LPO History

On December 11, 1971 three people met in David Nolan’s home in Colorado Springs to create the Libertarian Party (LP). They were disillusioned with the Vietnam War, policies of the two old major parties, and the “Nixon Shock” of 1971 ( President Nixon’s policy of a 90 day wage and price freeze, 10% import surcharge, and an end to the convertibility between US Dollars and Gold).

In 1972 a network of state affiliates were created, including the Libertarian Party of Ohio.  In the Cleveland area, an Objectivist group had been meeting and discussing the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Kay Harroff led a group that created the Libertarian Party of Ohio (LPO), one of the earliest state affiliates.

Over the years, millions of Americans have voted for Libertarian Party candidates throughout the country and at all levels of government. What began with a small group of activists has evolved into a growing political force. Our basic philosophy of individual rights, personal responsibility, fiscal responsibility, and reducing the government to the minimum levels to protect our rights, always remains at the forefront of our efforts. We are proud of our heritage and the progress we have made since 1971.

Web sites    www.lp.org & lpo.nationbuilder.com

Historical Overview:

1971

  • The Libertarian Party is founded on December 11 at the home of David Nolan.

1972

  • The first national LP convention is held in June in Denver, Colorado.
  • LP Presidential ticket of John Hospers and Tonie Nathan is nominated.
  • Tonie Nathan becomes the first woman in US history to receive an electoral vote.
  • The Libertarian Party of Ohio is created, and based in Cleveland, Ohio.

1973

  • LP holds national convention in Cleveland area (Strongsville) in June.
  • LPO holds first state convention in Cleveland in October.

1974

  • Kay Harroff runs for US Senate in Ohio and receives 79,000 votes or 3%.
  • Due to tough ballot access laws, she runs as “unaffiliated”.
  • Kay also ran for the 1976 LP Presidential nomination but finished 2nd .

1976

  • Presidential candidate Roger McBride and running mate David Bergland gain ballot access in 32 states and receive 170,000 votes nationwide.
  • The tempo and activity of the LPO increases with formation of local groups.
  • The LPO newsletter, “Ohio Libertarian” is created.

1977

  • In Ohio, the first Libertarian is elected to public office as an independent. Elaine Lindsey is elected to Circleville City Council.

1978

  • Dick Randolph of Alaska becomes the first elected Libertarian state legislator.

1980

  • Presidential candidate Ed Clark and running mate David Koch appear on the ballot in 50 states and the District of Columbia and earn nearly 1 million votes.
  • In Ohio, Clark/Koch receives 49,000 votes or 1%.
  • In Alaska, Dick Randolph is re-elected and Ken Fanning is elected to legislature.

1981

  • The first LPO office opens at 250 South High Street, which had been the Clark for President headquarters in Ohio.
  • In Alaska, Dick Randolph is re-elected and Ken Fanning is elected to legislature.

1982

  • For the first time in Ohio, the LP brand is on the ballot line, due to successful party petitioning (42,000 valid sigs).
  • The LPO ran statewide races for Governor, Treasurer, Attorney General, and Secretary of State.
  • Phyllis Goertz for Governor, Thomas Brown for Treasurer, James Schuller for Attorney General, and Ann Leech for SOS.
  • Approx 460,000 votes given to LP candidates in Ohio
  • Thomas Brown for Treasurer received 195,927 votes (6.91%), the highest total of a minor party candidate for statewide office to date.
  • Ohio Ballot access lost when LP candidate for Governor did not receive 5% vote.

1984

  • Presidential candidate David Bergland and running mate Jim Lewis appear on the ballot in 39 states, earning 239,000 votes.
  • In Alaska, Andre Marrou becomes the 3rd Libertarian elected to the state legislature.
  • Eleven Libertarians are elected to local level offices around the country.

1986

  • 2.9 million votes for 200 LP candidates around the country.
  • The LPO fields 2 candidates and a write-in for Governor.
  • Jim Berns for Ohio House 22nd District and Steve Linnabary for state school board.

1987

  • Ron Paul resigns from the GOP and joins the Libertarian Party.

1988

  • Presidential candidate Ron Paul and running mate Andre Marrou appear on the ballot in 46 states and the District of Columbia and earn more than 430,000 votes.
  • In Ohio, Paul/Marrou receives 11,925 votes or .30 %.

1990

  • Approximately 2 million votes for LP candidates around the country.
  • LP candidates for US congress and state legislature receive double-digit votes.
  • New Mexico state legislature candidate Illa Bolton receives 31% of the vote.
  • Californian state legislature candidate Joe Shea receives 27% of the vote.

1991

  • In New Hampshire, sitting state legislators cal Warburton and Finlay Rothhaus resign from the GOP and join the Libertarian Party.

1992

  • Presidential candidate Andre Marrou and running mate Nancy Lord appear on the ballot in 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • In New Hampshire, Warburton and Rothhaus are re-elected, while Don Gorman and Andy Borsa are elected to the state legislature.  All were fusion candidates in New Hampshire

1993

  • In Ohio, Bob DeBrosse won his race for Piqua City Council.

1994

  • Approximately 2.2 million votes for 650 LP candidates around the country.
  • In New Hampshire Gorman was re-elected, while Jim McClarin was elected to the state legislature.  Both were fusion candidates in New Hampshire.
  • Jim Berns is endorsed by the Cincinnati Enquirer in his race for Ohio House 31st and receives 17.4% of the vote.
  • 40 Libertarians are elected or appointed to local level offices around the country.

1996

  • The Libertarian Party becomes the first alternative party in US history to earn ballot status in all 50 states for two presidential elections in a row.
  • Presidential candidate Harry Browne and running mate Jo Jorgensen campaign around the country and earn 486,000 votes.

1997

  • 39 Libertarians are elected to local level offices around the country.

1998

  • 853 LP candidates run for office around the country.
  • In Vermont, Neil Randall wins election to the state legislature.  He was a fusion candidate in Vermont.
  • Ohio Libertarian Party establishes a web site  www.lpo.org

2000

  • Presidential candidate Harry Browne and running mate Art Oliver campaign around the country and earn 383,000 votes.
  • 1,436 LP candidates run for office around the country, including 256 for US Congress. This is the first time in 80 years a third party has contested a majority of Congressional seats.
  • In New Hampshire Steve Vaillancourt is elected to state legislature as a Libertarian.
  • 34 Libertarians are elected to local offices around the country.
  • LPO moves its office to downtown Columbus on Gay Street.
  • For the second time, the LP brand is on the ballot line, due to successful petitioning.
  • LPO fields 78 candidates around the state of Ohio—all-time high to this point.
  • LPO candidate for US Senate, John McAlister receives 117,500 votes or 2.4%.
  • Ohio Ballot Access lost when LP candidate for President did not receive 5% of vote.

2001

  • 300 LP candidates run for office in local elections around the country—a record.
  • 76 Libertarians are elected to local offices around the country.
  • John McAlister is elected to Gahanna (Ohio) city council and joins Nicholas Hogan who already serves.
  • Ohio ballot access fight begins.

2002

  • 1,642 candidates run for office around the country

2004

  • LPO moves its office to Morse Road and Sinclair Road area in Summer.
  • Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik and running mate Richard Campagna   appear on the ballot in 48 states and earn 397,000 votes.
  • In Ohio Badnarik/Campagna receive 14,700 votes or .26 %.
  • Approx 600 Libertarians hold office around the country.
  • Ohio LP party petitions (over 60,000 sigs during 2 year campaign) are turned down by Ohio Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell, based on technicality. This starts new court challenges.

2006

  • Libertarian Party of Ohio vs Ken Blackwell (SOS) of Ohio case is decided in favor of LPO in US 6th Circuit Court in September 2006. The Ohio ballot access law in Ohio Revised Code Title 35 is struck down. Awaiting new legislation by the Ohio General Assembly.
  • Ohio Governor candidate Dr. William Peirce and running mate Mark Noble run for office as “non affiliated” and earn 71,500 votes.
  • Restructuring of the LPO organization begins.

2007

  • Nicholas Hogan does not run for re-election on Gahanna (Ohio) city council, after serving for 14 years. John McAlister remains on the council.
  • LPO moves its office to Tiller Lane, just off of Cleveland Avenue & I-270, in June.

2008

  • Libertarian Party of Ohio vs Jennifer Brunner (SOS) of Ohio case is decided in favor of LPO in US 6th Circuit Court in July 2008. The Libertarian Party will be allowed on the ballot in Ohio, with party brand. This will be only the third time in history of LPO that party brand has been on the ballot line. No legislation has passed in Ohio for a new ballot access law.
  • Presidential candidate Bob Barr and running mate Wayne Allyn Root appear on the ballot in 45 states and earn 524,000 votes.
  • In Ohio, Barr/Root receive 19,920 votes or .35%
  • 50 Libertarians are elected or re-elected to local offices around the country.
  • One Libertarian candidate in Texas and Georgia each receive one million + votes.
  • The LPO fields 9 candidates in Ohio, who receive approximately 83,000 votes.
  • The LPO is restructured at the March state convention. The entire LPO Constitution and By-laws are replaced with new ones that structure the party along the lines of the Republicans and Democrats. There will now be a state Central Committee.  Also, at the state convention, 8 of the 9 LP candidates for US President appear for a debate.
  • Division structure within LPO organization is created by Excom State Chair, Kevin Knedler.

2009

  • 48 Libertarians are elected or re-elected to local offices around the country
  • Approximately 150 Libertarians hold public office around the country
  • The LPO changes from a PAC to a political party and begins to file FEC forms
  • The LPO begins networking with Tea Party and 912 groups
  • New Ohio Ballot Access laws are written by the LPO, and part of Ohio House Bill # 260 It passes in the House, but does not clear the Ohio Senate. Therefore, minor political parties in Ohio still do not have a ballot access law
  • The LPO fields candidatesfor local partisan office for the first time, when LP candidates run for city councils in Marion and Lorain, Ohio.

2010

  • Approximately 15 million votes for 800 LP candidates around the country
  • LPO has party primary for only the third time in its history. 5,500 register with LP.
  • 46 candidates on the ballot, with party brand. Three years in a row in Ohio.
  • First full statewide executive slate on the ballot from minor party since 1934.
  • Statewide candidates include  Ken Matesz for Governor, Ann Leech for Lt Governor, Michael Howard for Auditor, Marc Feldman for Attorney General, Charlie Earl for Secretary of State, and Matthew Cantrell for Treasurer.
  • Charlie Earl is former member of the Ohio House  (early 1980’s- GOP).
  • Michael Howard was auditor for the state of Ohio for 28 years.
  • SOS and Auditor candidates are featured in televised debates.
  • Cleveland Plain Dealer endorses candidate for Treasurer, Matthew Cantrell, which is the highest endorsement ever for a LP candidate by a major newspaper.
  • State Tea Party PAC endorses Bill Yarbrough in Ohio Senate District # 3.
  • Regional and local Tea Party groups endorse a number of LP candidates.
  • Support for the LPO comes from around the country.
  • Radio advertising and frequent radio interviews in Ohio for LP candidates.
  • Significant vote totals include Marc Johnston for US House District #2 with 6.8%; Jeffrey Blevins for US House District #16 with 6.6%; Chad Ricketts for Ohio House District # 91 with 10%; Barry Cox for Ohio House District #66 with 20% (2-way race); and Robert Vollmer for 5th Court of Appeals with 19%
  • LPO sets record with over 1 million votes for its candidates.
  • LPO finishes ahead in all but two races against other third parties, clearly establishing itself as the alternative to the two old major parties.
  • Ohio delegation is largest in attendance at the May 2010 LP National Convention in St. Louis, MO
  • David Nolan, founder of the Libertarian Party, passes away at age 66 on November 21, in Tucson, Arizona 

2011

  • John Hospers, first LP candidate for President, passes away at age 93
  • In July, Ohio Assembly (R) passes and Ohio Governor Kasich (R)  signs new law that sets minimum new-party petioning standards for political party ballot access. Essentially, the new law is very similar to the law that was struck down in court in 2006.  The Libertarian Party of Ohio files law suit in Federal Court as LPO vs Husted (Ohio SOS). 
  • Libertarian Party of Ohio vs Jon Husted (SOS) of Ohio is decided in favor of LPO in US District Court (Judge Marbley) September 2011.  The new-party petitioning requirement of ORC Title 35 is struck down. The Ohio LP will have its party name on the ballot with candidates in 2011 and 2012.

2012

  • For only the 4th time in the history of the LPO, there is a statewide LP primary (1982, 2000, 2010, 2012).
  • Party registration by voter INCREASES for the LP! There are now 6,800 Ohio citizens registered with the Libertarian Party.
  • Per Ohio law, the members of the LPO are those that voted in our Ohio LP Primary.
  • Those citizens that participate in the Ohio LP Primary have a vote on the direction of the party at the LPO state convention, and can have leadership positions in the LPO.
  • Presidential candidate and former Governor Gary Johnson and running mate Jim Gray appear on the ballot in 48 states and the District of Columbia. They earn a RECORD 1, 275,821 votes overall.
  • In Ohio Johnson/Gray receive 47,190 votes or .88%. This is the 2nd highest vote total ever and an increase of 136% from 2008.
  • The LPO fields another 20 candidates for political office in Ohio and they receive approx 267,750 votes.
    LPO now has 12 county affiliates, vs 6 in 2010 and 2 in 2012.

2013

  • September 19—Charlie Earl announces the Earl/Clark campaign for Governor as a Libertarian ticket.
  •  September 19—Senate Bill 193, sponsored by Cincinnati Senator Bill Seitz, is introduced. With no involvement of minor parties after years of court battles, the bill sets new standards for minor party participation in Ohio elections. Called the “John Kasich re-election protection act”, the Libertarian Party of Ohio fights back at Ohio Statehouse hearings in the Fall of 2013.
  • Hearings are held over a 6 week period. In spite of the fact not one citizen or group speaks in favor of SB 193, it passes the Ohio House and Senate, mostly along major party lines (GOP majority). Governor Kasich quickly signs the bill into law, so it will become effective just prior to the February 2014 deadline for candidate petitions.
  • The Libertarian Party of Ohio files a law suit in court immediately. The case is Libertarian Party of Ohio vs Husted.

2014

  • January—US District Court Judge, Michael Watson, grants a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by the LPO in the ballot access case. This blocks application of SB 193 in the 2014 election.  The Libertarian Party will have a 2014 primary and can participate in the 2014 November general elections with party brand name.
  • With a month to go to the February candidate petition deadline, the Libertarians work to get candidate petitions filed for statewide and district offices.
  • 500+ petition signatures are validated and certified for the offices of Governor/Lt Governor, and Attorney General, allowing the Clark/Earl campaign for Governor and the Steve Linnabary campaign for Attorney General to continue.  The LPO fails to get enough signatures validated for the office of Auditor, Treasurer, or Secretary of State.
  •  The LPO finds write-in candidates for the offices of Auditor (Bob Bridges) and Secretary of State (Kevin Knedler) and submits paperwork by the deadline at end of the day on February 24. No write-in candidate was found for the office of Treasurer.  The LP was NOT aware of protests on the Governor and Attorney General candidates and didn’t find out until February 25, the day after the deadline to submit paperwork for write-in candidates.
  • For the first time in the history of the Libertarian Party of Ohio, protests are filed on February 21, 2014 against the candidates Charlie Earl (Governor), Steve Linnabary (AG), and Chad Monnin (Ohio House 19th ). Protestors are questioning the validity of the signatures on the petitions.
  • Chad Monnin ultimately is allowed on the ballot, after the GOP members of the Franklin County Board of Elections relent and agree to his candidacy.
  • On March 7, 2014 Hearing officer, Bradley Smith, rules that the petitions for Earl and Linnabary have not been completed properly. The employer (LPO) of the paid petitioners were not disclosed on the petition forms.  Secretary of State, Jon Husted then orders the LP candidates off the Ohio ballot for November 2014.
  • The LPO mounts various appeals in courts over the next 6 months, requiring an enormous amount of discovery work. This delays the start of the Earl campaign for Governor and the Linnabary campaign for Attorney General.  A State Court rules against Steve Linnabary. In October 2014 Judge Watson rules against the appeal to get Earl back on the ballot for 2014. The matter is closed, BUT the court case against SB 193 is still in play and yet to be decided.
  • Meanwhile history for the LPO is made when during the statewide LP Primary in May, the write-in campaigns of Kevin Knedler for SOS and Bob Bridges for Auditor are successful. They needed 500 write-in signatures and both received well over 700. They will be the only statewide Libertarian candidates.
  • Party registration by voter INCREASES for the LP! There are now over 9,000 Ohio citizens registered with the Libertarian Party.
  • During the last weekend of June 2014, The Libertarian Party of Ohio hosts the LP National Convention for the first time since 1973. It is held in Columbus, Ohio at the downtown Hyatt Hotel with approximately 700 delegates in attendance. The LPO has the largest delegation.
  • 12.3 million votes for 730 LP candidates around the country
  • LPO endorsed candidate vote totals in November 2014 elections are:

Bob Bridges for Ohio Auditor—4.74% (139,801 votes)

Kevin Knedler for Ohio Secretary of State—4.64% (138,026 votes)

Nelson Roe for Ohio House 97th—25.17%  (6,919 votes)

Greg Norris for Ohio House 83rd—8.72%  (2,297 votes)

Chad Monnin for Ohio House 19th—8.30% (3,185 votes)

Bob Sherwin for Ohio House 57th—5.24% (1,658 votes)

Mark Noble for Ohio House 24th—5.06% (1,983 votes)

2015

  • In January, after 8 ½ years on the LPO State Executive Committee, 7 ½ of which was State Chair, Kevin Knedler is retiring.
  • The ongoing court battle for ballot access is still in the appeal stage.

2016

  • The court challenges and appeals for LP ballot access continue in Ohio.  To put the LP candidates on the ballot in Ohio, an independent petition drive is successfully conducted.  No other down-ticket LP candidates will appear on the ballot in Ohio.
  • At the late May LP National convention in Orlando, Florida, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is nominated for the second time to run as the Libertarian Party's candidate for President. His Vice Presidential running mate is former Massachusetts Governor William Weld.
  • Presidential candidate team of Johnson / Weld appear on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  This is only the third time in the history of the Libertarian Party that the LP candidate has achieved fifty-state access. They earn an historic record of 4,059,000 votes - 3.2% of the overall vote total. This nearly equals the combined 1972 - 2012 LP Presidential vote total of 5,120,262.
  • Because of the loss of LP ballot access in Ohio, Johnson/Weld do not carry the Libertarian party name on the Ohio ballot. Yet, they receive a record vote of 168,600 (3.16%).  This is the largest number of votes ever received by a Libertarian Presidential candidate in the state of Ohio.

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