On the August 2nd, The Libertarian Party of Tennessee (LPTN) ran candidates for 8 different local and county races. With the results tallied, the LPTN picked up four different county seats.
In Montgomery County, Joshua Beal won his race for County Commission District 14. Beal was able to pull off a win against Republican Jimmy Brown.
In Smith County, Erika Ebel won her race for County Commission District 4, pushing out incumbent Matthew Inyart in a 4-way race for 3 positions. After having a slow start during early voting, many voters came out to support Ebel on election day.
In Roane County, Charlotte Bowers won her race for County Commission District 5 with the highest vote count of both winners.
In Trousdale County, Stephen Chambers defeated incumbent County Mayor Carroll Carman. He will assume the position of Mayor on September 1st. Chambers commented, “True change starts at the local level. This win is all thanks to many people in the community who supported me and proof that our values of low taxes and contained spending are popular values.”
In Anderson County, Chris Silver lost to incumbents Robert McKamey and Jerry White. However, he obtained almost 20% of the vote, a huge step against established incumbents in Anderson County.
Libertarians will be running two federal candidates and two state candidates in the upcoming November election, although these candidates will be listed as Independents.
The State of Tennessee discriminates against third parties, not allowing them recognition on the ballot. These candidates must run as “Independents” since their voter identity is suppressed by some of the most restrictive ballot access laws in the United States. Although the Libertarian Party has introduced legislation and attempted, for several years, to obtain ballot access through the current law, the GOP supermajority in Nashville shows no motivation to fix the status quo.
“Listing candidates as ‘Independents’ is a way of stripping them of their political identity,” Stated Cole Ebel, Chairman of the LPTN. “Voters will go into the polling booth, be offered a choice between the Republican, Democrat, or nondescript option, not realizing a candidate they politically identify with is even listed. The status quo suppresses voter education, and it needs to change.”