Last night was a clear victory for the libertarian wing of the Republican Party. Libertarian-backed candidates swept primary elections all around. The Tea Party, Club for Growth, Sarah Palin brigades and the Republican Liberty Caucus were all victorious from Utah to South Carolina.
The biggest win was undoubtably Nikki Haley in South Carolina in the run-off with 65% of the vote. Her opponent was a traditionalist establishment SC politician Gresham Barret. She was dubbed the "Sanford libertarian" candidate. She had early backing from Sarah Palin. She also received the endorsement of the Republican Liberty Caucus.
Even HuffPo editorializes this morning:
Already, 2010 is shaping up to be an anti-establishment year with angry voters casting ballots against candidates with ties to Washington and the political parties.Another big SC win; Tim Scott for Congress. He was supported early on by the fiscally libertarian Club for Growth, Palin, and his former opponent Katherine Jenerette.
Perhaps no other contest illustrated that better than Haley's. A state legislator with the backing of tea party activists and Sarah Palin, she overtook the old-boy network.
A strident Libertarian Republican, Jenerette is a friend of this website. Her campaign was managed in large part by LR contributor Stephen Maloney. Taking our cue from Katherine and Stephen, LibertarianRepublican.net did the same. Katherine commented on Scott' victory last night at FITS News (Will Folk's highly controversial website):
Great choice. The Libertarian Republican’s lined up behind Tim Scott as well!Finally in SC, establishment GOPer incumbent Rep. Bobby Inglis lost his race to Tea Party favorite Trey Gowdy.
Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute, and a sometimes contributor to Libertarian Republican comments on his International Liberty blog this morning:
There were closely-watched primaries yesterday in South Carolina and Utah. Most of the attention was on the Palmetto State, where an Indian-American woman won the GOP nomination for governor and an African-American won the nomination for the first district congressional seat. Both are positive developments since the respective candidates appear to be solid, limited-government conservatives. But the most important race, in my humble opinion, was the battle to unseat incumbent GOP Congressman Bob Inglis, who was a TARP-supporting, pro-tax Republican... he got completely stomped as voters wisely recognized that he had become a fan of big government.Inglis received national notoriety for having dissed Glenn Beck at a town hall meeting, telling his constituents to "turn him off."
Outside of South Carolina the news was just as good for libertarian-leaning Republicans. Mike Lee won his GOP primary for US Senate in Utah with 52%. Lee campaigned on a platform of "Less is more in Washington." He is now virtually guaranteed to be the next Senator from the State. Political blogger Michael Stephens wrote this morning "TEA party wins again... everywhere!":
The TEA party won in every race in every primary again June 22!!! Utah is my favorite, with a close race. Mike Lee will be a new member of the senate in January. The GOP moved to the right.