Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gary Johnson Trounces Harris, Person & Still In Manhattan Libertarian Party Presidential Straw Poll

On Saturday, January 21, 2012, the Manhattan Libertarian Party held its Annual Convention during which a Presidential Candidate Forum & Straw Poll was held. Gary Johnson, R.J. Harris, Carl Person and Bill Still were the featured Presidential Candidates. Sam Sloan, an announced Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate who previously served as Media Director and State Representative for the Manhattan Libertarian Party, was denied the opportunity to participate and was told not to purchase a plane ticket from California, where he currently resides. 53 people voted in the Presidential Straw Poll. 

The results were the following:

Gary Johnson - 35 votes (66%)
R.J. Harris - 11 votes (20.8%)
Carl Person - 5 votes (9.4%)
Mary Ruwart (Write-In) - 1 vote (1.9%)
Ron Paul (Write-In) - 1 vote (1.9%)
Bill Still - 0 votes (0%)

Dallwyn Merck, Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Queens County, who attended the Manhattan LP Annual Convention reported the above results and commented as follows:

This was a significant victory for Governor Gary Johnson and the very first test of his strength amongst rank-and-file Libertarian Party members who are likely to be delegates to the Libertarian Party's National Convention scheduled to be held May 4-6, 2012 at the Red Rock Casino, Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Libertarian Party of Queens County became the first chartered chapter in the New York Libertarian Party to have endorsed Gary Johnson. We are very pleased with the results of the Straw Poll.

R.J. Harris came in with the support of Gigi Bowman, the Suffolk County Libertarian Party Vice-Chair & State Representative, who rallied support for Mr. Harris at a special reception/fundraiser held at her house the night before so it is not surprising a contingent of supporters showed up to give him a second place finish.

The big loser of the evening was Carl Person. Mr Person's Law Office/Campaign Headquarters are located within a mile of where the Presidential Candidate Forum was held. In addition, he went in with the support  of Mark Axinn, the Chair of the New York State Libertarian Party who is also Secretary/Treasurer of the Manhattan LP. Given that geographic advantage and the fact that the only qualification to vote was the purchase of a ticket, Mr. Person still was unable to garner more than 5 votes, which presumably included his own and Mr. Axinn's.

Bill Still's message failed to resonate with convention attendees and he received no votes at all.

The Manhattan Libertarian Party's Annual Convention was held at the Ukrainian East Village Restaurant located at 140 2nd Avenue in Manhattan (New York County), New York.


  1. I was there and did not vote for Gary Johnson. RJ Harris is a true libertarian, and he has the intelligence and energy to be a libertarian spokesperson and candidate. Gary Johnson's presentation revealed some of his better traits but also his shortcomings in my eyes. He falls short in foreign policy and really didn't demonstrate that he's committed to libertarian philosophy and action. I'm glad Gary wants to be involved in some type of libertarian work, but I don't know what his ultimate goal is, and he's just not ready to be a presidential candidate. RJ Harris owned that debate. RJ is ready, willing and able to be the candidate.

  2. Speaking as an independent, I really hope you guys run Gary Johnson. I've seen some interviews and I'm very impressed, this would be the first time I vote for a third party candidate.

  3. Even though Johnson may not be the best on foreign policy he is at least on the right track for what we need. Johnson is the type of person who, like the founding fathers, sees that their is complete havoc in DC, and it needs to be fixed...and sooner rather later. He was not and never has tr ied to be a politician for sale, hes a regular American who understands economics (Austrian...thank heavens), is a business man who was succesful, and is wanting to do what he sees as his duty. After his two terms is NM he got out of politics instead of becoming a mooch in Washington DC. Hes the type of person who will sit down with you, hear your concerns, and then talk about it woth you (which he does LIVE meetings alot on and plans to continue doing them as other candidate is sitting down with voters and doing Q&A, only Gary Johnson because he cares and really can fix this mess.

  4. I can definitely understand where Johnson would alienate many Libertarians, after he basically jumped ship from the GOP nomination race and joined the Libertarian nomination process. Where RJ Harris may be a better proponent of the Libertarian ideal, as a party we're finally at the point where we have to think, "Can this Candidate win the general election." I think Johnson would be the best gradual step for the majority of voters to a rational and solvent government. Someone who comes off too strong or An/Minarchist will definitely scare off the Dems and Left-leaning independents who will flock to Johnson (or except for the bad anarcho rep they give us, any other Lib candidate) for his stances on social issues after Obama failed to deliver. He also has a record of reforming healthcare to deliver better care at a savings, this will be VERY important in the General Election in any debate if GJ gets the nomination. I just think, especially after Johnson worked so hard to get his name out there (and succeeded marginally despite the media) he has a much better shot than Harris at actually winning the Election.

  5. Harris and Johnson occupy the same ecological nice within the LP right now: they are both Republicans-come-lately. When LP delegates compare the two resumes, they’ll probably decide that Harris is a mini-Johnson, which will not go well for Harris at nomination time. Few people would choose a little Johnson when they could have a big Johnson