On April 22nd the LPKS kicked off our annual State Convention! Libertarians and liberty-curious citizens traveled from all over Kansas to gather at the Drury Hotel in Wichita, where we presented a mix of business and social events to bolster our state party and further the cause of freedom.
Kansas was lucky enough to have both our 2020 Libertarian presidential and vice-presidential nominees in attendance at convention! If you missed it this year, keep reading to get caught up on the fun.
To kick off the weekend, we met at the Drury’s restaurant and mingled with friends old and new. Spike Cohen gave a brief rallying statement while we enjoyed appetizers and drinks. The energy in the room was high in anticipation of a great event!
LPKS Chair Rob Hodgkinson called a business meeting to order and let Spike Cohen give the morning’s welcome. He gave a brief message on party unity and momentum in libertarian politics.
During the business session, the Executive Committee discussed platform proposals regarding health freedom and personal liberties, as well as bylaw proposals addressed at prior meetings. LPKS also heard nominations for delegates to attend the LP National Convention in May.
We heard from Meryl Carver, who spoke on behalf of the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty. The organization seeks not just to abolish, but to bring issues to legislators and point out injustices in the criminal justice system. The Board works in conjunction with LPKS Political Director, Al Terwelp.
LPKS Candidate Recruitment Director Matt Clark spoke on running for office, touting the “Three Cs” types of candidates. This was pertinent to the afternoon business session, where we saw several candidates nominated at the state levels according to LPKS membership votes.
Nominated libertarian candidates:
- Governor – Seth Cordell
- Secretary of State – Cullene Lang
- State Treasurer – Steve Roberts
- US Senate – David Graham
- 3rd House – Steve Hohe
- State House – Mike Kerner, Peter Solie, Stephanie Barton, Caitlin Curry, LJ Hermreck, Henry Hein, Steve Baird
- County Commissioners – Steve Jacob, Tim Giblin
There was also a turnover in leadership within the LPKS. Meet our new faces:
- Chair, Libertarian Party of Kansas – Tim Giblin (stay tuned for an interview!)
- District 1 Coordinator – Zachary Wilson
- District 2 Coordinator – John Hauer
- District 3 Coordinator – Bowen Chapel
- District 4 Coordinator – LJ Hermreck
The evening culminated in a brilliant keynote address from none other than Spike Cohen! The former Libertarian VP nominee spoke on building a culture of winning, and pointed out that Kansas is already doing this with a record number of candidates willing to put in the effort. He held that instead of railing against the duopoly, libertarians would be more effective reaching out to non-libertarians, presenting a positive and hopeful message that’s relatable while remaining principled. His speech wrapped up with a lively Q&A where he demonstrated his ability to entertain and inspire.
The final day of convention featured Jo Jorgensen, former Libertarian presidential candidate. She shared some thoughts and stories from her 2020 campaign (for which many LPKS members volunteered!), as well as overcoming media mischaracterization and other challenges. Ms. Jorgensen’s favorite debate topics were healthcare, the environment, and bringing the troops home, so she expounded on these issues to the room of supportive LPKS listeners.
We also heard from Angela McArdle, the Mises Caucus’ current bid for LNC chair, who spoke on how to be a leader within the LP. She believes that if we work together and trust each other across hierarchical boundaries, we can turn the organization culture around. Idealogical alignment and trust are key, both in running a campaign and also building an organization that serves candidates and affiliates.
Finally, LNC-member-at-large Josh Smith gave a brief talk on seizing the forward momentum of political elections, saying “people are fed up. This is the libertarian moment.”
The LPKS holds an in-person annual convention each year, rotating the event location among our 4 districts.
Interested in volunteering or attending? Questions/comments? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.