The selection of Gary Johnson and Jim Gray as the Libertarian Party’s candidates for President and Vice-President dominated today’s C-SPAN coverage of the LP convention. However, once the cameras went off, that’s when things finally got interesting!
Current party Chairman Mark Hinkle was facing a strong challenge from Vice-Chairman Mark Rutherford. After failing to get Lee Wrights onto the Presidential ticket, some of his supporters attempted to back “None of the Above” or NOTA in an effort to block both Hinkle and Rutherford, allowing them to place Wrights into nomination.
Reason has the full story here…
Hinkle was eliminated after the first round of voting. But because Rutherford did not receive 50 percent plus-one, it went to a second round of voting. In that second round, NOTA beat Rutherford 273-269. Immediately after the vote was announced a round of boos erupted, and one delegate alleged vote tampering.
LP Secretary Bill Redpath held a revote, and Rutherford came out on top by a handful of votes. This caused more anger on the floor.
After the crowd settled a motion came to the floor to throw out the recount and conduct a third round of voting. It passed with a two-thirds vote.
At press time a third round of voting was ongoing.
Party insiders think this is an attempt to get Wrights in as national chairman.
When asked about it Wrights denied knowing anything.
“I don’t know what the hell is goin’ on. I was busy running for president. I don’t have time for these shennaigans,” he said inside the conventional hall.
Wrights said he would accept if nominated for national committee chair.
The man who started this all, Sarwark, said this had nothing to do with Wrights.
“I just wasn’t comfortable with the two candidates. This has nothing to do with Lee,” he said.
Would Rutherford be an acceptable national chair if NOTA loses?
“I am not gonna cry or get drunk and jump off the roof of the Red Rock if Rutherford wins,” he said.
Gary Johnson’s campaign chairman, Ron Nielson, described the scene as “wild”.