It’s a big day for libertarian history in New Hampshire and nationwide. For the first time in two decades, the Libertarian Party of NH (LPNH) has a sitting state representative in the legislature who is just beginning his first term in office. Caleb Dyer, state representative for Hudson and Pelham, announced today at a press conference in Concord’s Legislative Office Building that he has switched his voter registration from republican to libertarian and has also joined the state party as a dues-paying member. Dyer is a New Hampshire native who knocked on 2,000 doors in his district, Hillsborough 37, to win his election in November of 2016. Here’s the press conference video from this morning:
The LPNH was basically dormant for years until late 2016 when superactivists Darryl W Perry and Rodger Paxton won election to chair and vice-chair of the party, respectively. Shortly thereafter the libertarian candidate for governor was able to get enough votes to propel the party into major party status in New Hampshire. It’s the first time the LPNH has had that status in approximately twenty years, surely much to the chagrin of the republicans and democrats, who raised the vote requirement in the nineties specifically to disqualify the LP from major party status.Speaking on the subject of the two-party duopoly at this morning’s press conference, Dyer said, “I believe that it is time to demonstrate to the people of New Hampshire that such a duopoly of partisan interest, which presently controls this house, is not in their interests.” Backed by the executive committee of the LPNH, Dyer excoriated the command-and-control structure of the two other major parties, saying their party leadership expects their party’s elected state reps to, “fall into line with the party, even against their principle”, speaking specifically of those inside the parties who oppose the status quo.
Explaining why he left the republicans, Dyer explained, “I truly believe the best course of action is to organize outside of the party, and force coalition.” He intends to rally “hundreds of people across the state to submit themselves to their peers as libertarian candidates”. He ended his speech by reading from Article Ten of the New Hampshire Constitution:
“whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”
Who will be the next state rep to follow Dyer’s lead? Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest from the state house.
Dyer will be a featured speaker at the LPNH’s convention on March 18th in Concord. Tickets are available now.