Texas Libertarians & Greens Nominate Statewide Candidates for November
Per state law, Texas 3rd parties nominate candidates by old school convention, not primary. This weekend the two parties met at their respective conventions, 221 credentialed delegates for the Libertarian Party in Irving, and 30 delegates to the much smaller Green Party, in Kyle, numbers significantly down from prior years.
The Libertarian Party nominated a number of candidates including former Lago Vista City Councilman, attorney and businessman Mark Tippetts, the 2018 nominee, for a second run for Governor, who notably pushed for Spanish language debates in the 2018 Governor's race, Jaime Diez for Railroad Commissioner, and Alonzo Echavarria-Garza for Comptroller to oppose Glenn Hegar, and Marco Ash for Attorney General to oppose Ken Paxton. All nominees were unopposed this year. Mr. Ash notably received over 1.6 mm votes from over 25% of Texas voters in his 2018 race for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Mr. Echavarria-Garza serves as City Manager and formerly CFO of Hearne, TX, and former CFO of Port Isabel and Assistant CFO of Big Spring, TX. Notably all four of the statewide nominees are bilingual, and Mr. Tippetts says he plans to coordinate a campaign focus on Hispanic voters in Texas', who have a history of supporting Libertarian over Republican candidates at over twice the level of other voting groups.
The Green Party nominated party activists Hunter Crow for Railroad Commissioner, and Delilah Barrios for Governor.
The Libertarians elected their state officers, executive committees and national delegations as well. While results are final, no official announcement has yet been made. State Party Chair Whitney Bilyeu and Treasurer Kate Prather were unopposed and re-elected, and Secretary and Vice Chair went to party insiders Anastasia Wilford and Kyle Russell in elections contested by a new right wing faction to the party.
Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason, the highest ranking elected Libertarian in the state, also spoke on his reelection campaign scheduled for May. The Libertarian Party's most winnable partisan races this year are local, likely including Seguin Gazette columnist and independent filmmaker Nolan Schmidt for County Judge in Guadalupe, and Hearne Chamber of Commerce President Dana Altimore in Robertson County, both in head to head races versus Republican nominees.
Several long time party candidates were not present having switched parties, including Mark Loewe, who won the Republican nomination for SBOE after receiving Gov Greg Abbott's endorsement, Tom Glass who missed a close runoff for HD 17 in the Republican Primary, and Mark Miller, the former two time LP RRC candidate who won the endorsement of every major Texas newspaper in 2016, and is now County Chair of Hays for the new SAM Party, led by well known former Houston mayoral candidate and Mayor of Kemah, Bill King.
The Greens had previously announced the results of their State Meeting in November, "Greens are supposed to be a consensus party, but we fell well short of that at our November State Meeting. The only item that was adopted was the platform amendment to eliminate police brutality. Though several items did win majority approval, all others failed the 2/3 supermajority required for adoption. No National Committee Delegates were selected, due to loss to NOTA. Three At-Large SEC seats were elected. The SEC welcomes Rachel Muldez, Trey Legall & Julian Villarreal."
Libertarians had previously elected nominees at their County and District Conventions who will be on the ballot for Congress including in CD 5 (Kevin Hale) and 30 (Phil Gray), as well as for State Board of Education 8 (Smith) and 12 (Mowrey), and numerous local county, State House and Senate races across Texas, including SD3, Lindsay in Northeast, and SD 14, Dixon in Central, Texas. Candidate numbers were greatly reduced this year due to the imposition of a filing fee to the state of Texas on third party candidates passed by the Republican Legislature in a bid to blunt the impact on Republican races. A number of LP candidates have filed without paying the fee in protest, and the Libertarian Party has ongoing litigation on the matter. The Green Party was able to field no downballot candidates for local, Congressional or legislative office this year even though they have ballot access. At this time the SAM Party does not yet have ballot access to field candidates, but expects to secure it by petition in the next election cycle per Party Chair, Bill King.
Author Neal Dikeman was a delegate to the 2022 Libertarian State Convention, and won the LP 2018 US Senate Nomination for Texas. Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Glass have been columnists for the Texas Free Press.