Robert Sarvis: Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Virginia with Double-Digit Poll Numbers

Sarvis plays on dissatisfaction with major party candidates with a policy of "open minded and open for business"

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Reason: How do audiences react to you?

Sarvis: Mostly we are getting elation—people who come talk to me after or write are in elation that they have another choice. Early polls were showing 40 percent didn’t want to vote for either [major party candidate] and it’s an easy sell once people realize I’m in the race. People like that I talk to them like adults. 

Reason: How are you doing with fundraising?

Sarvis: I think we done fairly well. We’ve got $75,000 raised and most of that has been husbanded wisely, I have money to put ads on the air now. Our first ad aired during a debate I was not included in, and got good feedback and [I’ll be able to] put that on statewide. If we can’t get huge donations it’s fine getting thousand and two thousand dollar donations. There is no maximum giving in Virginia, individuals and corporations can give, anyone can give, except foreign nationals who don’t have a green card.

Reason: I understand you get more in-state money than your major party opponents?

Sarvis: By a huge margin, their money is two-thirds to three-fourths out of state, my money is two-third in state and most of the out of state came with that $10,000 in ballot access [from Libertarian Boosters PAC] so exclude that ballot money and probably my in-state would be 80-90 percent.

A huge reason for why people are saying my name and not just saying “undecided” in polls, we literally went everywhere we could around the state and every time we had an event reached out to local media and whoever would bite we give as much time as they wanted, just show them that we appreciated they were covering us. People like Bart Hinkle at Richmond Times Dispatch, people at Roanoke Times were willing to say hey, this guy sounds credible, intelligent, people don’t like the other two, why not throw him on the news site and see what happens? Once one person does it everyone wants in on the action.

One Bearing Drift poll showed in the 4th and 5th districts, Richmond and Charlottesville, that confirms our strategy paid off because those are areas early on we spent a huge amount of time, and because we spent lots of time there we were getting more media. Our efforts are reaching voters because the places we spent the most time is where I have the most support. Those are very significant numbers in the 4th and 5th district, over 20 percent.

Reason: You got a master’s in economics recently from George Mason University, which is known for a libertarian/Austrian/free market program…but you have a non-economics background as well.

Sarvis: I went to Mason mostly because they are nearby and have a strong free market bent to it. I’m not into the whole Austrian type, strongly libertarian economics, I like more mainstream economics and would have been happy to go elsewhere [as well]. I went to law school 2002-5 and clerked in Mississippi for a federal judge for a year and then worked at Gibson Dunn Crutcher, a D.C. law firm, mostly in securities law and other large litigation and government contracts.

It was very slow paced, and my previous background in software development, in the tech community in San Francisco, was more fast paced. With law you can be on the same case for several years and you are a cog in a large team of lawyers and [I decided] I wasn’t contributing to society to my best ability. I wasn’t necessarily looking to leave law, but around the time when Android and iPhone platforms were coming out, [I realized that was] going to be an interesting and exciting field. So what started as a hobby with friends, together we started a company working with that, then we quit our jobs and did it full time. That was a good experience that lasted a few years ‘til everyone decided to move on to Google and Palantir and I started running for state Senate. I’m doing [politics] fulltime until November and then I’ll see what happens.

Reason: I’ve seen you make the point, regarding gay marriage, that your own marriage [to Astrid Sarvis, a black woman] had been illegal in many parts of the country all too recently.

Sarvis: I would have the same view before I started dating my wife, but it sort of gives me more credibility on the issue and more personal stake in the matter. It’s easy for Terry McAuliffe to say he supports it, but not really fight for it. To me it’s something I want to fight for out of a sense of duty. [Virginia passed a constitutional amendment in 2006 with votes from both houses of their legislature and a popular vote that bars both gay marriage and civil unions.]

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  • NoVAHockey||

    i think, but am not certain, that 10 percent gets him in at the next debate.

  • datcv||

    At least until they move the goal post.

  • Dead or In Jail||

    I had thought the last debate was the final one. :(

  • Josh M.||

    Since the debates are privately held, the debate sponsors/host can make any decision they want. The last debate (August) had an arbitrary 15% minimum.

    The only requirement to be included in a debate should be that the candidate is on the ballot. Nothing more to it.

  • John Thacker||

    I think that his good fortune is related to both major party candidates being utterly horrible, though in different ways.

  • BakedPenguin||

    While I don't doubt his sincerity as a libertarian, it also helps that he's not a colloidal silver drinking ABSOLUTE FREEDOM IMMEDIATELY jackass.

  • Being Waterboarded||

    You called?

  • John Thacker||

    Did the bluish guy die recently?

  • ||

    He was talking about Stan Jones libertarian Sen candidate from Mt in 2006 and colloidal silver user.

  • Leo||

    I need to update my voting registration since I moved earlier, but I hadn't bothered because I've been in a "voting only encourages them" mood. I may go do it now just so I can vote for Sarvis next month.

  • Josh M.||

    Please do! Every vote counts in state elections!

  • T. Monocle Underbitington||

    i think, but am not certain, that 10 percent gets him in at the next debate.

    If Gary Johnson's campaign is any indicator, 10% gets him dropped from consideration in the next round of survey questions.

  • Josh M.||

    So frustrating.

  • g1rlygirrrl||

    Unfortunately they are not allowing him to debate. They say he dropped from 11 to 8 % (its BS but they have to find a way to keep him out of the debate). We need lots of advertising and exposure! We also need 10% of the electorate to be on the ballot for the next 3 years!

  • Stephdumas||

    If only he could grab some vote for Democrats

  • Josh M.||

    He's "grabbing" (e.g. earning) votes from both sides.

  • g1rlygirrrl||

    He Is...from all across the state

  • educatedowl||

    Love this guy! I'm definitely voting for him! The "major party" charlatans (one from Jersey, one from New York) are doing everything they can to wall him out of any meaningful role, but 10% should get him in! That Orwell quote about an idea vs an army comes to mind...

  • bersc52||

    I just want to add my story. I get paid over $87 per hour working online with Google! I work two shifts 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening. And whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids. Its by-far the best job I’ve had. I follow this great link ,,

  • rickadams550||

    Just look at all these comments bashing Robert Sarvis and his supporters on this Breitbart article about another gubernatorial poll that came out on Monday... they must really hate Rob's guts!

  • loellaviles||

    my friend's sister makes =$­8­0= an hour on the laptop. She has been fired from work for seven months but last month her pay check was =$­1­2­7­4­1= just working on the laptop for a few hours. here are the findings...


  • Brenton||

    Robert, I will be publicly supporting you and making it known to all of my friends, family members, people in Fairfax County, and the 40,000 who follow me on social media. Like you, I am a lawyer. I practice private criminal defense in Fairfax County and other Northern Virginia jurisdictions. Even if you do not win, it is important we get your numbers up. If not this election, perhaps your excellent and admirable candidacy will pave the way for a future candidate in years to come. I respect you greatly, and will help you however I can.

  • g1rlygirrrl||

    Excellent to hear Brenton! Please post to your 40,000 followers are Leesburg M&G on Sunday ... also in VA you get a 50.00 per family State tax write off for candidates during an election year...I know its not much but it means a ton to the campaign.

    Meet Robert Sarvis at The Q Company 17 Catoctin Circle Leesburg VA 10/13/2013 at 6:00pm

  • g1rlygirrrl||

    If you Live in Virginia and can Make it to Leesburg on Sunday come out and meet Robert Sarvis. The longterm goal ... get the Libertarian Party on the ballot for the next 3 years. All we need is 10% of the electorate. The ultimate goal a Libertarian Governor in VA!

    Meet Robert Sarvis at The Q Company 17 Catoctin Circle Leesburg VA 10/13/2013 at 6:00pm

  • Faithkills||

    He uses a word like cartellization but then says he's not an Austrian. If he's telling the truth then he's not worth voting for, if he's lying then he's a liar, and not worth voting for. You can surely be a libertarian without being an Austrian but you aren't smart enough to warrant a vote.

    And getting kind words from Jennifer Rubin and George Will lights up every warning alert on the board.

    Sarvis sounds like a nice guy. But I'd rather a neocon that I know will sell me out than a mushy libertarian that is in favor of something like a road usage tax, to sell us out.

    Being in favor of gay marriage just isn't all that edgy these days. I wouldn't vote for Cucinelli but I wouldn't make a trip to vote for this guy either.


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