Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Texas GOP Pressing Libertarian Candidates to Bow Out

Looks like a former GOP State Rep called a few Libertarian candidates running in close races and asked them to drop out.

From the Austin American Statesman:

A former Republican state representative called three Libertarian Party candidates for the state House on Friday to request that they drop out of their races rather than take votes from their Republican opponents.

Suzanna Hupp, who represented District 54 in Central Texas for 10 years, said she made the calls Friday because of concerns that the Libertarian candidates would take Republican votes and ultimately give Democrats control over state and national seats.

"The fact is, we've got redistricting coming up in a few years," said Hupp, from Lampasas, who served in the House from 1997 to 2007, "and if the Republicans lose the (Texas) House of Representatives because there are a handful of people mad at them and vote for the Libertarians instead, then we could be in big trouble at the federal level."


Hupp said she called three Libertarian candidates in races where she knew the margin between the Republican and Democrat candidate figures to be close in November. However, one day after she made the calls, Hupp said she could remember only two of the three districts where she had intervened.

The two districts, candidates and calls that Hupp remembered were the same two that Texas Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict already knew about and had told reporters occurred.
Benedict said he told Libertarian candidates to "sit tight and stay in the race" after the calls were made. "I told them that Republicans need to earn those votes," he said.
It was wrong of Hupp to ask them to step down. However whats more disturbing is the level of hubris it took to make those calls in the first place. Given how long the GOP has been in power in Texas though its not surprising. Interestingly enough the Libertarian candidates may be inadvertently doing more to fix that problem than the state Dems. If that proves to be the case at least here in Texas we might see a few more candidates running that haven't forgotten conservatism's Burkean roots.