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Libertarian Party Selects Chase Oliver as Presidential Nominee

On Sunday, the Libertarian Party’s National Convention concluded with a floor vote that selected former Senate candidate Chase Oliver as its presidential nominee for the 2024 election.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, the nomination process went through seven ballots before finally selecting Oliver. There were 10 candidates on the first ballot, including Oliver, former professor Michael Rectenwald, and independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The first ballot eliminated four candidates: Art Oliver, Joshua Anderson, Charles Ballay, and Kennedy. Kennedy’s immediate elimination from contention was seen as a major embarrassment after he had spoken to the convention two days prior, making a play for the party’s official nomination in conjunction with his independent candidacy. Following his elimination, his running mate Nicole Shanahan backed out of a planned speech to the convention.

The second ballot eliminated Jacob Hornberger, who had previously run in the Libertarian presidential primaries in 2000 and 2020. The third ballot saw the elimination of Joshua Smith, the former Vice Chair of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC). On the fourth ballot, entrepreneur Lars Mapstead was eliminated. After Mike ter Maat, the former Libertarian nominee for Florida’s 20th congressional district in 2022, was eliminated on the fifth ballot, he declared that he would run as Oliver’s running mate.

For the first five ballots, Rectenwald held a consistent lead over Oliver, garnering between 28% and 38% of the delegates each time. Once ter Maat was eliminated, Oliver took first place on the sixth ballot with just under 50%, thus eliminating Rectenwald. On the seventh and final ballot, Oliver received 60% of the vote, while the “none of the above” option received 37%. LNC Chairwoman Angela McArdle reminded the gathered delegates that if “none of the above” won the final ballot, then the party would not nominate a candidate at all.

On the vice presidential ballot, ter Maat won the nomination after just two rounds of voting, defeating four other candidates.

Oliver first made his name in Libertarian politics by winning the party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate race in Georgia in 2022. In the highly contentious election between incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker (R-Ga.), Oliver received just over 2% of the vote; as a result, because neither of the two major candidates got over 50% of the vote, the election went to a runoff between Walker and Warnock. Oliver refused to endorse either candidate in the runoff. Despite having no impact on the runoff election, Oliver has repeatedly touted his status as a “spoiler” candidate. Warnock went on to narrowly defeat Walker in the runoff.

In his acceptance speech, Oliver denounced Israel as committing “genocide in Gaza,” and vowed that he would “fight the war machine.”

The highlight of the Libertarian National Convention was a speech on Saturday night by former President Donald Trump, thus marking the first time in the history of the Libertarian Party that a former president and major party nominee ever addressed the Libertarians’ national gathering. There were hecklers in the crowd who occasionally booed and disrupted President Trump’s speech, including a testy exchange where Trump suggested that if they didn’t nominate him, they “don’t want to win” and would “keep getting your 3% every four years.” However, Trump appeared to win over most of the crowd when he promised to commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht, who was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole due to his founding of the website Silk Road, which the government alleged was responsible for the trafficking of narcotics.

A delegate at the convention attempted to nominate Trump on the first ballot, but the nomination was rejected due to Trump not being a registered member of the Libertarian Party.

Of the few general election polls that include Oliver as the Libertarian nominee, results currently show Oliver getting between 0% and 1% of the national vote.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: TOPSHOT - Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to address the Libertarian National Convention in Washington, DC, May 25, 2024. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

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