Remainder of Lt. Governor candidate list needed: vote totals are the same as for Governor)

Attorney General

Year Candidate Votes
1994 Daniel A. Conti 19,202
2002 Dan Conti 23,213
2006 Chris Garvey 29,413
2010 Carl Person 36,547


Year Candidate Votes
2002 James Eisert 19,235
2006 John J. Cain 40,472
2010 John Gaetani 27,485

U.S. Senate

Year Candidate Votes
1992 Norma Segal 108,530
1994 William P. McMillen 8,223
2000 John Clifton 4,734
2004 Donald Silberger 19,093
2006 Jeff Russell 15,929
2010 Randy A. Credico 25,975^^
2010^ John Clifton 17,872


  • ^special election
  • ^^Includes votes Credico earned on the Anti-Prohibition Party line. It is impossible to determine separate vote tallies for each line due to the fact that some jurisdictions conflated both of Credico's ballot lines onto one space on the ballot.

U.S. Representative

(no data yet)

Electors for U.S. President

Year Candidate Votes
1980 Ed Clark 52,648
1996 Harry Browne 12,220
2000 Harry Browne 7,649
2004 Michael Badnarik 11,607
2008 Bob Barr 19,513

New York City candidates in 2005

  • Audrey Silk for Mayor 3,105 .25%
  • Jim Lesczynski for Public Advocate 17,034 2.22%
  • Ron Moore for Comptroller 12,629 1.67%
  • Joseph Dobrian for Manhat. Boro Pres. 2,891 1.17%
  • Gary Popkin for Brooklyn Boro Pres. 2,143 .82%
  • Claudia Flanagan for City Council D. 2 643 2.59%
  • Jak Karako for City Council - Dist. 4 358 1.03%
  • Thomas Ruks for City Council - Dist. 22 352 2.26%

Statewide candidates in 2010

  • Warren Redlich for Governor
  • Alden Link for Lieutenant Governor
  • John Gaetani for Comptroller
  • Carl Person for Attorney General
  • Randy Credico for U.S. Senate (regular election)
  • John Clifton for U.S. Senate (special election)

For lists of Libertarian candidates who have run in NY since 1998, please see: [2]

External links

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