TEMPLE — The Libertarian Party of Texas’ state convention kicks off today at the Frank W. Mayborn Convention Center, 3303 N. Third St. The biennial event is expected to bring about 200 delegates to the area for three days of workshops, lectures, debates and rallies.
“We’ll be voting on candidates for statewide office at the convention,” said Lauren Daugherty, executive director of the Libertarian Party of Texas. “Unlike other parties, we are a convention-based party.”
Daugherty explained that unlike Texas’ Republican and Democratic parties, the Libertarian Party doesn’t use a primary system and instead elects candidates for the November general election ballot at conventions.
“Candidates for school board and countywide offices were selected at the precinct and county conventions in March,” Daugherty said. “At the state convention, we’ll be electing candidates for statewide offices.”
While the Libertarian Party does have the option of using a primary system to select candidates, Daugherty said the decision to keep the candidate elections convention-based was done as a way to control costs.
“This way, there’s no taxpayer money involved,” Daugherty said. “Everything is paid for by us.”
In addition to candidate election, the Libertarian convention will be rife with opportunities for delegates and interested individuals to learn about the party.
Heather Fazio, membership director for the Libertarian Party of Texas, said Friday’s events will include delegate training and a Second Amendment rally in the afternoon.
“The Come and Take it rally will feature C.J. Grisham, Kory Watkins and Michael Cargill,” Fazio said. Watkins, a well-known figure in gun rights and Liberty Movement circles, is a member of Open Carry Texas. Michael Cargill is the owner of Central Texas Gun Works, an Austin-area firearms dealer that recently became the first gun store in the nation to accept the digital crypto-currency Bitcoin for transactions. Grisham is a Temple resident and a gun-rights advocate.
In addition to a gun rights rally, delegates can spend Friday evening listening to
debates involving Libertarian candidates for railroad commissioner, agriculture commissioner, attorney general and governor.
“Votes for the candidates will be cast Saturday afternoon,” Daugherty said.