On September 29, writer and former 2016 Libertarian Party (LP) presidential candidate Darryl Perry, the newly-elected chair of the (LPNH), announced the creation of a write-in campaign for president across several states. In a press release, he stated three goals for his run: “(1) to run the most libertarian presidential campaign in history; (2) to proclaim the ideas of liberty as boldly and as often as possible; and (3) to give as many people as possible the opportunity to vote for an actual libertarian in November.” Wikinews reached out to Perry to discuss the campaign.
During his run for the Libertarian nomination, Perry notably refused to file with the Federal Election Commission, claiming it lacked authority, and said he would only take donations in the form of precious metals or like . He selected Muslim libertarian Will Coley as his running mate. At the , Perry received 6.8% on the first ballot and 5.6% on the second ballot, fourth place each time. After being eliminated, Perry delivered a boisterous concession speech in which he warned the party about following the path of the in accepting public campaign financing. He did not endorse the Johnson–Weld ticket.
Libertarians like Perry have expressed displeasure in Johnson–Weld, arguing the ticket has sacrificed principles for mainstream acceptance, such as supporting restrictions on the, new taxes, and limits on freedom of association. Moreover, Johnson suffered a series of gaffes in September, failing to recognize the name of the Syrian city of Aleppo, sticking his tongue out at a reporter, and not being able to remember the name of a foreign leader he admired. Nevertheless, in the polls he has fared well for a Libertarian candidate, consistently polling higher than the one percent he received as the party’s nominee in 2012.
In his write-in campaign, Perry plans to be certified as a write-in candidate in nine states plus the District of Columbia. In an additional eight states, all write-in votes are considered valid. According to Perry’s calculations, this potentially provides him access to 114 electoral votes.
With Wikinews, Perry discusses his reasons for running, his impact on the election, and how he plans to spread his message.
WSS What convinced you to begin a write-in campaign for president?
- Perry: As I mentioned in the Press Release announcing the write-in campaign: The Johnson campaign’s […] numerous instances of the Libertarian Party Presidential ticket running in opposition to the LP Platform, including supporting limitations of the Second Amendment rights of people on secret lists, new forms of taxation, and statements against freedom of association. Also, the failure of the LNC [Libertarian National Committee] to take action in accordance with the bylaws to either censure or remove the candidates for running in opposition to the bylaws, and the failure of the LNC to take action against Weld for donating to the GOP [Grand Old Party — i.e., Republican] opponent of the LPNH’s Gubernatorial candidate.
WSS What impact do you hope to have on the election?
- Perry: This question presumes that the purpose of my campaign is to affect the results of this election. My goal is to show people that Johnson and Weld are running in opposition to the LP Platform, and that there are people who put principle over party. As I said during the months leading up to the LP National Convention, when I joined the LP in 1999, it was proudly billed as the “Party of Principle” and I want to make the LP the Party of Principle again, not the Party of watering-down the message.
WSS What is the primary focus of your campaign and what are you doing to get the message out?
- Perry: For the answer to the first part of this question, see [the previous answer]. This is as grassroots as grassroots can get. I’m not spending money on the write-in campaign, though I am accepting media interviews. Otherwise my focus is on building LPNH and trying to get some pro-liberty legislation introduced in the NH Legislature.