Libertarian candidates swell ranks

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Nick Taylor

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Staff Writer

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Two local candidates for state office this year are part of a growing trend of more Libertarians appearing on North Carolina ballots.

“I’m fortunate to be the first Libertarian to run for the North Carolina House in our area,” said Nick Taylor, 30, of Nashville, who is running for the state House District 25 seat, which represents most of Nash County including Rocky Mount.

Jesse Shearin, 77, of Scotland Neck, is running for for the state Senate District 4 seat, which covers Edgecombe, Wilson and Halifax counties.

North Carolina is second only to Texas this year in having the largest number of Libertarian candidates — and with nearly 50 Libertarians running this year, it's one of the largest slates of Libertarian candidates ever, according to information from the N.C. Libertarian Party.

Libertarians believe government stifles innovation through regulation, subverts compassion through bureaucracy and suppresses achievement through economic manipulation, according to the preamble of the party's platform.

Both Taylor and Shearin's races are incumbent-free, as the current representative of House 25 is retiring, and Senate 4 is a newly drawn district. Taylor faces Republican John Check and Democrat James Gailliard. Shearin faces Republican Richard Scott and Democrat Toby Fitch.

Taylor said he hopes voters will give him an equal opportunity to win their vote.

“As a Libertarian, I’m not a Republican or a Democrat, therefore I want to represent everyone regardless of political affiliation. It’s time to put people first in our government. In reality, citizens of Nash County and myself have more in common than the other two choices.”

Lack of jobs is one of the biggest challenges facing Nash County and the state, Taylor said.

“As a representative from Nash County, I would like to make it easier for businesses to open up in Nash County and our state,” he said. “Therefore reducing the unnecessary steps and run-around that citizens have to take to create a business.”

Shearin said voters should vote for a candidate that will encourage the citizens — and especially political leaders — to reason together for the sake of North Carolina and the nation.

“I hope to be that candidate,” Shearin said.

The most important issue facing District 4 — and all other districts — is the tendency to rely upon government to solve all problems, Shearin said.

“We need to get off the 'Tower of Babel' and get back down to earth,” he said.

The Libertarian platform calls for the legalization of marijuana, the end of immigration laws, gun ownership without regulation, repeal of any restrictive marriage laws, outlawing government collection of information on people, a free market, abolishing the execution of prisoners, school choice,privately owned roads and more.