Bruce Guthrie

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Bruce Guthrie
Chair
Whatcom County Libertarian Party
?—?
Predecessor: Unknown
Successor: Unknown
Personal Details
Party: Libertarian Party

Bruce Guthrie ran for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District in 2002. The incumbent was Rick Larsen, D. The Republican nominee was Norma Smith. A Green party candidate was also in the race. Earlier, Bruce had been recruited by Brett Wilhelm, who was trying to field a full slate of candidates for the 2002 elections. Bruce decided to "run to Larsen's left" and chose as his top issues, marriage equality, marijuana legalization, bringing the troops home, and opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act. He got about 2% of the vote.

Guthrie ran again against Rick Larson in 2004 and chose the same top issues. There was also a Republican and a Green in the race. Bruce got about 2% of the vote again.

Guthrie served as Chair of the Whatcom County Libertarian Party in this period.

Guthrie ran for US Senate in 2006 against incumbent (D) Maria Cantwell and R challenger Mike McGavick. There was also a Green candidate. A huge effort was launched by WA LP leaders to make this a significant campaign that would have a lasting benefit for the WA LP. A campaign office was rented and Travis Wright was hired as campaign manager. Ruth Bennett, Richard Shepard, J. Mills, Brett Wilhelm, David Wordinger and many others formed the campaign committee. Travis Wright had TV ads produced that mimicked the Fandango paper bag puppets.

KING 5 produced televised debates each election cycle. It was discovered that the hurdles to get in to the debates were that the candidate had to raise 10% of what the winning candidate for Governor raised last election. This sum was about $10 million. Bruce realized that the sum of his home value and his investment portfolio was about a million, and J. Mills worked out how these assets could be pledged to the campaign in order to satisfy the fundraising requirements. Guthrie never intended to spend any of this money, but that fact was kept secret so that the other candidates would have to worry that the well-produced TV ads that Travis Wright had commissioned might be run.

Guthrie appeared in the statewide televised debate. It was the first time any Libertarian candidate had been included. Notable in the debate was when the question was asked if each candidate supported Mike McGavick's idea that all welfare recipients should be tested for drugs, Bruce answered that he favored drug and alcohol testing for sitting members of Congress. This got one of the best laughs of the evening. Maria Cantwell was known for drinking a bit much at DC parties. Mike McGavick had been pulled over for DUI. The Green candidate was arrested while attempting to get in to the debate he'd been excluded from. Some local papers suggested that Guthrie may have won the debate. Bruce got about 2% of the vote.

Bruce supported the Ron Paul campaign's attempts to gain the GOP nomination in 2008 and again in 2012. He ran for State Legislator in the 21st District in 2016. It was another four-way race, but this time the 4th candidate was an independent. The Top-Two primary was in effect, and Bruce came in 3rd place with about 6% of the vote. His purpose was to support the campaign of Gary Johnson. After the primary, Bruce waived a big sign over I-5 on about ten occasions, and canvassed his entire precinct (Hillman) with doorknob hangers. He also contributed over $1,000 to the Johnson campaign. Johnson got very nearly 5% of the vote in the State.

Personal Life

Guthrie's first wife of almost 17 years died of leukemia caused by chemotherapy which had been intended to treat breast cancer near the end of 2005. Guthrie remarried and had three kids.