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.