In 2022 we had 12 candidates working for the votes of supporters of liberty in Maryland. Many worked very hard and while we didn’t win any offices this year, we were also contesting some of the most difficult races in Maryland. While technically unofficial results, the remaining counting involves only the write-in votes, so our numbers are not expected to change.
We achieved another two-years of ballot access through the efforts of David Lashar and Christiana Logansmith, Libertarian candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor respectfully. The Lashar/Logansmith team won 30,101 votes for 1.5% of the total, both our best results in this race. It is only the second time a third party has gone over 1% in this race in the past 50 years (the previous being Quinn/Gaztanaga for the LP in 2014).
Our highest percentage was in a one-on-one race for the State Senate in District 31, with first-time candidate Brian Kunkoski winning 27.24% against the Republican Minority Leader Bryan Simonaire, who after the election was replaced as Minority Leader. In our other Maryland Senate race, Bob Gemmill won 9.33% of the vote against incumbent Mary Washington, also a one-on-one race.
Our two candidates for the Maryland House of Delegates were two first-time candidates, Travis Lerol in District 31 and Monique Mehring in District 1A. Travis won 6.64% and Monique won 4.34% of the vote.
We had an array of candidates at the local level. Muir Boda, City Councilperson for Salisbury and one of our two current Libertarian office-holders, won 5.61% in the race for Wicomico County Executive. Matt Whitlock won 5.19% in his race for the Harford County Council, Doug Stanley won 4.10% in his race for the Baltimore County Council, and David Sgambellone won 3.54% in his race for the Anne Arundel County Council.
We had two Congressional candidates this year, both first-time candidates bucking long-odds against entrenched incumbents in very expensive races, so we applaud their efforts. Daniel Thibeault won 2.36% in District 1 and Andres Garcia won 1.56% in District 8.
We appreciate the effort and dedication to the cause of liberty demonstrated by our candidates and their campaign volunteers. It is important to give voters a chance to see Libertarian candidates on their ballots and to reward voters registered Libertarian with candidates to support. We now begin the next ‘off-season’: organizing, training and building the infrastructure to prepare for the 2024 election.
Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that the legalization of cannabis, a legislative agenda item we have worked on since 2014, passed the statewide referendum with 1,302,161 votes, a strong 67.20% of the votes cast. The Libertarian Party has led on this issue since its founding in 1971 and the referendum result is rather clear evidence that the people were way ahead of the cravenly risk-averse politicians who delayed this effort but will now jump on the bandwagon as if they’ve been in support forever. We lead on issues and that may not always win elections, but it benefits liberty in the long-run.