Document:California Press Release 21 October 1998 Libertarians Fastest-Growing Party in California

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Office of the Executive Director
11956 Riverside Dr., #206
Valley Village, CA 91607-3772
For immediate release: October 21, 1998
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 506-0200
Fax: (818) 506-0212

Libertarians fastest-growing party in California; Democrats, Republicans stagnant

LOS ANGELES - The Libertarian Party has rightfully claimed the title of the Fastest-Growing Third Party in California according to the latest voter registration figures available from the Secretary of State, the Libertarian Party of California announced today.

"We've been saying it for years, and now the numbers provide evidence: the Libertarian Party is growing faster than any third party in California and our influence is being felt up and down the state," declared Libertarian state chair Mark Hinkle.

Since December 30, 1997, the Libertarian Party's registration has increased a healthy 6.8% according to the 60-day Report of Registration released by the Secretary of State's Elections Division -- the largest percentage increase of any political party, including the Democrats and Republicans.

The Democratic Party saw registrations increase by only 0.6% while Republican registrations fell by 1.1%, a sign of stagnation according to Hinkle.

"55,920 Republicans have left the GOP this year -- and it's no surprise to Libertarians," said Hinkle. "Republicans have consistently voted for more government and more spending in the legislature. Party members are looking for an alternative, and many are discovering the Libertarian Party."

Among third parties, the Green Party had the next largest increase, with a 5.7% jump in registrations since the end of last year. The American Independent Party's registrations increased by 3.1% while the Peace and Freedom Party grew by 2.5%.

However, the Natural Law Party's registrations declined by 3.8% and Ross Perot's Reform Party saw a whopping 8.8% drop in registrations during the same period.

"When it comes to third parties, Libertarians are pulling away from the pack," noted Hinkle.

Despite the large percentage increase, the Libertarian Party ranks 6th out of California's eight qualified political parties in total registration numbers, with 78,855 registered Libertarians -- a fact Hinkle expects will change over the next several years.

"Our goal is to eventually rank third, then second, and then first in registered voters," stated Hinkle. "We know it will take time, and Libertarians are in this for the long haul. Our party membership is increasing and we expect the registration numbers to sustain their current levels of increase as well."

99 Libertarian Party candidates are on the November 3rd ballot seeking federal, state, and local office in California.