Texas Libertarians Limp into Statewide Races after Convention

Texas Libertarians Limp into Statewide Races after Convention

For the second election cycle in a row, the Libertarian Party of Texas has nominated Kathie Glass to head up a slate of statewide candidates for the 2014 General Election. The convention of 219 delegates, meeting in Temple, Texas, nominated Glass in the second round of balloting after finishing the first round in a tie with Robert Bell.

Kathie Glass also faced a strong challenge from a campaign to vote for “NOTA” (None of the Above) in the first round of balloting. Fending off four other candidates, Glass managed to obtain the 109 votes she would need to become the party’s nominee.  As the Libertarian Party does not conduct a Primary Election, candidates for the November General Election are actually chosen by the delegates of the party’s convention.

Texas Tribune’s Mark Ramsey reported the convention “came off like the proceedings of a small club and not like a major political party in one of the nation’s most populous states.”  In contrast, the Republican Party of Texas is expected to field around 10,000 delegates at their state convention to be held in Fort Worth in June.  Texas Democrats also expect to field a convention of thousands at their state meeting to be held in June in Dallas.

Glass gathered 2.19 percent of the vote in the 2010 gubernatorial election. This amounted to a little over 109,000 votes in an election where 2.9 million were cast.  Ramsey said Glass told her convention’s delegates she thought she will do better this time. The Texas Libertarian Party claims to be growing at a rate of 11 percent.  Perhaps that will result in Glass winning 2.43 percent of the vote this cycle.  Glass’s 2010 election result was a massive increase from the previous gubernatorial election in 2006 where Libertarian James Werner drew a mere 26,748 votes, 0.61 percent

The strong opposition to Glass within her own party came, according to Ramsay, as a result of her perceived failure to follow the party’s platforms on issues like marijuana, immigration and gay rights.

The Libertarian Party will field a slate of 15 candidates for office according to a press release published before the convention on PRNewswire.

The Republican Party of Texas State Convention is slated for June 5-7 in Fort Worth and will feature, for the first time, a presidential straw poll to let candidates weigh in on the 2016 presidential election.  The Texas Democrats will gather in Dallas on June 26-28.

Follow Bob Price on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX