We sit at a crossroads in Pennsylvania that personally I believe is a good crossroads to be at. Nationally as a party we received more votes for our parties Ticket and Platform than all previous elections. In Pennsylvania our U.S. Senate candidate Edward Clifford III received 229,451 votes for 3.85% statewide and received over 8% in multiple counties. In Legislative district 121 Betsy Summers received 21.87% in a two-way race and our other down ballot candidates all broke 2%.
On the other hand, we did not run a candidate for Attorney General, 199 of the 203 state house races and any of the 25 state senate races. While Shawn House and Paul Rizzo both received over 3% in the congressional races we did not have a candidate in the other 16 Congressional Races.
One could say that this is from a lack of candidates but I would counter with the following. When an individual in the 'major' parties reach out for support from their state and county parties it is there. As a regional direc
tor for the Johnson Campaign it was a complete lack of resources to have to build a second structure in order to campaign. Simply we had no boots on the ground in counties of significant size, not from lack of trying but because of a lack of structure within the state. The day after the republican and democratic candidates for President were locked in, their campaigns contacted the state party and the state party gave them a list of valid county contacts and followed up to make sure connections had been made, leading to boots on the ground across the state.
We as a state party have functioning counties in 10-15 out of 67 counties depending on what we use to define a functioning party. We can no longer have a disconnect between the state and the grassroots. The attitude of the state should be that of empowerment and support and the attitude of the grassroots should be that of strengthening our county chapters and supporting the long-term success of the state party.
It is a great time to be a Libertarian. It is my hope that moving forward we can find a way to work together to achieve Liberty in our time. We do that by rallying around the principles of our party. We do that by building our structure and empowering the individual activist to be a beacon of libertarianism in their own community. We do this by taking personal responsibility for our state party and not being ok with being where we are because where we are is a 45-year-old political club. If we want to be a political club then we can stay pat and keep debating amongst ourselves.
If we want to be a political party we have work to do and there is plenty to be done by all of us through free association. There are activists out there that need a mentor, they don't know how to run for office but want to, they want to start a county but don't know how, they want to learn more about our principles, but don't know where to start.
Can we empower them or will we continue to sit around baffled as to why our party isn't growing when the answer is simply we have not made it so. Moving forward I will be working with state leadership to resolve this issue. I hope you will join me so that we can build a party with boots on the ground in all 67 counties.
Steven Brenize Founder PA4LIBERTY