National Convention 1983

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1983 Libertarian National Convention
Dates: 1983
Location: New York City, New York
Venue: Sheraton Centre
← 1981 1985 →

The 1983 Libertarian Party National Convention was held in New York City at Sheraton Centre in Times Square and is arguably the most significant event in the Libertarian Party's history since its founding.



Presidential Race

From January until four days prior to the convention when he withdrew without warning, the only visible candidate for the presidential nomination was Gene Burns who had attended "virtually every state convention" to solidify his bid.[1]

The Radical Caucus and other factions opposed to the Crane faction selected David Bergland, although this would get less clear as the convention progressed.

The Biddeford Statement, made by a unity-seeking coalition supporting Earl Ravenal was a pledge to support whomever the presidential nominee turned out to be. Most of its high level signatories left the party after Bergland was nominated.[1]

A two-room suite (Room 4501) came to be known by some as Bergland Central.[1] It included a rented photocopier, not a small expense in 1983. This may have been a decisive advantage in a hotel that lacked any obvious public gathering locations such as a bar or restaurant.


In the first round the top three vote-getters were Ravenal (190), Bergland (185), and Rewart (77).

In the second round the top three were Bergland (218), Ravenal (198), and Ruwart (99). At this point Ruwart dropped out and endorsed Bergland.

Nathan and Siano withdrew by this point and endorsed Bergland, but the available documentation is unclear which round each withdrew (or got dropped) after.

With the third ballot, Bergland had 260, Ravenal had 243, and NOTA had 34.

The fourth ballot initially had Bergland 270, Ravenal 230, and NOTA 24, but some floor actions ended up with one delegate changing their vote away from Bergland. At this point RAvenal withdrew from the race, as the outcome was already clear.

Vice-Presidential Race


The first ballot had Ruwart with 140, Lewis with 117, Nolan with 84, and Fuhrig with 61. Other candidates, some possibly not nominated, had 44 votes.

Dave Nolan withdrew and gave his support to Jim Lewis.

The second ballot had Lewis at 206, Ruwart at 145, and Fuhrig at 91.

Fuhrig then withdrew from the race, and the third round securely gave the nomination to Jim Lewis.


This list is known to be incomplete and may include changes to the LNC made after the convention.

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