Among the 218 voting delegates at the Temple Convention Center were Upshur County Libertarian Chairman Vance Lowry, Allen Weatherford and Sherri Little. Lowry said about 300 persons--counting alternate delegates, delegates’ spouses, vendors, the press and observers—attended overall.
Lowry said Wednesday that while the state party declined Weatherford’s resolution to eliminate the issue of immigration from the state platform altogether—on grounds it is a national rather than state issue—the convention did change the plank on immigration and border control to keep citizens from thinking Libertarians comprise an “open borders party.”
That was the only part of the past platform which was altered, Lowry said. He added that the “biggest thing I’m excited about” is that two East Texans, Smith County party Chairman Rudy Wright and Gregg County party Chairman Brandee Brown, were named to the party’s state Executive Committee from state Senate District One.
Wright and Mrs. Brown—former Republicans who supported Ron Paul for that party’s Presidential nomination—will be “talented organizers”, and their presence will give the Tyler and Longview areas representation on the state committee for the first time, Lowry noted.
Noting that the pair were former Republicans who had supported Ron Paul for that party’s Presidential nomination, Lowry said the 218 voting delegates included a “boatload of disaffected Republicans”—Paul supporters who were “mistreated” by the GOP.
The Upshur delegation split on its vote for the party’s gubernatorial nomination, which went to Kathie Glass by one vote on the second ballot, Lowry said. He and Ms. Little supported Ms. Glass (who was the party’s gubernatorial nominee in 2010), while Weatherford did not. (Libertarians nominate their candidates at conventions rather than by primary elections.)
While the party has an entire slate of candidates for statewide office in the November election, its two main candidates are Mrs. Glass and Robert Butler, who won the convention’s nomination for Lieutenant Governor, said Lowry. (In addition, Upshur County Libertarians have nominated Peggy LaGrone, who is seeking her old job as County Clerk, to oppose Republican Terri Ross in November.)
In an email to The Mirror Thursday, Ms. Little said her main reason for attending the convention was to vote in the governor’s race.
“I continue to support Kathie Glass for a number of reasons, primary being that no one else has done so much to promote the party, such as traveling and speaking all over Texas.
“Another reason is that she is capable of speaking the political jargon, with an insight into what will work in making inroads into the current political deadlock. By deadlock, I’m referring to the reds’ and blues’ strangleholds on our lives, our pockets, our bedrooms, etc.”
She noted that an outside organization, Vote Rescue, tallied the ballots, showing live video of the counting process on two large screens.
As for the immigration issue, the new plank reads, “Libertarians believe the right to work or travel is an inherent personal liberty that should not be unduly impeded by the laws of governments.
“The Libertarian Party of Texas encourages legal and lawful immigration regardless of country of origin. The party seeks to encourage immigration of students, workers, and business owners willing to invest in Texas.”
The “border control” plank reads, “The Libertarian Party believes in and encourages free and fair trade among nations which allows the easy exchange of currency, goods, labor, and services.”
Lowry also said that Upshur Libertarians favor legalizing alcoholic beverage sales in the City of Gilmer in the May 10 election. He said the party is for “freedom of choice” and “personal responsibility.”