With the Democratic Party and Republican Party’s candidates for November chosen and campaigning after the primaries in March, the Libertarian Party of Texas will hold a statewide convention this weekend to finalize its nominations.
As the third largest party in Texas and the United States, the Libertarian Party tries to set itself apart from the pack — and the convention process is intended to do just that.
“The Libertarian Party has precinct conventions, county conventions and district conventions,” said Robert A. Nowotny of Spring Branch, who is challenging state Rep. Doug Miller (R-New Braunfels) in November.
“Primaries are a taxpayer expense — bet you didn’t know that,” Nowotny said, adding that’s why Libertarians hold conventions. The party picks its nominees at the convention so taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill for a primary.
The state convention will feature several speakers, including former Kinky Friedman, 2006 independent gubernatorial candidate and 2010 Democratic Primary candidate for Texas agriculture commissioner; former Libertarian Party presidential candidate Michael Badnarik; and “Creature from Jekyll Island” author G. Edward Griffin. The gubernatorial debate among the four candidates vying for the Libertarian slot is to be announced.
A host of candidates will be on the ballot for Comal and Guadalupe County voters, including Stephen Kaat for the U.S. House District 28, James Arthur Strohm for U.S. House District 21, Mark Loewe for state Board of Education District 5, Arthur Maxwell Thomas IV for state Senate District 25 and Ronald Klepetko for state House District 44.
Nowotny is running for state House District 73, where he is in a two-man race against Miller.
“I’m not really running against Doug Miller, I’ve never met him, I have nothing against him,” Nowotny said, adding he gradually realized recently that he wanted to run for office to get his issues heard.
A cornerstone of his platform is why should he have to choose a political party at all?
“I would have run as an independent, but with the thousands of signatures required it’s almost impossible to get on the ballot in Texas,” Nowotny said. He would like to create a system that provides greater ballot access to anyone who wants to run for office.
Another campaign issue for Nowotny is to introduce an “Honor in Office Act” in the state legislature.
“Lawmakers should have to sign an affidavit under penalty of perjury that you’ve read a bill you’re voting for,” he said. “I also want a ‘none of the above’ choice on the ballot. If ‘none of the above’ wins, then guess what? Nobody wins.”
Nowotny said he would never vote to raise taxes “regardless of the circumstances,” and he would never use vague ideas as campaign promises, only specifics. Nowotny also is a big anti-political correctness advocate.
“At a film festival I started in Colorado I gave out the Bob award. It went to the most politically incorrect film submitted,” he said. “I believe in the political incorrectness of H.L. Mencken and Lenny Bruce, George Carlin and Chris Rock.”