Gary Johnson

Eric Brakey, Republican Senate Candidate in Maine, Endorses Gary Johnson

The former Ron Paul delegate, current state senator, and underdog to unseat independent Angus King says Johnson "would be one of the best U.S. senators."


Eric Brakey ||| Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The Constitution stipulates that you have to be 30 years old to run for the United States Senate, so it's a good thing that Eric Brakey had a birthday this month. Brakey, a GOP state senator in Maine, is that rare Liberty Movement conservative who made it to the November ballot for the U.S. Senate as a Republican. He was a Ron Paul delegate and state director in 2012, he received an early endorsement in this year's Senate race from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and in an interview published Wednesday he enthused about the Libertarian Party's Senate candidate in New Mexico, Gary Johnson.

"I think that Gary Johnson would be one of the best U.S. senators in the U.S. Senate were he to win," Brakey told The Libertarian Republic. "I think he would be there on a lot of issues that are near and dear to my heart as a libertarian….I hope that he wins. I would love to serve alongside him."

Brakey took an unusual path to the GOP nomination. Trumpian Gov. Paul LePage played will-he, won't-he for a long time, and competitor Max Linn was disqualified from the primary due to petition-signature issues. Even running unopposed, Brakey received only 59 percent of the vote. His race against incumbent independent Angus King and Democratic patsy Zak Ringelstein is universally rated as a "safe" win for King, and the meager polling so far has been brutal—52 percent to 25 percent (with 9 percent for the Democrat, and 15 percent undecided) in a Suffolk University poll earlier this month.

Brakey's issue set sounds more libertarian than Republican—pro-marijuana legalization, pro-right-to-try, anti-corporate welfare, anti-military interventionism. He's a criminal justice reformer and a gun rights advocate. And he's gently dismissive of those libertarians who think Gary Johnson or other Liberty Movement types fail to pass libertarian purity tests.

"Now, he's not a perfect libertarian," Brakey said in the interview, "but there are very few people who are perfect libertarians. In fact, if you ask most libertarians, there's only one person who's a perfect libertarian, and that's whoever that person is….'And no one else is a real libertarian except for me, I'm the only one who's doing it right.' I don't really think that. I support anyone and everyone who is trying to promote the cause of liberty in whatever path they are doing so. Whether that's through the Republican party, or other parties. Whether through political means or nonpolitical means. I think that we should all support and encourage the cause of liberty wherever it is being advanced, anywhere."

Here is another interesting exchange from Brakey's interview with The Libertarian Republic's Gary Doan:

TLR: The 2018 primaries don't seem to have gone well for liberty Republicans. In fact, after the loss of candidates like [Nick] Freitas and [Austin] Petersen, I personally feel that you're the only Republican running for U.S. Senate left worthy of getting excited about, and most analysts seem to think King's likely to be reelected. The non-liberty portions of Trump seem to be the most popular, and on the left, we're seeing a resurgence of openly socialist candidates, energized by Bernie in a way that people like you were energized by Ron Paul. Why do you think that is, and are there still reasons to be optimistic about the liberty movement?

EB: Well, I think there are many reasons to be very optimistic about the liberty movement. I just came from, just a few weeks ago, I was at the national convention for Young Americans for Liberty. And what I saw there was so many young people, six years after Ron Paul last ran for President, so many young people who are still coming to the message of liberty for the first time.

You know, I met a young guy who was a chapter president for Young Americans for Liberty out in California. I asked how he came to the liberty movement, how he found us. And he said, you know…two years ago he had been the San Francisco director for Bernie Sanders. And when Bernie Sanders lost, then he found Gary Johnson. And Gary Johnson lead him to understanding libertarianism and then reading Austrian economics, then discovering Rand Paul and Ron Paul's message…

People are still coming to this message, because the message of liberty is always fresh in this system we live in that is run by authoritarians. So, I am very encouraged. We are in the fourth wave of the liberty movement. There are still so many young people coming to this.

And you know what? Look at Nick Freitas in Virginia. People say "Well, Nick Freitas lost the primary." But Nick Freitas came so close to winning that primary. He came out of nowhere and took on a Republican who had been the statewide nominee in the past, who was incredibly well known, and he nearly won. That is a success story. Certainly, he fell short of winning the primary, but he so exceeded expectations, the liberty movement exceeded expectations in that race, and I'm sure that Nick Freitas and so many others, there's so much more to come.

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  1. “Angus King says Johnson “would be one of the best U.S. senators.””

    That may be an endorsement, but it’s not a *ringing* endorsement.

    1. In context, it says more. The whole quote sounds like something a real human would say, not some press flack. From that POV, it is a ringing endorsement.

      1. Ooh, look at Mr. “I read the article” there.

    2. You clipped the first part of the sentence. King wasn’t the one doing the endorsement. It was his opponent, Brakey.

      I don’t know if you meant to say that an endorsement by King wouldn’t be much of an endorsement, or that the quality of the current crop of Senators is so weak that being the best wouldn’t take much.

      1. What the hell, you read the article too? Good grief, the world is going to pot.

        1. >>>going to pot

          better than reading the articles

          1. The articles don’t taste like brownies.

  2. Evil Jerry Seinfeld? Guess it’s better than nothing.

    1. In the picture the seam in his neck looks like where they stitched the head onto the body.

  3. Dear Reason Ed’s.,

    I have a bone to pick. Recently, I’ve noticed a dirth of articles here on how we need to get behind the Republican agenda and just ignore President Trump’s crazy awesome posts on twitter because of how the libertarian agenda is going to be so awesomely promoted by his SCOTUS picks. Can we have more articles on libertarian utilitarianism and less about Gary Johnson, who is going to lose to Democrats because the state of New Mexico has been flooded with minorities and illegals. Yuck.

    1. Sorry, f’ed up the html. crazy awesome should just read crazy awesome.

    2. “Can we have more articles on libertarian utilitarianism and less about Gary Johnson”

      What type of libertarianism do you think Gary is practicing? I doubt anyone would consider him to be a deontological based libertarian. Although he may flip flop on either point depending on who he is talking to that day.

      This is just a really really bad parody.

      1. Deontology divorced from utilitarianism is impotent, and vice versa.

        1. That doesn’t make the parody any better.

    3. Right. ‘A pox on both houses’ is the only sensible libertarian stance to make.

      1. I wonder if Shakespeare knew how often his quotes would be taken out of context and weaponized (and frequently misquoted in this instance).

        One of the houses to which you refer will have power in this country. So by wishing a pox (or plague) on both, what you’re practically endorsing is giving the most power to the one oozing with the most pustules.

        1. The lesser of two pustules is still oozing.

        2. I was a) being sarcastic and b) not quoting Shakespeare. Reason has long treated the two parties as ‘equally despised’, when only one party will even get within a 39.5 foot pole poking distance of them. Unfortunately for the magazine, that’s the party they don’t like ‘equally’.

          1. Ah, I see. So your “pox on both their houses” comment was just an elaborate ruse to your eventual claim that the Republicans are better.

            1. The equivalence necessarily rewards the one that’s worse in reality.

              1. Tony, calling out someone for being a partisan is surreal

                1. Especially since Democrats have become considerably worse than they were ten years ago

                  1. I’m calling him out for not being partisan enough.

                  2. Democrats going to have to go soon. They’re almost unworkable now.

            2. ‘Pox on both houses’ is neither my ruse, nor elaborate.

      2. Exactly. Most political arguments are just a bunch of ass goblins fighting about whether the left buttcheek or right buttcheek contributes more to the sound of a fart.

        1. Again, I was being sarcastic. Certainly within a week, if not within 24 hours one or more Reason writers will write about both parties being equally bad as though the LP isn’t routinely championed by Republicans and this article never happened.

          One asscheek is gangrenous with cancer, the other is merely covered in weeping boils, but they both contribute equally to making the fart noises that Reason obsesses over.

  4. “In fact, if you ask most libertarians, there’s only one person who’s a perfect libertarian, and that’s…”

    I really expected him to say Jesus.

    1. You have violated that most common sensical saying about not opening your mouth and proving a fool: you show that you know nothing about libertarians, Jesus, or human nature. But that does qualify you to be a politician.

      1. That’s just how that sort of sentence usually goes.

    2. I really expected him to say Jesus.

      He’s not drafting much legislation and his spending is as close to zero as it’s gonna get… unless you buy into the whole “guiding people from beyond the grave” hokum.

  5. As a former governor, King will win on name recognition alone. Meh.

    1. You appear to underestimate the awesome power of an endorsement from an obscure, faux libertarian right-winger in an American election. Bigly power, one might even say.

      1. Arty, you appear to, and in reality, lack any significant cognitive ability.

  6. The endorsement of the Senate candidate in Maine who could not draw 60% of the vote in an unopposed primary is better than nothing. How much better is hard to figure

  7. Nothing funnier I’ll read all day long than the idea that Gary “bake that fucking cake” Johnson believes in liberty!

    1. Oh it’s definitely funnier when you parrot theocrats and think that makes you pro-freedom.

      1. Tony, you are one of the most anti freedom people around. Your idea of freedom is oppressing everyone else.

  8. From Gary Doan’s question… “The non-liberty portions of Trump seem to be the most popular…”

    So, what are the liberty portions of Trump? I must have missed those, unless international isolationism and the current lack of American exceptionalism (MAGA!!!) are part of what passes for liberty purity.

    1. The parts where he deregulates some of the oppressive bullshit democrat rules, and pushed legislation that lets peple and businesses keep more of their own money to name a few.

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