TEMPLE — Kathie Glass claimed the Libertarian Party of Texas’ gubernatorial nomination Saturday night at the Frank W. Mayborn Civic and Convention Center. Glass’ victory came after a first ballot tie with Robert Bell forced the election into an immediate runoff.
During her nomination speech Glass, a Houston attorney who previously ran for governor on the Libertarian ticket in 2010, promised she would continue building the party and increasing its visibility.
“Four years ago, when you honored me with the nomination, I promised that I would give you the most professional and well-funded campaign this party had ever seen,” Glass said. “If you honor me with the nomination again, I’ll top what we did in 2010.”
Glass also told the 219 delegates in attendance that she would remain true to the principles of the Libertarian Party and continue to challenge federal authority.
“We live in a surveillance state,” Glass said. “That’s certainly going to grow into a police state.”
Although Glass’ previous campaign afforded her the highest profile in the race, her candidacy was never without doubt.
Robert Lapham, a member of the party’s executive committee, was one of the loudest votes criticizing Glass for what some members perceived as variations from party orthodoxy.
“She differs with the party on three key planks of the Libertarian platform: gay rights, immigration and marijuana,” Lapham said. “Any true Libertarian will disagree with her.”
Lapham’s disagreement with Glass led him and three other party members to compile and publish a 75-page report detailing their grievances, a report Lapham was selling for $100 a copy.
Cassie Villela, vice chairwoman of the Libertarian Party of Bexar County, was attempting to convince delegates to vote for none of the above instead of Glass. She said the Libertarian platform allows for delegates to reject any or all candidates for office. The attempts to organize the “none of the above” campaign originated because of Villela’s disagreements with Glass.
“She’s either a conservative Republican or a tea party member,” Villela said. Glass’ husband Tom, who was also a candidate for Attorney General before losing to San Antonio-based defense attorney Jamie Balagia, said that Lapham’s report was “a document written out of hate.”
He characterized the attempts to discredit Kathie Glass’ campaign as being motivated by a desire for ideological purity instead of a desire to build a viable statewide party.
“We represent an attempt to take the party seriously and grow it,” Tom Glass said. “The small group, and you’ll see by the numbers, responsible for this don’t think that electoral success is possible.”
While the delegates who selected none of the above in the gubernatorial campaign were admittedly small, only 16 votes cast against all candidates on the first ballot and 11 on the second, the 113 delegates who supported Kathie Glass’ campaign for the nomination were dwarfed by the 189 delegates who voted for someone other than her on the first ballot.
The delegates opposed to Glass’ nomination were unable to coalesce around any one particular candidate, which meant Glass was able to survive to the second ballot and beat Bell, the manager of a Fort Worth blood bank who was in his first campaign for office, 107 votes to 96 with 7 going to none of the above.
Although Glass declined to give a victory speech after securing the nomination, she did appeal to party unity prior to the casting of the ballots.
“We have to stop the party infighting,” Glass said. “We have to stop trying to wound people.”
The campaign for the U.S. Senate nomination, as well as all of the down ballot races, were decided on one ballot. Rebecca Paddock, a regional manager for Raytheon, received the nomination for U.S. Senate with 117 votes. Paddock’s closest rival in the vote count was Jon Roland, a 2010 candidate for Attorney General, who received 105 votes.
Robert Butler, a Round Rock-area marketing professional and a member of the party’s executive committee, received 148 votes to clinch the nomination for lieutenant governor by beating Ed Kless, who received 33 votes.
Balagia received 137 votes for attorney general to Tom Glass’ 76, Glass also was in the running for vice chair of the state party, a race he lost to Ben Farmer, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Ector County.
Justin Knight faced Steven Childs for the nomination for commissioner of the Texas General Land Office. Knight secured 160 votes to Childs’ 20.
David Palmquist received 144 votes for agriculture commissioner, beating Rick Donaldson who only picked up 63 votes.
Mark A. Miller received the nomination for railroad commissioner after his opponent Jason Marshal Kute withdrew. The candidates for Texas Comptroller, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals places three, four and nine, chief justice of The Texas Supreme Court and Texas Supreme Court places six and seven all ran unopposed.