Down in The Big Easy, Libertarians gather for the biennial Libertarian National Convention. The various New Orleans venues are featuring numerous key speakers, from Former Governor William Weld to anarchist activist Adam Kokesh. There are parties in the streets, and voters in their seats. The 2020 election may be two years away, but that doesn’t stop the campaigning.
The Future of the Libertarian Party
However, there are a couple of more pertinent elections at this year’s convention. Over the past couple of nights, Libertarians voted on their party chair and vice chair. The winners of these races will have key roles in defining the party’s direction for the next 2 years.
In an unsurprising victory, LP Chair Nicholas Sarwark won a third consecutive term, the first time this has occurred in party history. The incumbent graciously thanked his party for choosing him for the role.
After conceding defeat, runner-up Joshua Smith announced a bid for an at-large seat on the Libertarian National Committee.
The Vice Chairman election, on the other hand, has been less straightforward. Incumbent Arvin Vohra has faced backlash in recent months for controversial comments about rape and the age of consent. With these stains, among others, Vohra was unlikely to perform well. In fact, The Libertarian Vindicator‘s polls showed the incumbent to have between five and ten percent of the vote.
In the end, favored outsider Alex Merced won the first round of voting. He eventually went on to also win the position. However, the most interesting candidate perhaps was the one with the least votes in round one.
Enter Matthew Geiger, Libertarian Youth
At a mere 16 years old, Matthew Geiger is no ordinary teen. The Maryland resident already owns his own business, that of course being 71 Republic LLC. He also has deep roots in the national Libertarian Party.
Connections with Austin Petersen, Rep. Caleb Dyer and many other notable libertarians have enabled him to do a number of jobs for the party, including managing the national party’s Instagram account. Thus, it should be no great surprise that New Mexico delegate Spencer Kellogg nominated the adolescent for another key party position.
Geiger, in the first round of voting, received only 11 votes out of 732 total. Eight voters selected “None of the above”, and 260, or 35.5 percent, chose Merced. Only 66 people, just over nine percent, voted for Vohra.
Finishing lowest of the declared candidates (excluding “none of the above”), Geiger did not advance to subsequent rounds of voting. Despite this, his inclusion is still significant.
Matthew Geiger announced no campaign. He did not try to win the position, and persuaded no voters. He simply accepted Kellogg’s nomination over the phone. Still, he received the support of one and a half percent of all delegates present.
In a brief nomination speech, Kellogg praised Geiger for being “one of the most forward-thinking” young minds in the party.
Senior Contributor Spencer Kellogg nominating Matthew Geiger
Of course, such a stunt shows the increasing involvement of libertarian youth in the party’s affairs.
With a real campaign, which may occur in the future, Geiger will already have some name recognition within the party. Without a doubt, this will lead to greater success for the young entrepreneur if he decides to seek this position or another.
To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.