Larry Sharpe

'The Libertarian Party Is the Right Answer, as Broken as It Is:' Larry Sharpe

The LP candidate for the governor of New York wants to cut spending, legalize everything, and give people hope.

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The New York governor's race this fall has garnered outsized national attention partly because a well-known actress is mounting a left-wing challenge to the two-term Democratic incumbent, who just happens to be the son of a past governor, a one-time Kennedy family in-law, and a cabinet secretary during the Bill Clinton administration.

Cynthia Nixon, who played Miranda on the long-running show Sex and the City, is an unrepentant progressive who has been attacking Andrew Cuomo hard from the left. She's pushing for a higher minimum wage, state-wide rent subsidies, and massive tax funding for New York City's failing subway system. Her stances have won her the endorsement of The Nation, which credits her with pushing Cuomo to the left.

But there's another candidate running for governor who's worth a longer look than either Nixon or Cuomo. Libertarian Party candidate Larry Sharpe is a New York City native, former Marine, and an entrepreneur who came within 32 votes of being Gary Johnson's vice-presidential candidate for the 2016 election. When Reason asked his rival Bill Weld how the LP could become more successful, Weld replied, "You want to get out more candidates like Larry Sharpe."

Sharpe's vision for governing is both starkly realistic and relentlessly libertarian. Where most office-seekers tap dance around questions of cutting spending and regulations, Sharpe doesn't miss a beat in laying out his platform, which is built around returning money and control to individual counties. As a black man who grew up under difficult circumstances in the Bronx and Queens, he insists that the Libertarian message of ending the drug war, curbing overpolicing, cutting occupational licensing, and expanding school choice can find a natural audience among minorities.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Nick Gillespie, Sharpe lays his admittedly long-shot road to victory in November. He also talks about how his military experience and reading the 1970s' classic self-help book Looking Out for #1 helped make him a better, more socially conscious individual.

Introductory segment produced by Austin Bragg. Edited by Ian Keyser. Cameras by Jim Epstein.

'Covert Affair' by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Photo Credits:

Ezio Peterson UPI Photo Service / Newscom

Paul Martinka / Splash News/Newscom

Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Newscom

Brian Cahn/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Paul Gordon/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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