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:

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  1. Good for Sharpe. I hope he does very well in the election. If I lived in New York, I would vote for him.

  2. I think I’ll actually vote for this guy; Cuomo is going to win by a landslide so I only really care about keeping his vote share as small as possible and either opponent will do. Normally I specifically do not like to help the LP get on the ballot–I do not like to split the opposition to the Democrats–but that seems likewise a done deal by a huge margin so there’s nothing to be said. I think Sharpe is better than the Republican on most things I care about; and the pussy NYGOP needs to be taught a bit of a lesson itself. Maybe he can energize more anti-Democrats to come out and vote in the key Senate districts. (Now if the Libertarians are running spoilers there than FUCK THEM for real!)

    Not that my one little vote matters worth a shit anyway, so it’s all a bit silly to pay it any mind at all.

    1. ” it’s all a bit silly to pay it any mind at all.”


      I wish 1/10th as much concern were paid to specific policy issues (and attempts to oppose them) rather than this meaningless symbolic bullshit where the LP candidate will come in 4th place regardless.

      Give me legal challenges to soda taxes, or a gun-rights campaign in NY, or something moderately fucking useful. Spare me the “isn’t it nice we have someone on the ticket who no one will notice outside LP circles”

  3. Sharpe should do quite well in NY since he has the black vote sewn up – it’s well known that all black people think and act alike just like Hispanics and gays and women all think and act just alike and you’re a Nazi if you think differently. Unless you’re black or Hispanic or gay or female, in which case you’re a traitor to your race/sex/gender.

    1. He may have both the black and white vote sewn up, from the looks of him. He better thank God Tiger Woods still lives in Florida.

  4. More like Joanne *Yes*suchinsky, am I right?

  5. Does money always = win?

  6. Is Matt suffering from English major math?

    1. Sharpe has raised under 2 and a half cents per NY resident. If he does real well, he may have raised 44 cents per vote. But that’s probably optimistic.

    2. Really. That’s two cents per NYS resident, not forty four cents.

  7. I don’t expect him to win, but if he beats the Republican or is a close third, that would make a huge difference.

  8. He’s great, but “double digits” is trash talk. Just the automatic ballot access at 1.3% is a tough goal in a place like NY that’s never been LP friendly and has lots of other options for protest votes.

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