- The Washington Times - Friday, December 7, 2018

California officials have spent weeks counting provisional and absentee ballots following the Nov. 6 election, and have at last determined who will be the next supervisor for the 5th District of Riverside County.

Libertarian Jeff Hewitt on Friday was declared the winner with 51.9 percent of the vote, besting his Republican opponent Russ Bogh, who garnered 48.1 percent.

“This is arguably the largest, most momentous win in Libertarian Party history,” the Libertarian Party said in a celebratory statement. “The population of Riverside County is estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau at 2,423,266 for 2018, which makes this southern California county the 11th-largest county in the United States. It’s larger than the populations of 15 different states.

“Hewitt’s district alone has a population of more than 438,000,” the party said. “Other Libertarians have been elected to state House positions over the years, including Andre Marrou in Alaska and several in New Hampshire. All of them, however, were elected in districts with populations of less than 50,000.”

The fiscal-minded Libertarians also point out that Riverside County has appropriated spending of $5.6 billion in 2018-19 on revenues of $5.4 billion, and plans to use fund balances, net assets, and reserves to cover the $200 million shortfall.

“As one of five supervisors, Hewitt will have 20 percent of the board’s vote. His considerable persuasive abilities will aid him in doing something about that budget shortfall going forward,” the party noted, citing numerous cost-cutting measures Mr. Hewitt previously deployed as the “common sense” mayor of Calimesa, some 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

They included trimming “bankruptcy-inducing pension obligations” and paring down administrative costs.

Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark emphasizes that his party is in it for the “long game,” adding that out of the 833 Libertarians who ran for office this year, 53 won.

“What we’re trying to do is keep advancing down the field regardless of the other things that are happening in the world or in politics,” Mr. Sarwark said. “We have to show up to every election. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a blue wave or a red wall, if it’s presidential, if it’s a midterm or if it’s odd years.”

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