Libertarian National Convention

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The Libertarian National Convention is held every two years by the Libertarian Party (United States) to choose members of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC), and to conduct other party business. In presidential election years, the convention delegates enact a platform and nominate the Libertarian presidential and vice-presidential candidates who then face the nominees of other parties in the November general election.

While most delegates to the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention are tied to particular candidates, delegates to the Libertarian National Convention are free to choose, as was previously the case for the larger parties. Accordingly, Libertarian National Conventions place less emphasis on festivities and spinning the press, though some of each may be found. The complete convention is televised by C-SPAN with additional broadcast television coverage of the presidential nominating process. None of the above is always an option on all ballots.



The first Libertarian National Convention was held in 1972 in Denver, Colorado. John Hospers and Theodora Nathan were nominated presidential and vice presidential candidates respectively.  The party received the first electoral vote won by a woman, cast by Roger MacBride.


The 1973 Convention was held in Strongsville, Ohio from June 8–10. Over 175 were in attendance.[1]


The 1974 Convention adopted the Dallas Accord which sought to accommodate supporters of both anarcho-capitalism and minarchism.[2][3][4]


The 1975 convention was held at the Statler-Hilton hotel in New York CityRoger MacBride was nominated for president. After initially selecting None of the Above, the Convention's delegates nominated David Bergland for vice president.


The 1976 convention was held in Washington, D.C., from September 23–26, 1976.


The 1977 Convention was held at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California. (More details soon)


The 1978 Convention was held at the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston Massachusetts. (More details soon)


The 1979 Convention was held at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles[5] and nominated Ed Clark for president and billionaire David H. Koch for vice president.

Alternative '80[edit]

The 1980 Convention was held at the Century City Hotel in Los Angeles, California and via satellite.  Unlike other Libertarian Party conventions, its primary purpose was promotional.


The 1981 Convention was held in Denver, Colorado.


David Bergland was selected as the 1984 presidential nominee at the 1983 National Convention.[6]


The 1985 Convention was held in Phoenix, Arizona.


The 1987 Libertarian National Convention was held the first weekend in September in Seattle, Washington. At the Convention, the party was split between conservative and liberal factions.[7]  Ron Paul, representing the former, was nominated as the Libertarian Party's 1988 presidential candidate on the first ballot with 196 of the 368 votes cast.  His closest opponent, Native American activist Russell Means, received 120 votes.[8]  Andre Marrou was selected as Paul's running mate as the candidate for Vice President without opposition.[8]


The 1989 Convention was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


The 1991 Libertarian National Convention was held in Chicago the last weekend in August, and nominated Andre Marrou as the party's 1992 candidate for president.[9][10]


The 1993 Convention was held in Salt Lake City, Utah.


The 1996 Libertarian National Convention was held the first weekend of July in Washington D.C. and nominated Harry Browne as its presidential candidate.[11]


The 1998 Convention was held in Washington D.C.


The 2000 Convention was held in Anaheim, California, from June 30 to July 4.  Harry Browne was again chosen as the party's presidential candidate, becoming the first Libertarian Party candidate to run twice for President of the United States.[12]


The 2002 Convention was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, from July 3 to 7.[13]


The 2004 Convention was held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia Memorial Day weekend, May 27 to May 31. Michael Badnarik was chosen as the party's presidential candidate, beating out Gary Nolan and Aaron Russo on the third ballot; Richard Campagna was chosen as the party's vice-presidential candidate over Tamara Millay, and Michael Dixon was elected chair of the LNC.


The 2006 Convention was held at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower in Portland, Oregon, July 1–2.[14]  Delegates chose (in a "retain or delete" vote process) to eliminate about three quarters of the specific planks in the party's platform[15]

Speakers included:

  • Michael Badnarik, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives (TX-10) and the 2004 Libertarian Presidential candidate
  • Judge John A. Buttrick, Maricopa County (Arizona) Superior Court Judge, 1994 Arizona gubernatorial candidate, 1998 Arizona House of Representatives candidate
  • Megan Dickson, an eighth-grade honors student who spoke about libertarianism
  • Patrick Dixon, city councilman, Lago Vista, Texas
  • Bill Lynn, Alderman, Davenport, Iowa
  • Tonie Nathan, former Libertarian Vice-Presidential candidate, and the first woman to receive an electoral vote in U.S. history
  • BetteRose Ryan, at-large LNC member
  • Rev. Anthony Williams, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives (IL-2)
  • Former Congressman Bob Barr, who has served as the chairman of Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances
  • Andrew Neil, founding chairman of Sky TV, former publisher of The Scotsman, former editor of The Economist and former editor-in-chief of the Sunday Times
  • Christopher J. Farrell, member of the Judicial Watch's Board of Directors
  • Greg Nojeim, associate director and chief legislative counsel for the ACLU
  • Krist Novoselic, founding member of the Seattle-based grunge rock band Nirvana, founder JAMPAC (Joint Artists and Music Promotions Political Action Committee), author of Of Grunge and Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy


Libertarian National Convention is located in the United States
Saint Paul
Saint Paul
Kansas City
Kansas City
Sites of the 2008 national conventions.

The 2008 convention was held at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel (formerly the Adam's Mark Hotel) in Denver, Colorado (the same city as the very first convention in 1972), May 23–26.


The 2010 Convention was held in St. Louis, Missouri from Friday May 28 to Monday May 31.


Libertarian National Convention is located in the United States
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Sites of the 2012 national conventions.

The 2012 convention was held in Las Vegas, Nevada May 4–6, 2012.[16][17]


The 2014 Convention was held in Columbus, Ohio during the last weekend in June.[18]


Map of United States showing Orlando, Florida
Sites of the 2016 national conventions.

The 2016 convention was held in Orlando, Florida during the last weekend in May.[19]


The 2018 convention was held from June 30th to July 3rd in New Orleans, Louisiana. Nicholas Sarwark was reelected as chair, Alex Merced elected as Vice-Chair, Caryn Ann Harlos elected as Secretary, Tim Hagan reelected as Treasurer, new At-Large members were selected, and a new four-year term Judicial Committee was elected.


The 2020 convention is scheduled to be held in Austin, Texas over Memorial Day weekend.

List of Libertarian conventions[edit]

The following is a list of United States Libertarian Party Presidential nominating conventions.

Year Location Presidential Nominee Vice Presidential Nominee
1972 Denver John Hospers of California Theodora Nathan of Oregon
1973 Strongsville N/A
1974 Irving
1975 New York Roger MacBride of Virginia David Bergland of California
1977 San Francisco N/A
1979 Los Angeles Ed Clark of California David Koch of Kansas
1981 Denver N/A
1983 New York David Bergland of California James Lewis of Connecticut
1985 Phoenix N/A
1987 Seattle Ron Paul of Texas Andre Marrou of Alaska
1989 Philadelphia N/A
1991 Chicago Andre Marrou of Alaska Nancy Lord of Nevada
1993 Salt Lake City N/A
1996 D.C. Harry Browne of Tennessee Jo Jorgensen of South Carolina
1998 N/A
2000 Anaheim Harry Browne of Tennessee Art Olivier of California
2002 Indianapolis N/A
2004 Atlanta Michael Badnarik of Texas Richard Campagna of Iowa
2006 Portland N/A
2008 Denver Bob Barr of Georgia Wayne Allyn Root of Nevada
2010 St. Louis N/A
2012 Las Vegas Gary Johnson of New Mexico Jim Gray of California
2014 Columbus N/A
2016 Orlando Gary Johnson of New Mexico Bill Weld of Massachusetts
2018 New Orleans N/A
2020 Austin TBA TBA


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hihn, Mike. "The Dallas Accord, Minarchists, and why our members sign a pledge", Washington State Libertarian Party, August 2009.
  3. ^ Gottfried, Paul. The conservative movement: Social movements past and present , Twayne Publishers, 1993, p. 46.
  4. ^ Antman, Less. The Dallas Accord is Dead, Lew, May 12, 2008.
  5. ^ Bergland, David (January–February 1979). "From the Chair". Libertarian Party News. 6 (45).
  6. ^ "David Bergland - Libertarian". Advocates for Self-Government via Internet Archive. Archived from the original on April 7, 2008. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  7. ^ Head, Tom (May 26, 2008). "The Libertarian Party Takes a Hard Right Turn". Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Turner, Wallace (September 6, 1987), "Libertarians Pick Ex-Congressman in '88 Bid", New York Times, New York, New York, p. 35
  9. ^ Walsh, Edward (September 1, 1991). "Libertarian Party Nominates Real Estate Broker for Run at a Million Votes". The Washington Post via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  10. ^ O'Donnell, Maureen (October 7, 1992). "To Libertarian, Less Is More". Chicago Sun-Times via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  11. ^ Browne, Harry (July 10, 1996). "Strict Interpretation" (Interview). Interviewed by Hunter-Gault, Charlayne. PBS. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  12. ^ Werner, Erica (July 3, 2000). "Libertarians nominate Browne for presidency". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  13. ^ "Candidates for Libertarian National Committee". Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  14. ^ "2006 National Convention Portland, Oregon Draft Minutes" (PDF). February 17, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  15. ^ LP News, 07/12/06
  16. ^ Myers, Laura (November 30, 2010) "Las Vegas will host Libertarian convention", Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
  17. ^ Malcolm, Andrew (November 30, 2010) "Las Vegas gets its first national political convention", Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
  18. ^ Official Website 2014
  19. ^ Weissmueller, Zach; Swain, Joshua (June 3, 2016). "What Would Success (or Failure) Look Like for the Libertarian Party This Year?". Retrieved June 27, 2016.