- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Libertarian Party has a new image and much bigger footprint on the campaign landscape these days, thanks to intense, increased media coverage. There is a ready audience. Weary of established political parties and Capitol Hill gridlock, many voters are now intrigued by the possibility of a third party or independent candidate in the presidential race. Libertarians are more than just a quirky alternative.

It appears to be a moment of truth.

“The eyes of the world are upon us. Now is our time to break through. We have barely five months left between now and Election Day. Let’s make every day count,” Libertarian National Committee chairman Nicholas Sarwark told party members in a new message released Monday.

He called the Libertarian National Convention which took place in Florida over the weekend “a tremendous success,” adding, ” We have had record attendance and press coverage. We have nominated some excellent candidates. We have raised a lot of money.”

During a spirited voting session, the party nominated Gary Johnson as their presidential nominee; he also ran for the White House in 2012 and managed to get 1.2 million votes. This year, Mr. Johnson has garnered 10 to 11 percent of the overall national vote according to several recent significant polls.

Like the Libertarian Party itself, the candidate has also upped his ante, establishing the Gary Johnson Victory Fund, a new fundraising tool registered with the Federal Election Commission. The fund has partnered with 15 state Libertarian groups and can now accept individual donations up to $80,000.

Mr. Johnson is well aware of the disruptive potential of his campaign to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and GOP nominee Donald Trump.

“The Gary Johnson Victory Fund presents a monumental step for a third party to enter the big leagues in campaign finance,” Mr. Johnson says in his pitch for donors. “We have built the infrastructure to give those dissatisfied with Trump and Hillary a major reason to invest their personal funds for liberty, and victory. We ask all patriotic voters with means to consider a substantial contribution.”

Mr. Johnson added, “Hillary and other major candidates and parties have been receiving $100 thousand dollar checks for months; now it’s time for free market leaders and those concerned with loss of personal freedoms — the entrepreneurs who bring the good things in life — to make the #NeverTrumpOrHillary movement mean something real.”

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