Political Director Brian Waddell stepped down recently to manage the gubernatorial campaign of Larry Sharpe. After a search, LPNY Chair Mark Glogowski appointed Tioga County Secretary and 3-time Libertarian Party candidate Rich Purtell to the position, and he was confirmed by the State Committee at the January meeting.
“Rich Purtell is a dedicated, hard working, solid Libertarian,” said Glogowski. “He has demonstrated that he is willing to take on any task and dig into any issue put before him. He has run for political office several times now and has looked at every attempt as one more chance to get the Libertarian perspective to the voters. He has expressed his opinions publicly on many subjects and we see eye to eye on almost every one. He has set some very high standards for his performance. Those qualities are what motivated me to have him appointed to the LPNY’s Political Director position.”
“Thank you to the state committee for appointing me to the position of political director,” said Purtell. “As 2018 is the gubernatorial election year, we all know what this means, this is once again our opportunity to present a strong candidate for governor so we can break the 50,000 vote barrier in that race and get party recognition in the eyes of New York government for the next four years.”
Purtell has three main goals he wishes to accomplish as Political Director to move the party forward, especially with the importance of the 2018 election. First, he wants to encourage established county chapters to run State Assembly and State Senate candidates on the Libertarian Party line, whose petitions can help the petition effort for the statewide candidates and get more votes for our gubernatorial candidate. Second, he will lead a team to contact enrolled Libertarian votes in “orphan” counties in an attempt to recruit more candidates to run for Assembly, find others to join our membership, or even become a TCC with the goal to establish a chapter in their county.
Thirdly, Purtell wants to focus on increasing volunteer petitioning. “I personally witnessed over 3,000 signatures for myself and other candidates between 2015, 2016, and 2017. We need to organize, mobilize, poke, prod, and otherwise motivate volunteers. Procrastination is toxic to petitioning. We too often start out at a snail’s pace and then have to break the bank to pay petitioners.” His goal is to yield a minimum 20,000 signatures for the statewide candidates from volunteers, leaving only 10,000 from paid petitioners.
Purtell is very optimistic for the future of the party. “Party recognition will mean we can not only have easier ballot access going forward for the big races, but also for the small races,” he said. “It’s hard to get people to run for small town and village offices, knowing they need to spend 50-100 hours getting signatures to run for a local office. Let’s not fall down flat after 2018, which the Green party effectively did after 2014. Let’s use 2018 to springboard us into running many more candidates for public office, and we should think in terms of WINNING town and small local elections in 2019, WINNING county and city elections in 2020, and WINNING state office positions in 2022. These are realistic long-term goals.