Libertarian Party

Libertarian Larry Sharpe Has Raised a Record $450,000 in New York Governor's Race

2016 L.P. veep runner-up set to shatter the 50,000-vote threshold needed to make Libertarians a ballot-qualified party for the first time in state history


Larry Sharpe at the 2018 Libertarian National Convention. ||| Matt Welch
Matt Welch

New York gubernatorial candidate Larry Sharpe, one of the rising stars of the Libertarian Party, has as of late October raised $449,515 for his campaign, according to recent filings with the New York State Board of Elections.

To put that total in perspective, it amounts to 44 cents per New York resident. The 2016 Gary Johnson/Bill Weld haul of $11,983,980, by comparison, averaged out to 27 cents per resident of the United States. (Granted, Sharpe can raise from out of state, which often happens after his appearances with such popular interviewers as Joe Rogan, Dave Rubin, and Glenn Beck.)

Sharpe, who came within just 32 votes of beating Weld out for the L.P.'s vice presidential slot when he was a relative unknown in 2016, is a fast-talking salesman and an energetic fundraiser. I once saw him auction off—to a room of two dozen Libertarian activists who were grousing about their inability to raise money—a signed copy of The Declaration of Independents for $200.

While unprecedented for a Libertarian gubernatorial candidate, Sharpe's haul understandably pales in comparison to incumbent Gov. (and overwhelming favorite) Andrew Cuomo, who has raised $13,778,685. Republican Marc Molinaro has brought in $1,914,828, Serve America Movement candidate and former Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner reported $725,060, and Green Howie Hawkins trails the field with $189,918.

The non-Cuomo candidates are debating tomorrow tonight; the Democratic governor agreed only to a one-on-one debate last week with the Republican. The Sharpe campaign has released a new edit of that with the Libertarian cut in:

If Sharpe receives 50,000 votes—or 1.3 percent of the 2014 electorate—then the Libertarian Party will gain automatic ballot access in New York for the first time in its history. Sharpe, who has been campaigning tirelessly in all 62 counties in the Empire State, told me yesterday on the set of Compound Media's Mornin'!!! with Bill Schulz and Joanne Nosuchinsky that he's confident he'll make it into double digits. There has been no independent poll taken in the race since the exit one month ago of Cuomo-bashing challenger Cynthia Nixon.

The Libertarian has been interviewed at Reason by me, Nick Gillespie, and John Stossel. The latter effort below: