The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 1:00 am

Libertarian convention to be in city this week

BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

For the third time this decade, a political party will have its state nominating convention in Fort Wayne.

The Libertarian Party of Indiana announced Monday it will meet Friday and Saturday at the Ramada Plaza Fort Wayne Hotel & Conference Center at Washington Center and Coldwater roads. 

Tim Maguire, chairman of the state Libertarians, said he expects about 100 people to attend the gathering.

“Sometimes we like to move the convention around, not always have it in Indianapolis,” Maguire said in a telephone interview.

Maguire, who lives in Indianapolis, said the Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau “put together a very, very attractive offer for us to host our convention there, and we decided to come see your fine city.”

The Indiana Democratic Party's 2012 convention and the Indiana Republican Party's 2014 convention were at the downtown Grand Wayne Center. Each drew thousands of delegates, candidates and party activists from around the state.

The state Libertarian Party will have a business meeting Friday to elect officers and discuss proposed changes to bylaws, and the nominating convention will be Saturday.

Delegates will select municipal election candidates in counties that do not have Libertarian organizations. Those that do have such affiliates, including Allen, nominate candidates at separate county conventions.

Only one Libertarian candidate was on the general election ballot in Fort Wayne in 2015, the city's last municipal election. Tabitha Dyck finished last among seven candidates in a race for three at-large seats on the City Council.

But three Libertarian candidates won election that year in northeast Indiana, capturing town council seats in Ossian and Larwill and the clerk-treasurer's office in Claypool.

The state Libertarian Party advocates for civil liberties, personal privacy, free markets, an easier path to citizenship and the legalization of marijuana. 

The party says on its website the federal government should be limited to protecting citizens' rights. The Libertarian Party opposes America's role as “the policeman of the world.”

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