Document:California Press Release 4 November 1998 Libertarians Receive Over One Million Votes

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Office of the Executive Director
11956 Riverside Dr., #206
Valley Village, CA 91607-3772
For immediate release: November 4, 1998
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 506-0200
Fax: (818) 506-0212

Libertarians receive over one million votes statewide

LOS ANGELES - Over one million votes were cast for Libertarians in the 8 statewide races yesterday -- 55% more than the nearest third party and more than enough to guarantee continued ballot access for California Libertarians in the 2000 election cycle.

"Clearly we are the first choice among third parties for Californians," declared Libertarian state executive director Juan Ros. "Our candidates delivered the right message -- individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government -- and voters looking for a real alternative responded to that message."

Libertarian candidates in California received 1,073,924 total votes in the races for U.S. Senate, Governor, and the 6 other statewide constitutional offices. The Peace and Freedom Party received the second-highest vote total for minor parties with 693,561 followed by the American Independent Party with 692,583. All three parties ran candidates in all 8 races.

Additionally, 4 out of the 8 Libertarian candidates received over 2% of the vote, easily guaranteeing continuing ballot status for Libertarians in 2000. California law requires political parties to receive at least 2% in any statewide race during a gubernatorial election in order to participate in the next primary.

Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State Gail Lightfoot received the highest statewide vote total of all Libertarians, with 194,829 votes and 2.8%. Other candidates who received over 2% were Lieutenant Governor candidate Thomas M. Tryon (2.1%), State Treasurer candidate Jon Petersen (2.4%), and Insurance Commissioner candidate Dale Ogden (2.2%).

"Four of our candidates also received over 2% in the June primary, so I was very optimistic we'd surpass that threshold," said Ros. "I think we've reached a point where we don't have to worry about losing ballot status anymore."

The million-vote total comes on the heels of an 11% increase in Libertarian voter registrations since December, 1997 -- the highest percentage increase of any party -- and does not include votes from the 85 other partisan races that featured Libertarian candidates.

"When it comes to third parties, Libertarians are in the lead, and we are on the verge of becoming a major party," Ros stated. "A million votes in 8 races is impressive, but we need to work hard so we can achieve a million votes in each race -- and we will begin working on the 2000 elections right away."