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National vice chair among liberty luminaries set to speak at state Libertarian Party convention

Author: Ernest Luning - March 22, 2017 - Updated: March 22, 2017

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National Libertarian Party vice chair Arvin Vohra, a former candidate for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, is the keynote speaker at the Colorado Libertarian Party Convention March 24-26, 2017, in Westminster. (Photo courtesy Arvin Vohra)
National Libertarian Party vice chair Arvin Vohra, a former candidate for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, is the keynote speaker at the Colorado Libertarian Party Convention March 24-26, 2017, in Westminster. (Photo courtesy Arvin Vohra)

The vice chair of the National Libertarian Committee and a frequent candidate for federal office in Maryland, Arvin Vohra, headlines a diverse group of speakers including past presidential candidates this weekend at the Colorado Libertarian Party convention in Westminster, the party announced.

The party’s convention runs Friday-Sunday, March 24-26, at the Westin Hotel in Westminster — the home of Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan and, in a distinction it shares with Colorado Springs, the birthplace of the party. The weekend is filled with speeches, panel discussions and entertainment, including casino-style games and dancing to a live band.

The party will elect state officers and consider its platform and bylaws in the morning on Saturday and Sunday. Anyone can attend these functions, but only Colorado residents registered as Libertarian for at least 90 days can participate. Tickets for other convention events, including Saturday’s banquet and keynote address, are available at the state party’s online store.

Vohra, an author and founder of the Vohra Method education service, ran for the U.S. Senate in Maryland last year as a write-in candidate and ran for two different congressional seats in the state the two elections before that. His main campaign themes have been eliminating the federal income tax, ending the drug war, repealing “gun free” school zones and cutting military spending by at least 60 percent.

Publisher and pundit Austin Peterson, who came in second to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson in last year’s crowded Libertarian presidential primary — conservative leaders Mary Matalin and Erick Erickson were among those endorsing his presidential bid — is also slated to speak.

Coloradan Matthew Hess, a systems administrator and former gubernatorial and congressional candidate, is a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and a past candidate for Douglas County commissioner. His philosophy, he says, is “spreading the message of freedom and liberty in Colorado, reversing the gun control legislation, cutting taxes and getting government out of the way of businesses.”

Another speaker, Nebraska state Sen. Laura Ebke, was elected to that state’s non-partisan legislature in 2014 and then changed her registration to Libertarian last year. She was a state leader of Ron Paul’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012 and founded the Republican Liberty Caucus of Nebraska. Last year, she led the effort to ban civil forfeiture in the state.

Steve Kerbel, another 2016 Libertarian presidential hopeful, is also scheduled to speak. The author of “Take Everyman Down,” described as “an eye-opening piece showing who is truly responsible for the condition of our country,” Kerbel runs the Truth in Polling nonprofit and plans to support ballot initiatives to promote liberty nationwide.

The convention will also include a discussion about alternative voting methods, such as Approval Voting and Ranked Choice Voting.

— ernest@coloradostatesman.com

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.


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