‘Frustrated’ Republican Legislators Switch to Libertarian Party

Laura Ebke

May 2, 2016—As new polls uncover that Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, is gaining traction nationwide against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, other politicians leave the GOP, flocking to the Libertarian Party in the hopes to find greater support among like-minded individuals.

In Nebraska, State Senator Laura Ebke, who represents district 32, has changed her party affiliation from the Republican to the Libertarian Party. Rep. John Moore from Nevada’s 8th Assembly District was the first to do the same back in January of 2016.

While explaining why she decided to make the move, Ebke said that “The national ticket of Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld brings a tremendous level of credibility to the table. A pro-fiscal responsibility, small government, plus pro-civil liberties platform respects the Constitution and the taxpayer.” With so many things going for the libertarians, Ebke said, “I’m excited to be joining … at this point in history.”

She also explained that, “At their core … most people want to be let alone to pursue their own interests. The libertarian ideal moves us back in that direction.”

Ebke was first elected in November of 2014 for a four-year term scheduled to end in January of 2019. While party leaders pressure legislators in Nebraska to “vote the ‘party’ way,” which is something Ebke has complained about, the state is the only with a nonpartisan state legislature.

During the time she’s spent in office, Ebke proposed legislation that helps to protect gun rights by prohibiting local governments from passing stringent gun possession requirements, worked on a bill that legalizes medical marijuana, and co-sponsored another piece of legislation that would partially repeal asset forfeiture.

“My view of conservatism has always been [based on] smaller government, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, respect for constitutional rights,” she wrote in a letter addressed to her donors. “And on the national scene, a strong military, but not an overly aggressive one. In other words, I believe in a constitutionalism which looks to the principles of our founders as a guide.”

According to Nicholas Sarwark, the Chair of the Libertarian Party, “This is starting to be a trend. We shouldn’t be surprised to see more small-government legislators, tired of the dictates of party bosses, finding their true home in the Libertarian Party.”

Earlier today, John McAfee’s presidential page welcomed Senator Ebke to the party.

Do you believe more legislators will do the same? Share your thoughts with us!

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