I've been planning for a while to write my thoughts about the upcoming primary. First of all, I want to sincerely thank the diehard members of the Libertarian Party who have voted absentee or plan to vote Tuesday by requesting the LP ballot. You are the reason I work hard to present a positive image for the party and will do so through election day in November. Know that you have my support as you request the LP ballot with pride.
My message today is to those who feel they would waste their vote with an uncontested ballot or to those who feel the need to vote with their preferred party's ballot. As much I would like to puff up my ego with primary votes, I realize there is validity to the aforementioned thinking by voters. For instance, the very important race here for Greene County Commissioner will more than likely be decided in the GOP primary. There are no LP candidates and I know some members of the local party who will request the GOP ballot in an attempt to remove a possibly corrupt incumbent to replace with a more libertarian-leaning candidate. My attacks on fellow libertarians for such decisions would merely be attacks on individual efforts to promote the principles of liberty.
In the race for U.S. Senate, the primaries are the first line of defense for removing bad players from the contest. The voters only get two shots and it is always better to succeed with the first shot. I've talked to voters in both the Democratic Party and the Green Party who in agreement with voters on the right absolutely do not want Claire McCaskill as their Senator. I encourage voters on the left to rally behind someone to make sure McCaskill doesn't get a second chance.
The GOP primary is the place where everything has been interesting. The establishment handpicked Josh Hawley as their candidate-elect and completely disregarded other candidates and the primary process by lavishing endorsements and money on Hawley to ensure his primary win. It's a slap on the face to voters who have donated and labored to support their preferred candidate. That's only the second slap as Hawley himself gave a slap to the face of voters by campaigning for his current term as Attorney General by promising not to use the office as a ladder to climb to a position in Washington, specifically mentioning the office of U.S. Senator. He has proven that he cannot be trusted by the voters.
Hawley has displayed himself to be a RINO or Republican in Name Only. He is weak on gun rights. He has historically impeded and acted to remove officials of the executive branch and can be expected to do so in Washington. Missouri Republicans can't trust him. Although he has pandered to the Democrats, they know they can't trust him either. McCaskill is bad, but Hawley's integrity is now gone. She can easily defeat him.
That brings me to the strategy for my campaign. The voices of many voters have been silenced to make Hawley the candidate and I feel obligated to defend those voters if necessary. Such a scenario will dilute my attention from a focus on making sure McCaskill is defeated. As stated early, it is better to remove the bad players in the first round which is a benefit to the voters and to my campaign's strategy. I urge those who choose the GOP ballot to vote against Josh Hawley.
Among the GOP candidates, both Tony Monetti and Courtland Sykes have strong fan bases. Todd Akin also had a strong fan base and was a similar candidate to Monetti and Sykes. Even though Missouri is Trump territory, the voter base of 2012 was not much different than the base for 2016. Akin lost to McCaskill in 2012 and both Monetti and Sykes would lose to her for similar reasons. Such candidates from the GOP are counterproductive to my goal of defeating McCaskill.
Many know where this train of thought is leading and some grumbling has probably ensued. Yes, I have a candidate in mind who is a libertarian and person I call a friend. Apart from personal connections however, this person's winning over the others in the primary will provide the best case scenario and positive strategy for my general election campaign.
Austin Petersen may not be the perfect libertarian in the eyes of many within the LP, but he is the best libertarian option Missouri has outside our party. His focus like mine is on defeating Claire McCaskill, not bickering with one another which does no good for either campaign. There are voters he can gain from McCaskill that will never vote LP, but there are also voters I can gain from her that will never vote GOP. Based on strategy, I believe Petersen to be the option that will help my campaign gain the best results possible for November. Plus, a unified libertarian voice will amplify our message of Liberty and bring more awareness to it by the voters. It could bring more voters closer to understanding and embracing the Libertarian Party as a viable option.
My ego says everyone should vote for me on Tuesday, but my logic says to put the pieces in place for the best strategy and chances in November. It is my humble opinion that everyone requesting a GOP ballot should select Austin Petersen. Give my campaign the freedom to focus on the message of Liberty and to earning respect from Missourians.