Field Work: The Alabama Shake Up

Mural in downtown Mobile, Alabama

Why am I in Alabama?

I’m in Alabama because 52 of the 105 races for state representative in 2018 went completely unopposed after the primary elections. Half of the legislature faced no political competition outside of their own party.

Competition makes things better. It’s true for cars, computers, and consumer goods. It’s also true for politicians and policy.

The Libertarian Party of Alabama has a ballot access drive to be able to provide political competition across the state, especially in these districts where incumbents are going unopposed. If they can collect 70,000 raw signatures, they will be able to field candidates up and down the ballot and all across the state from the Coast to the Wiregrass to the Shoals.

Incumbents don’t like political competition, that’s why they create these ballot access hurdles. And it’s not just the signature requirement they put in our way. They also violate the First Amendment rights of our petitioners, running them out of public spaces and off of public sidewalks, using the power of intimidation that only a government can and counting on the inability of our petitioners to stand up for their rights.

I’m in Alabama to gather signatures, traveling around the state, going out with our petitioners and finding out whether these government officials want to try to run off the former Chairman of the Libertarian Party from a public sidewalk and wants an attorney as a plaintiff in any resulting lawsuit.

We’re going to bring political competition to states like Alabama whether the incumbent government officials like it or not. We’re going to make it easier for candidates who are going to advance the proposals and policies championed by the Libertarian Policy Institute to access the ballot and stand up for the members of their community who aren’t represented by the unopposed incumbent politicians.

The golden wedge is coming to Alabama and it’s going to shake things up. And we’re not stopping with Alabama.

Mural on an vacant building in downtown Mobile, Alabama.
Mural in downtown Mobile, Alabama

Nicholas Sarwark

Nicholas Sarwark is Executive Director of the Libertarian Policy Institute. He served as Chair of the Libertarian National Committee from 2014 to 2020, a period of unprecedented growth. Over the last two decades, he has worked as a systems developer for a major non-profit, tried over 30 cases to a jury as a deputy public defender in Colorado, and managed the oldest independent car dealership and loan company in Phoenix. He founded Wedge Squared Strategies in 2019, a strategy, communications, and campaign consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations maximize their impact on the world. Licensed to practice law in Colorado and New Hampshire, he lives in Manchester, New Hampshire with his wife Valerie and their four children where they volunteer to build a better local community.

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