National Convention 2018

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2018 Libertarian National Convention
2018 LNC Convention logo.png
I'm THAT Libertarian!
Dates: June 30—July 3, 2018
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Venue: Hyatt Regency
Website: Website
Facebook: Facebook
← 2016 2020 →

The 2018 Libertarian National Convention was held from June 30th through July 3rd, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, Louisiana. [1]


The 2018 convention considered proposals to amend the Libertarian Party bylaws and platform, and elected party officials for the coming two-year term. Delegates were selected by each of the 51 Libertarian Party affiliates.

Additionally, the convention included seminars, forums, debates, discussion groups, and an exhibition hall, as well as many parties, caucus events, off-site events and demonstrations.

Marc Allan Feldman's "I'm that Libertarian" speech title was chosen as the Convention slogan in a poll wherein participants voted by donating money in support of the slogan(s) of their choice, with the slogan raising the most money selected.[2]

Business Overview

The Bylaws, Credentials, and Platform Committees each held meetings prior to the convention and final meetings at the convention site on Saturday 30 June.

The business session of the convention opened on Sunday morning 1 July with 697 credentialed delegates. The delegates heard the Audit Committee report and the Treasurer's report, and began work on the Bylaws Committee report. At the beginning of the afternoon session, it was reported that 770 delegates were registered, along with 22 alternates, with a total of 780 possible votes. The delegates continued work on the Bylaws Committee report and began work on the Platform Committee report.

The Monday morning session started with 799 delegates and 21 alternates registered, with a total of 806 possible votes. The delegates continued work on the Platform Committee work. At the start of the afternoon session, there were 808 delegates, 21 alternates, and a total of 813 possible votes. The delegates began the work of formally electing officers, re-electing Nick Sarwark as national Chair and conducting a first round of voting for Vice-Chair.

Business resumed Tuesday morning, with 771 delegates and 18 alternates, for a total of 778 possible votes, with continuation of the election for Vice-Chair and election of the other officers. Business Tuesday afternoon included election of the at-large members of the LNC, and of the Judicial Committee.

Non-Business Overview

Caucus Meetings

The following Libertarian Party caucuses are known to have hosted events, parties, and/or meetings at or in conjunction with the convention:

Off-Site Events

Convention attendees took part in the following off-site demonstrations, protests, or other activism:

Dead Veterans March (organized by Adam Kokesh to draw attention to suicides of former U.S. government military personnel)

Families Belong Together protest (one of a series of nationwide protests held June 30 in opposition to President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant policy of separating undocumented parents arriving in the U.S. from their children)

Tom Woods (unofficial off-site event "Take Human Action Bash" sponsored by the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus)

Vendor area outside main meeting hall.

Vendor/Information Booths

The following groups and individuals are known to have sponsored information booths/tables at the convention:

Headquarters membership booth.

Internal Party Entities:

Several causes sharing a booth.

Other Groups:

A candidate booth in Storyville Hall.

Candidates and Other Individuals:

Bylaws Proposals

Bylaws Committee meeting to finalize their report.

The Bylaws Committee provided a written report. The report was presented to the convention with the following changes made by the Committee after publication of the report: Proposals G and H were withdrawn, Proposals Q and P were repositioned for consideration, in that order, after Proposal E.

Proposal A relating to the platform deletion "token" system was considered but not adopted.

Proposal W relating to the time allowed for LNC mail ballots was adopted.

Proposal Q relating to preserving the 7/8 protection of the Statement of Principles was adopted.

Proposal B relating to election of the Judicial Committee was adopted.

Proposal C relating to the schedule for appointing convention committee members was adopted.

Proposal D relating to removal of LNC regional alternates was adopted.

Proposal E relating to the Membership article was adopted.

Proposal P relating to the Purposes article was amended (to retain the existing language up to "by") and adopted.

Proposal L relating to the order of business was adopted.

Proposal F relating to automatic delegate status for certain elected officials was postponed indefinitely.

Proposal I relating to the term of the Judicial Committee was adopted.

Time for the Bylaws Committee report ran out, so the remaining proposals were not considered.

Platform Proposals

Platform Committee meeting to finalize their report.

Based on the "token" system for proposing deletion of existing planks, the Abortion plank (having received 608 tokens) was considered but not deleted.

The Platform Committee provided a written report, along with a supplement containing an additional proposal "AA", a replacement wording for the second minority report on proposal "G", and noting a change in support for another minority report.

Proposal N relating to Free Trade and Migration was adopted.

Proposal AA relating to Parental Rights was adopted.

Proposal A relating to Licensing was adopted.

Proposal B relating to Government Finance and Spending was adopted.

Proposal C relating to Internal Security and Individual Rights was adopted.

Proposal D relating to the Preamble was adopted.

Proposals E and F relating to Personal Liberty were adopted.

The second minority proposal G (new version, text differs from original report), relating to Sex Work, was adopted with an amendment.

The minority proposal H relating to Personal Relationships was adopted.

Proposal I relating to Crime and Justice was adopted with amendments.

Proposal L relating to Money and Financial markets was adopted.

Proposal J relating to Expression and Communication was considered but not adopted.

Time for the Platform Committee report ran out, so the remaining proposals were not considered.

A mark-up of the adopted changes can be found here.


2018 is historically significant for the successful effort at protecting the Statement of Principles with the Close the Back Door initiative. The New Orleans Accord which was categorized as an effort to unify the left-libertarian and right-libertarian quadrants in one form of the political compass was unsuccessful after multiple attempts.

Also notable was one of the candidates for party chair being a self-identified communist who wore a Mikhail Bakunin t-shirt on-stage during the chair's debate. He was booed by delegates on several of his points.


Sunday evening debate among candidates for Vice-Chair.

Debates were held Sunday evening 1 July for candidates for Chair and Vice-Chair. Participation in the debates was restricted via a controversial "token" system, which ended up excluding multiple candidates, including Matthew Schutter who ran for chair, and James Weeks and Matthew Geiger who ran for vice-chair. (In the actual election, Weeks outpolled one of the candidates who had taken part in the vice-chair debate.)

The candidates in the debate for Chair were Christopher Thrasher, Matthew Kuehnel, Nicholas Sarwark, and Joshua Smith. The candidates in the debate for Vice-Chair were Alex Merced, Arvin Vohra, Joseph Hauptmann, Sam Goldstein, and Steve Scheetz.

The formal election process, with nominating speeches and voting, began Monday afternoon and ran through Tuesday afternoon.


Nicholas Sarwark was re-elected on the 1st Round.

Nicholas Sarwark 517
Joshua Smith 175
Christopher Thrasher 46
Matthew Kuehnel 13
Matthew Schutter 7
John Keil 4
write-in 1
Daniel Behrman 0


1st Round (no candidate received a majority)

Alex Merced 260
Joseph Hauptmann 180
Sam Goldstein 119
Arvin Vohra 66
James Weeks II 44
Steve Scheetz 43
Matthew Geiger 11
write-in (Geoff Neale) 1

2nd Round (no candidate received a majority)

Alex Merced 251
Joseph Hauptmann 159
Sam Goldstein 80
Arvin Vohra 43
James Weeks II 29
write-in 3
Unusual procedure - because things were running late, voting for three officer positions was done in a single round of voting.

Alex Merced was elected on the 3rd Round.

Alex Merced 333
Joseph Hauptmann 193
Arvin Vohra 68
Sam Goldstein 57
write-in 2


Caryn Ann Harlos was elected.

Caryn Ann Harlos 372
Alicia Mattson 235
Jeff Wood 38


Tim Hagan was re-elected.

Tim Hagan 441
Drew Layda 131
Robert Paulson 32
Brad Thomas 21
write-in 4

LNC At-Large

This election was conducted initially by "approval voting" in which each delegate could vote for any number of candidates. The numbers shown in the table below are the results of that vote. Because in that vote only the top two received support of a majority of those voting, a separate vote was held to confirm majority support for the next three, resulting in the election of the top five.

Sam Goldstein 327
Joe Bishop-Henchman 312
Joshua Smith 269
Bill Redpath 267
Alicia Mattson 231
Steve Scheetz 230
Daniel Hayes 227
Joe Buchman 215
Reza Khosh-Sirat 203
Christopher Thrasher 184
Ernest Hancock 120
Arvin Vohra 115
Heide Alejandro-Smith 113
Brian Ellison 113
Michael Pickens 110
Justin O'Donnell 102
Ben Farmer 97
Mike Shipley 90
Jesse Fullington 83
James Weeks II 80
Drew Layda 75
Clayton Hunt 70
Tyler Danke 55
Traci Baker 53
Brian Slowinski 52
Marc Padilla 51
Andy Jacobs 51
Caitlin Cloven 46
Susan Overeem 39
Ben Leder 30
Victor Kocher 20
Tony D'Orazio 20
Matt Schutter 19
Joe Paschal 15
Steven Brenize 10
write-in 9

Judicial Committee

A single "approval voting" ballot was held, with the results shown below. However, because none of the candidates received a majority and the tally was not done until after adjournment of the convention, so there was no opportunity for the convention to further express its intentions, the legitimacy of this election has been questioned.

D. Frank Robertson 204
Chuck Moulton 192
Darryl Perry 182
Ruth Bennett 177
Geoff Neale 158
Jim Turney 157
Tricia Sprankle 155
Tom Knapp 142
Mark Hinkle 140
Roger Roots 133
Andy Craig 131
David Demarest 117
A. Blair Dunn 114
Ted Brown 112
Robert Murphy 99
Michael Kielsky 88
Elisheva Levin 85
Suzanne Gilmore 67
Greg Hertzsch 56
Chris Wiest 55
Dan Reale 41
write-in 25

Pre Convention LNC Candidate Polling

Poll source Sample
Date(s) Dearn Kuehnel Sarwark Schutter Smith Others
The Libertarian Vindicator[3] 134 February 2018 47.01% 28.36% 24.63%
Libertarian Party USA (Unofficial)[4] 99 February 4—28, 2018 59.60% 16.16% 24.24%
Libertarian Party USA (Unofficial)[5] 27 March 9—15, 2018 7.41% 27.93% 55.56% 11.11%
LP 2018 Delegates - unofficial[6] 232 March 10—15, 2018 15.52% 3.45% 36.64% 2.16% 31.47% 10.76%
Poll source Sample
Date(s) Goldstein Hauptmann Merced Paschal Porter Scheetz Somes Weeks Vohra Others
The Libertarian Vindicator[7] 248 January 2018 5.65% 46.37% 3.63% 8.06% 6.05% 19.76% 10.48% N/A
Libertarian Party USA (Unofficial)[8] 126 February 4—28, 2018 3.97% 71.43% 1.59% 2.38% 5.56% 6.35% 8.73%
Libertarian Party USA (Unofficial)[9] 35 March 8—15, 2018 2.86% 2.86% 74.29% 0.00% 2.86% 5.71% 8.57% 2.86%


Delegate Allocation

Following are the number of delegates that were allocated to each affiliate for the 2018 Libertarian National Convention.[10] The affiliates are listed in groups according to the LNC regions which were in effect through this convention; region groupings for the upcoming term may be different.

2018 Libertarian National Convention delegate count by state.
LNC Region 1 Delegates
Affiliate Delegate Allocation
Alaska 7
Arizona 23
Colorado 34
Hawaii 5
Kansas 11
Montana 7
Utah 8
Washington 35
Wyoming 3
LNC Region 2 Delegates
Affiliate Delegate Allocation
Florida 53
Georgia 30
Tennessee 24
LNC Region 3 Delegates
Affiliate Delegate Allocation
Indiana 29
Kentucky 11
Michigan 36
Ohio 41
LNC Region 4 Delegates
Affiliate Delegate Allocation
California 109
Nevada 11
LNC Region 5 Delegates
Affiliate Delegate Allocation
Delaware 4
Maryland 21
North Carolina 28
Pennsylvania 39
Virginia 41
Washington D.C. 4
West Virginia 5
LNC Region 6 Delegates
Affiliate Delegate Allocation
Illinois 40
Iowa 11
Minnesota 19
Missouri 20
Nebraska 8
North Dakota 5
Wisconsin 21
LNC Region 7 Delegates
Affiliate Delegate Allocation
Alabama 14
Arkansas 7
Louisiana 15
Mississippi 6
Oklamhoma 14
Texas 73
LNC Region 8 Delegates
Affiliate Delegate Allocation
Connecticut 13
Maine 7
Massachusetts 22
New Hampshire 11
New Jersey 21
New York 44
Vermont 3
States without Regions Delegates
Affiliate Delegate Allocation
Idaho 6
New Mexico 12
Oregon 15
Rhode Island 3
South Carolina 16
South Dakota 4



Award Recipients


Elevators were assigned by a computer system that sometimes responded "no database" when things got busy.

The convention was held at the Hyatt Regency hotel, 601 Loyola Avenue, in the Central Business District area of New Orleans, near the Superdome.

The center of convention business was on the third floor. The business meetings and candidate debates took place in the Celestin Ballroom. The registration area was in the nearby Storyville Hall. Vendor booths were mostly in the hallway/foyer in front the Celestin Ballroom, with some in Storyville Hall.

Breakout sessions, committee meetings, and caucus meetings were held mostly in meeting rooms on the second and fourth floors. Meal events were in the Elite Hall on the first floor.



Number delegates registered onsite: 819 (+ 24 alternates)
Number hotel room-nights booked in block: 1784
profit/loss excluding banquet: $26,382.54
profit/loss including banquet: $ 84,542.54


Day One
Day Two
Day Three


Preceded by:
Orlando 2016
Libertarian National Convention
Succeeded by:
Online/Orlando 2020