Haugh: It’s time to vote for me

Libertarian Sean Haugh says “It’s time to vote for me” for U.S. Senate.

“You’ll feel a lot of pressure these last few days to pick the lesser of two evils.” Haugh said. “Stand firm and vote for me.”

“Win or lose, by voting for me you are sending a message to the Democrats and Republicans that they will have to be more libertarian and more peaceful if they ever want to win another election.”

DIY Yard Sign

Haugh won’t be producing yard signs for his U.S. Senate campaign because he’s environmentally friendly, and thinks they’re just roadside litter. But supporters can create their own DIY sign by downloading a hi res PDF file here and printing their own.

While Haugh Gives Serious Answers, Hagan and Tillis Bicker

In case you missed the debate—or just want to see a replay of Sean Haugh, Libertarian for U.S. Senate, giving serious, thoughtful answers to moderator Jon Evans’ questions while the other two mostly recited talking points and traded petty personal accusations. Here is the replay.

For most of the debate, Sen. Kay Hagan and Speaker Thom Tillis attacked each other and repeated the talking points from their campaign ads.  Only Sean spoke directly to the issues throughout the debate.

In my opinion, Sean won the debate hands down. He actually answered the questions and addressed the issues. What a concept. But I am slightly biased, since he brought me into the Libertarian Party of North Carolina and is a good friend.

Here are some notable comments on Haugh’s performance.

He was who he is. And when you are comfortable enough in your own skin, that is something that comes across as, I think, genuineness. (Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College in the Greensboro News & Record. The article also lead with a comment about Sean being included in the debate.)

The News & Observer also used this quote from Professor Bitzer in their sidebar analysis:

The interesting dynamic for the folks watching was Sean Haugh, who seemed to present both social and economic libertarianism that Democratic and Republican supporters would find appealing. In the end, Haugh may end up drawing enough votes to allow the ultimate winner to claim victory with less than 50 percent of the vote.

The Raleigh newspaper headlined their main story story “Interesting dynamic from Haugh in third debate for NC’s US Senate seat.”

The News & Observer also quoted David McLennan, Meredith College political science professor, in their analysis:

Voters who watched the debate were fortunate that Libertarian Sean Haugh was included because he broke up the relentless attack lines. I don’t think public opinion shifted as a result of the debate, except that Haugh may have created the possibility that neither Hagan nor Tillis reaches 50 percent on Nov. 4.

Not unsurprisingly, the Wilmington Star News, the major newspaper in the city where the debate was held, almost ignored Haugh in their story.

Other coverage

Asheville Citizen-Times

Charlotte Observer

Winston-Salem Journal

WECT-TV

Free the Vote Sponsors All-Inclusive US Senate Debate

AllInclusiveDebate

Free the Vote North Carolina and the Young Americans for Liberty at UNC Charlotte are sponsoring North Carolina’s only all-inclusive U.S. Senate candidates debate on Friday, Oct. 17 in McKnight Hall on the UNC Charlotte campus at 7 p.m.

All the candidates whose name will appear on the ballot, as well as those who have qualified to have their write-in votes counted, have been invited.

“With most debates this election cycle excluding at least one qualified candidate, Free the Vote NC felt it was necessary to provide the voters of North Carolina with a real debate where the voters are not shown who to vote for, but to let the voters make the decision for themselves,” said Jordon Greene, Free the Vote founder and president.

The debate will be also be sponsored by the Carolina Liberty PAC, and CAUTION (the activists arm of Charlotte TEA Party).

Candidates who have been invited include: Democrat Kay Hagan, Republican Thom Tills and Libertarian Sean Haugh, whose names will all appear on the ballot. In addition, Free the Vote has invited the certified write-in candidates: Barry Gurney, John Rhodes, and David Waddell.

Sponsoring an all-inclusive debate is in keeping with the mission of Free the Vote North Carolina, which is to eliminate eliminating barriers to participation in the electoral process. This event will help give voters the information they need to vote for the person of their choice without the debate holders making that choice for them.

The debate will be aired live online. More information will be available closer to the date.

Haugh polls 11 percent in US Senate race

Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh is polling “a surprisingly high 11 percent” in the U.S. Senate race, according the first poll conducted by Public Policy Polling. Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan is at 38 percent, Republican challenger Thom Tillis is at 36 percent, and 15 percent are undecided.

“This is an extraordinarily high poll result for a third-party candidate in three-way race for U.S. Senate in a major public poll,” observed Richard Winger, a nationally recognized ballot access law expert, writing on his Ballot Access News website.

Haugh said he was excited by the results of this poll. “This supports my belief that people are hungry for an alternative, that they are eager to support any candidate who is against more war and more debt,” he said.

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Libertarian US Senate primary is tomorrow

The second primary in the history of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina will be held Tuesday. The Libertarian U.S. Senate primary is open to all registered Libertarians and unaffiliated voters. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

If you are registered Libertarian, when you go to vote the poll workers should give you the Libertarian ballot. If the don’t, ask for it. Don’t take no for an answer. If you have to, speak to the senior poll worker, the chief judge.


If you are registered unaffiliated, the poll worker should ask you which primary ballot you want. Ask for the Libertarian ballot. Again, if they don’t tell you – ask – and insist.

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Libertarians conduct first ever US Senate candidate forum

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina held its first ever U.S. Senate candidate forum April 5 during the annual state convention in Durham. Candidates Tim D’Annunzio of Raeford and Sean Haugh of Durham answered questions submitted by Libertarians from across the state. The forum was streamed live and moderated by Barry Smith, Carolina Journal associate editor.

Watch here.

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Bloody but unbowed

Libertarian candidates consider election defeats a learning experience, prepare for the next election.

Although the results of the 2010 election were a disappointment for North Carolina’s Libertarian candidates because they were not elected, several consider it a very good learning experience and preparation for future campaigns.

Dr. Mike Beitler, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, said that the goal of his campaign was to let voters know there is an alternative to the “bloated, outdated two-party system.”

“The establishment parties will continue to drive our country off the cliff until the American people wake up to the reality that both establishment parties will continue to serve their lobbyist corporate masters to the detriment of the American people,” he said.

T.J. Rohr was the first-ever Libertarian candidate for district attorney. He ran in district 25 which covers Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties.

“Although I am disappointed that I was not elected, I am honored and humbled by the support I did receive,” he said. “I am also proud that so many people were open to the issues I raised in this election: focusing on serious crimes involving theft, violence, and fraud, and de-emphasizing non-violent drug offenses, while repudiating illegal and unconstitutional traffic checkpoints and the death penalty.”

Stephen Burr said that he hoped the victorious Republicans in the Union County commissioner’s race would work with the current board members to find solutions to the problems the county faces.

“Union County taxpayers are on the hook for $900 million in bond payments and interest over the next quarter century, with a looming budget crisis that will be brought on by not adequately planning for the coming plunge in property tax revenues, “ he said. Burr intends to remain active in the county and won’t rule out another run for the commission or other office in 2012.

Stephanie Watson, candidate for N.C. Senate District 16, noted that 2010 was the year the state Libertarian Party “turned our principles into action.”

“Our party’s candidates stepped forward, many running very active campaigns across the state with the hope of being elected.” she said. “It has been an honor to share this adventure with them. I’ve learned a lot as a first-time candidate that I hope to take with me into 2012, both for my own run and for our party’s race for governor.”

“Third party candidates are often thought to divide the vote of a major party, but this was clearly not an issue,” said Lon Cecil, who ran for U.S. House District 12. “As discussed in several forums with Congressman Watt, we have many economic and job problems that Congress will have to quickly address in the 112th session. It is only 24 months until the next elections”

In the still-to-be-decided 2nd Congressional District race, Tom Rose got more votes than the margin between incumbent Democrat Bob Etheridge and Republican Renee Elmers. The unofficial returns have the margin at 1,646 and Rose received 3,463 votes. Rose doesn’t speculate about whether his candidacy helped or hurt either, because he said he received support from both Democrats and Republicans.

“I’ve had Republicans, including one General Assembly candidate, tell me that they have voted for me, and have had Democrats and Republicans fed up with their parties making phone calls for me.”

“I do know that I convinced many Democrats to vote for me because they were upset with Etheridge but would not vote for the Republicans,” Rose said. “As amazing as it may seem, most of those who said this were over 60.”

Nationwide, the Libertarian Party extended its record of fielding more candidates than any other third party, more than 800 candidates. More than one million Americans voted for a Libertarian candidate for U.S. House and 15 of those candidates got more than five percent of the vote in a three-way race, a significant increase over past elections. That represents more than one percent of the vote total, more than any third party has earned since Henry Wallace’s Progressives in 1948.

Two U.S. Senate candidates received better than four percent of the vote in a three-way race, including party co-founder David Nolan who ran in Arizona against 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Beitler asked the hard questions

Mike Beitler may not have received as many votes as the polls indicated he would, but he said he’s pleased with the election results because of the campaign staff and organization he’s built.

“I am ready to turn this all over to Mike Munger,” Beitler said, referring to the party’s last gubernatorial candidate. Many state Libertarians expect Munger, a Duke University professor, will run again in 2012. Munger got nearly three percent of the vote for governor in 2008, which allowed the state Libertarian Party to remain ballot qualified.

Beitler said it’s time for the Libertarians to get past the idea of just staying on the ballot and start building an organization that runs and wins elections. He said he entered the race in order to “ask the hard questions” of the two establishment candidates.

“The establishment parties will continue to drive our country off the cliff until the American people wake up to the reality that both establishment parties will continue to serve their lobbyist corporate masters to the detriment of the American people,” Beitler said in a thank you message on his campaign blog.

“My goal was to let the voters know that there is an alternative in North Carolina to this bloated, outdated two-party system, and if what you desire is real change, then you need to do something different.”

Beitler’s vote total of 55,201, representing 2.1 percent of the vote, is the second highest for a Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate. Chris Cole garnered the Libertarian highest vote totals, 133,430 votes (3.1 percent) in the historical 2008 presidential election year. But voter turnout that year was a record-shattering 70 percent. In most elections, especially off-year elections, voter turnout in this state hovers around 43 percent.

The North Carolina Libertarian Party has fielded a candidate in every U.S. Senate race since 1996.

Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate votes

  • 2010: Mike Beitler, 55,201votes (2.1%)
  • 2008: Chris Cole, 133,430 votes (3.1%)
  • 2004: Tom Bailey, 47,743 votes (1.4%)
  • 2002: Sean Haugh, 33,807 votes (1.5%)
  • 1998: Barbara Howe, 36,963 votes (1.9%)
  • 1996: Ray Ubinger, 23,296 votes (1%)