State Libertarians elect new chair

Matt Drew of Durham County is the new chair of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. He was elected by a unanimous vote at the party’s annual state convention held in Hickory this weekend. He replaced Barbara Howe, who did not seek re-election.

The convention re-elected the other officers: Bev Wilcox, Rockingham, vice chair; Daniel Change,Wake, recording secretary; John Cavney, Cleveland, treasurer, and; Rick Pasotto, Mecklenberg, membership secretary. In addition, the elected they at-large members of the state executive committee. They are: Bradley Bergh, Buncombe, David Speight, Davidson, Phil Jacobson and Marc Conaghan, Wake County, Alex Vuchnich and Tim Doran, Mecklenberg, Tom Hohman, Union, and JJ Summerell, Guilford.

“There is no such think as a free lunch,” Drew told the delegates, recalling an old libertarian slogan. “We need to get out there and work; it’s a long slog ahead.” He noted that libertarian activists often get burned out, but said “We want you to stay. We need you. In order to make the libertarian movement happen we need everybody here.”

The Libertarians unanimously passed a resolution in support of House Bill 32, the Electoral Freedom Act of 2011, which would dramatically reduce the barriers for third parties and unaffiliated candidates to get on the ballot.

“We stand with the Free the Vote Coalition in asserting that ballot access reform is not a partisan or special interest group issue, but a question of fundamental freedom that transcends political differences,” the resolution said. “Free choice on the election ballot is not an issue to be flippantly dismissed but is an issue of utmost importance to democratic ideals.”

The convention also passed a resolution thanking the individuals and organizations that joined in their unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn North Carolina’s restrictive ballot access laws. In that resolution the Libertarian Party expressed “solidarity with the Green Party, the Constitution Party, and all other (Free the Vote) coalition partners past, present and future in the continuing fight for ballot access reform.”