Hit & Run

Will Virginia Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Sarvis Crack Open the Corrupt Democrat/Republican Duopoly?

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Robert Sarvis
Ronald Bailey

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis' campaign slogan: "Open-Minded and Open for Business" has to be one of the most copacetic I've ever encountered. If Sarvis can clear the 10 percent electoral benchmark that would give the Libertarian Party a line on the ballots of the Old Dominion through 2021, offering Virginians a way to get beyond the intellectually bankrupt so-called major parties. The Danville Register and Bee summed up the situation well in its editorial endorsement of Sarvis:

Both the Democrats and Republicans failed to come up with good gubernatorial candidates this year. If we were to endorse either McAuliffe or Cuccinelli, we would be playing their game. "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got," the saying goes.

Robert Sarvis offers a real alternative this year, a break from the two-party paradigm that has not served us well.

As a Libertarian, Sarvis favors restraints on the size and scope of government. We're comfortable with that.

"I realized that the Republican Party, at least in Virginia, in the current era, is not a good vehicle for liberty candidates," Sarvis told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in August. "Republicans are very strident on personal issues. When they talk about liberty, they don't mean any personal issues, there is very little respect for personal autonomy.

"And on economic issues, it's almost like they don't believe in what they talk about. They talk about limited government, but they are just as bad as the other party at cronyism, raising taxes and growing government."

If there is one knock on Sarvis' record, it is this: He has never held elected office. If he wins on Tuesday, he would have to navigate a swamp of partisan politics in Richmond.

But as a conservative, he would be a political kindred spirit with many of the Republicans in the General Assembly. We believe he could be more than just a novelty candidate in 2013, but the kind of governor who inspires confidence from Virginians and respect from other members of the General Assembly.

What we won't get from Sarvis is a big-government agenda. In a year when so many other things have gone wrong, a young man with a new way of looking at our old problems is just what the Old Dominion needs. We're not interested in what Robert Sarvis can do for the Libertarian Party; we're interested in what this young, intelligent and highly-motivated family man can do to change the two-party trap we've gotten ourselves into.

I'm off to the polls in a bit to cast my ballot for a candidate who offers more than the usual lesser-of-two-evils electoral choice.

For more background, see S.M. Oliva's Reason.com excellent profile of Sarvis here.