Libertarian movement showing growth across Texas
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A political minority is building momentum, hoping to change the traditional two-party system.
With dozens of candidates on the ballot this Election Day, local Libertarian candidates are working hard to have their voices heard.
Libertarians Joe Edgar and Matthew Whittington are both running for the Texas House in different districts. They say they are working to fight the misconception of their party.
"These people are here. They are paying into the system like everyone else, and it is time to recognize them," Edgar, the Libertarian candidate for House District 48, said.
Whittington has thrown his hat into the ring for House District 136, a new district anchored in Cedar Park.
"If you are not going to be hurting anybody else through force or fraud, you should be able to live your life as you see fit," he said.
Whittington is facing Republican Cedar Park City Council Member Tony Dale and Democratic candidate Matt Stillwell.
"Part of the reason that Libertarians are getting such traction these days is that in all the things that really matter, and is the business of the government, the other two parties are in lockstep," Whittington said.
YNN hosted a debate last month between candidates for House District 48, using set criteria to determine which candidates to invite. That criteria includes how much campaign money they've raised. Figures from the Texas Ethics Commission showed Robert Thomas and Donna Howard had raised tens of thousands of dollars, while Edgar's campaign reported only a few hundred dollars in contributions. That is why Edgar was not included in the YNN debate.
"If you're not really focusing on raising money and trying to focus on influencing one with money, then it is really difficult to be recognized in any fashion," Edgar said.
Besides personal freedom, the protection of natural resources is a topic important to the Libertarian candidate.
"Let's stop allowing more eminent domain allowances for oil,” he said. “Let's make a fair playing field. I think solar is a substantial way to lead into the future.”