The Libertarian Party declared that its showing in Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial election proves that the third party is on the rise.
With all precincts in, winner Terry McAuliffe had 47.7 percent of the vote to Ken Cuccinelli at 45.2 percent. Libertarian Robert Sarvis, a software developer and attorney, pulled in 6.52 percent.
The Libertarian Party noted that in 1990 their gubernatorial candidate got just 0.7 percent of the vote.
In fact, supporters were told in a party email, it was the third-highest vote total for a Libertarian in a governor’s race in the party’s history, in any state. In 1982, Libertarian state representative Dick Randolph won 15 percent of the vote for governor in Alaska.
The 37-year-old candidate was more attractive to younger voters, winning 15 percent of ballots cast by those between 18-29.
“A record-breaking number of Virginia voters have sent a message that they prefer the open-minded and open-for-business libertarianism of Robert Sarvis to the crazy social agenda of the Republicans and the crony capitalism of the Democrats,” said Chuck Moulton, chairman for the Libertarian Party of Virginia. “The Libertarian Party of Virginia is excited to build on this success by expanding its membership and running ever more highly qualified candidates in 2014 and beyond.”
The party said “Sarvis’s success was aided by Cuccinelli’s social conservative agenda, unpopular among most Virginia voters, which stood in stark contrast to Sarvis’s advocacy for personal freedoms.”
Libertarian Ron Paul (R-Texas), though, said ”anybody who would conceivably vote for someone who would endorse a mileage tax” — a proposal Sarvis said he would consider — is “insane.” Paul campaigned for Cuccinelli, as did his son Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).