These results are perhaps the best results the Republican Liberty Caucus has achieved on a single primary day in our nearly 20 years of existence.
As we reported last night, RLC endorsed candidates for Governor in Maine (Paul LePage) and South Carolina (Nikki Haley) were victorious on the Super Tuesday primary ballots. In South Carolina, Nikki Haley will face Congressman Gresham Barrett in the run-off because she did not reach 50% of the vote.
Some big news out of South Carolina: incumbent State Treasurer Converse Chellis has been ousted by a Republican Liberty Caucus-endorsed challenger. Curtis Loftis (pictured), a small business owner who has “created jobs, balanced books and met payroll,” defeated the incumbent Treasurer by running as a conservative alternative to the Republican Chellis.
Loftis attacked Chellis for making an accounting error that cost the state (taxpayers) $60 million. Loftis is a term limits supporter who vowed to take on special interests and corruption as State Treasurer. This is an exciting win for South Carolina taxpayers. On a similar note, Congressman Bob Inglis, a bailout supporter representing a very conservative South Carolina Congressional district, will have to face a Republican opponent in an upcoming run-off election.
In California, RLC endorsed candidates for Congress did quite well. John Dennis in District 8 and Gary Clift in District 10 both won their respective primaries in northern California. Dennis (pictured with Dr. Ron Paul), a RLC member and Chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus of San Francisco, will face Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi this fall. In southern California, RLC candidate Clayton Thibodeau gained a respectable 30% of the vote against moderate U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack. In Santa Cruz, RLC-endorsed State House candidate Ellie Black faced no primary opponent, so she will face incumbent Democrat Assemblyman Bill Monning in November.
In Maine, four RLC-endorsed candidates for State Representative will advance to the General Election, including Richard Malaby (pictured left), Ryan Harmon, Michael McClellon, and William Gombar. Harmon and Gombar are both dues-paying RLC members. Their victories come on the heels of a huge win for Paul LePage to become the next Governor. Remember the name Paul LePage; with our help, he is going to become Maine’s next Governor.
In addition to the Nikki Haley and Curtis Loftis victories in South Carolina, two other statewide RLC-endorsed Republicans have advanced. RLC-endorsed candidates Richard Eckstrom — the incumbent two-term Comptroller General — won his primary and Bill Connor (pictured right) has advanced to a run-off in his bid to become the state’s Lt. Governor. Connor would be a significant improvement over the current Lt. Governor, Andre Bauer, who performed terribly in yesterday’s gubernatorial election. According to Connor, “I’m one who firmly believes in as small a government as possible. Charity is the job of churches.”
Additionally, two South Carolina RLC candidates scored victories in their Congressional races. Mick Mulvaney was unopposed in District 5 against 30 year incumbent John Spratt. Mulvaney describes himself as a libertarian Republican and Republicans nationally believe he has a good chance in November. In Congressional District 6, RLC-endorsed candidate Nancy Harrelson advanced to a run-off with a Republican opponent for the right to face House Majority Whip James Clyburn. Harrelson has signed the RLC’s Liberty Compact.
Although the Republican Liberty Caucus did not endorse any candidates in the high profile Nevada U.S. Senate race, the Republican Liberty Caucus did endorse Sharron Angle in her 2006 bid for Congress. Angle is well aware of the RLC, is a subscriber to our Nevada RLC list-serve, and has made efforts to reach out to RLC members in the past. In July, 2009, we profiled her as a “leader for liberty” in the RLC newsletter. While many RLC members may object to her views on social issues or foreign policy (or both), her philosophy on government appears to be in line with ours in the general sense: It’s doing way too much and must be downsized.
This is turning out to be a great election year for liberty-focused candidates, thanks in large part to the Tea Parties. Please become a Republican Liberty Caucus member today or make a small gift so we can propel our movement forward in states like California, Maine, and South Carolina.