Candidate Peter Solie is running for State House in District 109 (Western Kansas/Russell area). He is a 3-term elected Libertarian as city councilman in Lorraine, and has a two-way race in the upcoming November election.
Read more about Peter in this interview with LPKS Communications Director, Allison Ross.
AR: Thanks for talking with us today. Let’s start with the basics. How did you come to a liberty mindset?
PS: I come to the Libertarian Party from the Republican tradition. I have been active and involved in campaigns and party politics since I was in college. About 20 years ago I began to question my legislators about their stances on liquor laws, micromanagement of school boards and city councils. I simply looked at them and said, “that is not a conservative position.” Playing favorites in the marketplace and not allowing local decision-making are not the positions they run on and not what they stand for. But it is how they vote.
I very happily became a Libertarian in 2016. I believe that the message of limited government is what many Republicans believe they are voting for when they go to the polls. I am very happy to demonstrate to them that Republicans have not advocated for free markets since the Coolidge administration. They talk about how local decision-making is best, but they consistently vote against opportunities for local control.
AR: What do you believe is the most important issue for your campaign to address?
PS: My goal as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives is to change the trajectory just a little bit. Year after year, a small change can make a substantial difference.
I don’t have a specific proposal, but I want to see corrections reform. I know that there are individuals that should spend the rest of their life in prison. Unfortunately, there are others with a 40-year sentence hanging around their neck who they should be moved on to a place where they can provide for themselves, provide restitution, and not be a burden to society.
I have expressed my desire for complete legalization of “illegal drugs.” I do not believe that the Kansas House will be voting with me on that any time soon. I am frustrated by the cycle of criminal behavior that exists only because the state has determined that the substance is illegal. The state should exercise its authority over individuals that assault others and who steal from others. They should not incarcerate individuals because they are stupid.
Related to the drug issue, I am very concerned about individuals who are addicted to an “illegal substance.” These individuals are unable to secure a drug that they know is free from fentanyl. If these substances were legal, an addicted person could purchase the substance with confidence that it is not contaminated.
AR: Tell us about yourself outside of running for office.
PS: I’ve been married to my wife Avis since 1989. We have three children – George, John and Karen. The first two-thirds of my career was in non-profit management. For the past ten years I have taught at Barton Community College in the Communication Department. My favorite classes are at Ellsworth Correctional Facility. They’re my best students because they’re not afraid of what anyone else thinks about their comments.
About one year ago I was released from a six-year assignment as Bishop of the Great Bend Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a Bishop, I became very familiar with the suffering of people on the edges. I was repeatedly frustrated by the inaction of social service agencies and the court system that blocked the success of individuals making stupid decisions.
AR: What’s the first thing you’ll do when you win this position?
PS: Encourage other liberty-minded individuals to run for local positions. I was appointed to the Lorraine City Council in 2014 and won two subsequent elections [to hold the position]. My service as a councilman gives my current campaign credibility, and has made me more aware of the issues that are being made by county boards and the legislature.
AR: How can we at LPKS and your local liberty community best support you?
PS: Money is essential for a successful campaign. I have called friends, family, and fellow libertarians, and dug into my own pockets. Thus far I have raised just over $12,000. I anticipate spending just over $50,000 to succeed. Every little bit helps!
AR: Where can we find you with a website or social media?
Interested in helping Peter win in November? Follow him on social media, check out his website, or donate!
To see all of our current libertarian candidates, visit https://lpks.org/2022-lpks-candidates/.
Photo credit Peter Solie