Libertarian Party of Virginia dissolving after national party’s ‘bigoted’ turn, ex-chair says

National party says it’s not recognizing vote by ‘rogue individuals’ to end Virginia affiliate
Voters in Virginia will also have two constitutional amendments on their ballot. (Source:...
Voters in Virginia will also have two constitutional amendments on their ballot. (Source: Virginia Mercury)
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 9:10 PM EDT
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If the main purpose of a political party is to run candidates for office, former Libertarian Party of Virginia Chairwoman Holly Ward says it felt like a “violation” to keep taking people’s money.

“It’s clear that we can’t function,” Ward said in an interview as she explained why the party is dissolving as a corporation and giving back the nearly $30,000 it had in the bank.

Ward provided documents showing the party had dissolved its corporate entity registered in Virginia, but other Libertarians have been questioning the legitimacy of the move and insisting the party will live on.

In an emailed statement, Angela McArdle, the chair of the National Libertarian Committee,  said that, as of Tuesday evening, the national body “does not acknowledge that a disaffiliation has taken place and we are waiting on the members of the Libertarian Party of Virginia to issue a statement on the matter.”

“As far as I can tell, the alleged disaffiliation and resolution of the Libertarian Party of Virginia are the actions of a small group of rogue individuals who exploited their positions of power and moved to disaffiliate with no regard for the other members of the party or the bylaws of their organization,” McArdle said.

Ward, a 36-year-old Northern Virginia resident who works in tech, said the disarray over the Libertarians’ status in Virginia is part of a bigger battle over the national party’s tone and focus. The resolution to dissolve the state party, which Ward says was approved Sunday in a 7-6-1 vote by the party’s central committee, said the national party has become “functionally indistinct from other alt-right parties and movements.”

Those “destructive” ideas, the resolution said, include “endorsing thinly-veiled antisemitism, explicitly welcoming bigotry into the party, reversing the LP’s 50-year legacy of support for LGBTQ+ rights, and openly denouncing women’s suffrage, the civil rights act, and democracy itself.”

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NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news...
NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news organization covering state government and policy.(Virginia Mercury)