Libertarian Candidate Kept Off the Ballot Says He's Realistic About His Bid For Governor

Charlie Earl
Charlie Earl

A federal judge dealt another setback to the Libertarian Party of Ohio this week, as he sided with Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted’s decision to throw two Libertarian candidates off the ballot. Husted had ruled that the signatures turned in by candidate for governor Charlie Earl and candidate for attorney general Steven Linnabary were invalid, because the paid signatures gatherers didn’t disclose their employers. The Libertarian Party of Ohio has filed an appeal in the Sixth Circuit, and while Charlie Earl told Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler that he’s on board with that, he’s not optimistic.

EARL: "I'm a realist. I realize that my chances of being governor are slim. I realize there are a lot of things in my life that I enjoy doing. But I believe constitutional liberty is worth fighting for, and I believe my kids and grandkids deserve my very best effort for as long as I can. If we had a 35 year old who wanted to get out and do this and run all over the state and sell the message of liberty and had the time to do it, I would gladly step aside. I'm just doing it because nobody else either felt personally equipped or have the time to do it. Most of our people in our party have jobs. We're not as well funded as the others, and you're basically on your own dime when you're out there running around. I'm doing it just because I feel somebody has to, and I look around and I'm the only one standing here. So I go for it."

KASLER: "Do you feel that the system has treated you and the Libertarian Party fairly?"

EARL: "I think the system has treated me like it treats a lot of people. Look, I don't want to be a whiner. The system is what it is. When you have the power, when you have absolute power like you do in Ohio, you write the laws, and you write the law that's favorable to you. You certainly don't want to slap yourself when you're writing the law, OK? So I understand it is what it is.

The federal judge said it was obvious that Republicans were involved because of concerns that they’d potentially siphon votes from Gov. John Kasich. Republicans have denied that. There was testimony offered in the challenge that operatives aligned with Democrats had helped Earl and Linnabary gather the signatures they needed to get on the ballot.

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