Laura Delhomme, the Libertarian candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates in the 47th District (parts of Arlington County), believes that her gubernatorial ticket-mate, Robert Sarvis, has injected real energy into her own campaign.
Delhomme spoke to the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner on October 24 at a reception for 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico.
“I think all six House of Delegates candidates” nominated by the Libertarian Party “have felt that positive wave of sentiment” emerging from the Sarvis campaign, she said.
Delhomme explained that the media attention paid to Robert Sarvis is reflected in how voters react to her on the campaign trail.
“We talk to people on the streets and [they] say, 'Oh, Sarvis! That's your guy. I've heard of you guys.'”
Sarvis, she said, has produced “a trickle-down effect. The positive feeling that he's incurred across Virginia – we see it every day as we're talking to people. I'm thrilled that he is our governor candidate. I'm thrilled to be on the ticket with him.”
If even one Libertarian were elected to the Virginia General Assembly, Delhomme predicted, “it would upset everything. It would be great.”
She explained that, “if we had one libertarian in the General Assembly, we would have somebody who could work on both sides of the aisle” and who “wouldn't have to play into the party politics that everybody [else] has to do.”
A Libertarian delegate or senator, she said, “wouldn't have to follow the rules that everybody does” and get tangled up into “all the alliances.”
Libertarian delegates could “introduce legislation that they believe in” and vote according to their beliefs.
Doing that, Delhomme said, “would really upset the balance and it would be a good thing. It would be a wake-up call to the other parties that say we 'steal their votes.' It would be a great wake-up call to say, 'Hey, this is a real message. It's a popular one and it's a viable one.'”
Delhomme bases her assessment about the popularity of libertarian ideas by the reactions she's received from voters along the campaign trail.
“The public reception has been overwhelmingly positive,” she said.
“When we were petitioning” to get on the ballot “and now when we're handing out flyers and when we're talking to people door-to-door, people are reacting very positively to the libertarian message and to the word 'libertarian,' Delhomme noted.
“We treated this election as a polling” opportunity for use in future campaigns, she explained but “frankly, it's out of the water so far. The reception has been very good” and beyond expectations.
Delhomme confronted her opponent, Democratic incumbent Patrick Hope, at the annual Arlington Civic Federation debate on the Tuesday after Labor Day. That event has long been considered the official kick-off of campaign season in Arlington County.
“My opponent is a very friendly, very amicable guy,” Delhomme said, conceding that “we do agree on a lot of issues.”
On the other hand, she pointed out, “we disagree widely on other issues, primarily on how to take care of people and how to handle taxes and what our government should be doing and what the role of government is.”
Delhomme, a first-time candidate for public office, has a web site and a Facebook page where voters can learn more about her. The Virginia election will take place Tuesday, November 5, from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.