“They tried this and failed in 2020. We expect they will fail this time too.”
Austin, TX, August 12, 2022 – The Libertarian Party of Texas (LPTexas) announced that it will defend against a Republican effort to remove 23 Libertarian Party candidates from the ballot filed on Monday, August 8th.
In 2020, threatened by the increasing number of voters fleeing from their party as the election approached due to Trump’s unpopularity, Republicans attempted a similar effort at the last minute and failed. The Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of LPTexas, allowing all 44 challenged candidates to remain on the ballot.
This week’s challenge is again based on a recent law that the Republican legislature passed (HB 2504) which instituted filing fees on candidates, with the alleged purpose of paying for primaries that the candidates participate in. However, Libertarians are not allowed to participate in those primaries, so their filing fees effectively subsidize local and statewide elections for Republicans and Democrats. These primaries give Republican and Democratic candidates exposure and visibility to voters. Libertarians get no such benefits, and the Libertarians still pay for their own conventions to nominate candidates without a government subsidy like the ones Republicans and Democrats give themselves.
Republicans who voted for this law have not been shy about the fact that these laws are intended to rig the ballot in their favor. Rep. Dustin Burrows tweeted on March 26th, regarding efforts to expand single-party Republican control of the state, “The 2020 failure to knock Libertarians off the ballot was a dereliction of duty.”
“Some Republicans say the elections are rigged in secret,” said LPTexas Executive Director Andrew Amelang, “Meanwhile, they are trying to rig the elections in broad daylight.”
“Republicans, fearing Libertarian competition, call for removal of 23 of our candidates from the 2022 ballot,” said LPTexas Chair Whitney Bilyeu on Wednesday, “They tried and failed in 2020. We expect they will fail this time too.”
LPTexas was prepared for Republicans to try this again, and has built up a legal fund to defeat attempts to deny ballot access. LPTexas is also pursuing a federal lawsuit to overturn the filing fee law (Bilyeu v. Scott) which is currently awaiting trial.
“We have reviewed your demands, the law, and the facts,” said attorney Jared LeBlanc, representing LPTexas, in response to the Republicans’ attorney, “[LPTexas] will not be declaring any of the Libertarian candidates ineligible.”
The following Libertarian Party candidates are being threatened with removal from the ballot:
Christopher Claytor, US Representative District 3
John Simmons, US Representative District 4
Roy Eriksen, US Representative District 8
Bill Kelsey, US Representative District 10
Ross Lynn Leone, Jr., US Representative District 15
Joseph LeBlanc, US Representative District 22
Mike Kolls, US Representative District 26
Key Ashby, US Representative District 33
Shanna Steele, Lieutenant Governor
Alan Pyeatt, State Board of Education District 7
Tommy Estes, State Senator District 5
Edward Kless, State Senator District 8
Jeremy Schroppel, State Senator District 22
Matt Savino, State Representative District 4
R. Edwin Adams, State Representative District 8
Jeff Miller, State Representative District 14
Nick Hearn, State Representative District 87
Stephanie Berlin, State Representative District 122
James Patrick Harren, State Representative District 133
Carol Unsicker, State Representative District 134
Clyde Garland, Brazos County Judge
Joe Burnes, Llano County Treasurer
Bailey C. Cole, Brazos County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2
You can learn more about our legal fund and the Libertarian Party of Texas at www.lptexas.org.
The Libertarian Party of Texas is the State Affiliate for the 3rd largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. LPTexas seeks to elect Libertarians and influence legislation that focuses on individual rights, self ownership, and limited government.
Whitney Bilyeu, Chair 737-300-9801