HOLMBERG: A viable Libertarian candidate for Virginia governor?

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Could there be a viable third-party candidate for Virginia governor this election?

Based on recent polling data and the enthusiastic reception at the Cary Street Café Tuesday night, Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis’ star may rise in time given voter unhappiness with the current ballot.

“I just wish you the best!” said one enthusiastic supporter at the bar and restaurant whose owner enthusiastically invited Sarvis to come meet and greet.

“I want to say thank you for standing up for what I believe in,” said another.

“Something has gone wrong between the relationship of citizens and their government,” Sarvis said. “There’s a sense that the government no longer serves us, we’re serving the government.”

Sarvis, 37, is an Annandale software developer with a law degree; married with two children. His bio: http://www.robertsarvis.com/about

He’s been polling 7 to 12 percent, on a shoestring.

And he believes the shutdown of the federal government is clear evidence the two-party system isn’t working.

“I think that’s why we need better ideas, people who are willing to talk to voters as adults and actually not just resort to all the demagoguery,” he said.

He believes both Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe have high negatives, both outside and inside their parties.

He can reach their voters, he believes, if they can just see and hear him. He’s scrambling to be a part of the upcoming and final debate.

“The more voters we meet, the more our chances of winning go up,” he said.

He’s a supporter of school choice, and believes in decentralizing health care, with smarter and less state regulation.

“We shoot ourselves in the foot with state regulations that cartelize the supply of health care professionals,” Sarvis said. “Every generation adds a layer of regulation on top of the previous one, and it’s just suffocating the market.”

He also supports legalizing marijuana.  “I think it’s doable . . . it’s a freedom issue. It’s an economy issue. It’s a jobs issue.”

Sarvis blames the Republicans for being obstructionists who have offered no alternate ideas for health care. And he blames the Democrats’ plan for centralized health care.

There are real answers to the health care problem, as well as the looming crisis of more than 70 million baby boomers entering retirement age, he said.

Sarvis  said he entered politics because he “got really frustrated with politicians who aren’t really serving the public, aren’t really trying to understand what the problems stem from. And when you don’t really understand the nature of a problem, you can’t propose solutions that are going to solve the problems. So what we get is a lot of regulation that make things worse and creates the problems a future generation is going to have to deal with.”

You can watch the video and do some reading online about Sarvis, his history and what wiser political heads are saying about him. This is an interesting one, click here. 

But ask yourself this: Can you remember a gubernatorial race here in which the main two-party candidates are so vigorously disliked by those in opposing parties – and even by some in their own?

I can’t. As it stand now, the election will hinge on whoever comes out on top of a titanic unpopularity contest.

Never has there been better time for a third-party candidate. My guess is Sarvis will definitely be a spoiler, and maybe even a contender.


  • Liberty1

    Libertarians are backing Sarvis for one major reason, if he get 10% Libertarians gain Major Party status that comes with lots of benafits. This is what Libertarians are doing accross the country, running people to get 3-5-10% in order to get Minor and Major Party status. One step at a time they will grow. I for one will welcome Libertarians into Congress after the lack of responsable goverment we have now.

    • Jeff Armstrong

      Isn’t that strange, just the other day, someone told me that a vote for Sarvis is a vote for Cooch. What’s with the mixed messages here?

    • Jeff Armstrong

      Isn’t that strange, just the other day, somebody told me that a vote for Sarvis is a vote for McAuliffe. What’s with the mixed messages here?

      • Jeff Armstrong

        Crap, I meant to say that the person told me that a vote for Sarvis was a vote for Cooch… and I’m sure that my fellow Sarvis supporters here have gotten that argument too from McAuliffe supporters when you tell them you’re voting for Rob.

    • Brad Chaffee

      Another vote for Sarvis here!

      @Jim – I really can’t stand when people use your argument to vote for someone. It causes people that would otherwise vote on their own principles and values to vote for the wrong guy just because people like you convince them their vote will get someone else elected.

      People have a right to vote for whomever they feel best represents them. If you feel Cuccinelli best represents you, then vote for him, but stop trying to manipulate people in to voting for your candidate of choice!

      In the Presidential election I voted for Gary Johnson and I was accused of getting Obama elected. A vote for Johnson is a vote for Obama they said. No my vote for Johnson was for Johnson not Obama. You know what, for the first time in a long time I felt pretty good after voting, unlike in elections past where I felt I needed to take a shower afterward.

      Never again will I just blindly vote party line. If a candidate is for Liberty and the Constitution, regardless of official party, I will give them my vote.

      The one mistake you and people like you keep making is believing the Republicans are better than the Democrats.

      Please allow me to flip it on ya:

      A vote for McAuliffe or Cuccinelli is a vote against Liberty!

      GO SARVIS!!!!

      • Jeff Armstrong

        @Brad THANK YOU! I’m sick and tired of hearing Cooch supporters tell me a vote for Sarvis is a vote for T-Mac and McAuliffe supporters telling me that a vote for Sarvis is a vote for Cooch!

        A vote for Sarvis is a vote for Sarvis! End of story!

    • Starchild

      A vote for McAuliffe or Cuccinelli is a vote for the status quo and the political establishment that runs it.

      So if you want a police state or economic collapse, keep voting for career establishment politicians from the Democrat and Republican parties.

  • s eh

    I stand with Sarvis. I am voting FOR my candidate of choice because he represents my views. Never again will I just vote AGAINST someone.

    • Jim

      Just remember when “Fast Terry” get’s in, why you will lose jobs, rights and plunge Virginia into the same fate as Obama and Bloomberg have done to the country….just saying

      • Jeff Armstrong

        Fearmongering like this is one of the reasons I left the GOP in the first place and will never come back. Haven’t you guys forgotten which party will still control the House of Delegates come next year?

  • Joe

    Voting for Sarvis here, simply because I want my vote to mean something.

    On a useless side note, last time Terry was in town running for office, he had a space in the basement of a 400 W. Franklin block building, across from the Commonwealth Club. He and his cronies were out and about, resuming plotting of their failed run for office…in the middle of the sidewalk. They’d see people coming there way, and simply wouldn’t move out of the way. Of course, being public space, we’re all equally entitled to its use, however, to display a common disregard for simple social functions as sidewalk etiquette, well, let’s just say, if a man isn’t aware of his surroundings and how to react, how could he possibly be considerate of his constituents?

  • GlobalVillager

    We need to break the stranglehold of two “parties” that 100% AGREE on most everything but social issues. They BOTH wholeheartedly are drunk on taxes, printing money and borrowing, support spending well over HALF of ALL income tax money on world domination (how’d that work out for the USSR?), government subsidies for huge businesses like Monsanto and BP that wreck our health and environment, a military/police state presence in the US via “Homeland Security”, NSA spying, assault vehicles for rural sheriff departments and the like. SUPPORT VIABLE ALTERNATIVES OR IT WILL NEVER CHANGE…VOTE SARVIS!

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