Virginia Libertarians Nominate Candidate for U.S. Senate

Matt Waters Libertarian Senate candidate VirginiaConvening in Richmond on Saturday, March 10, the Libertarian Party of Virginia nominated Matt Waters of Alexandria as its candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being contested in November. Along with the still-to-be-chosen Republican nominee, Waters will challenge incumbent Senator Tim Kaine.

A native Virginian whose roots go back to the original settlers at Jamestown on one side of his family, he is also the grandson of recent immigrants from Central Europe. Raised in Hampton Roads, he earned his undergraduate degree at George Mason University. Professionally, he has worked as a fundraising consultant for political causes and non-profit organizations.

In his speech to the LPVA delegates and in an interview with Bearing Drift (listen for it next week on The Score), Waters emphasized that his highest concern is the national debt, which he views as unsustainable. Citing a report from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he said the debt is the biggest national security threat to the United States, greater than ISIS or Russia or China.

Waters describes himself as a pro-life Libertarian (“card-carrying” since 2008, he says) and a firm supporter of the Second Amendment — he takes a concealed weapon with him wherever he goes. He is also a home-schooling father of five children.

Like other statewide candidates, Waters must collect a minimum of 10,000 valid signatures of registered voters from across the Commonwealth, including 400 signatures from each of Virginia’s eleven congressional delegates, to qualify to have his name on the November general election ballot. The deadline for submitting those petitions to the State Board of Elections is 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, the same day that the GOP will choose its standard-bearer for the U.S. Senate race.

Like Cliff Hyra, who ran for governor in 2017, and Robert Sarvis, who ran for governor in 2013 and the U.S. Senate in 2014, one of Waters’ goals is to reach the high threshold of 10 percent of the popular vote necessary to qualify the Libertarian Party of Virginia as a major party alongside the Democrats and Republicans. This would alleviate the substantial burden of ballot-access efforts that drains the party’s treasury every time it seeks to run statewide candidates. Related to that, Waters also said he wants to improve the party’s fundraising capacity and build lists of donors and volunteers to help future candidates.

In addition to nominating Waters, the LPVA convention elected party officers and delegates to the party’s midterm national convention in New Orleans. LP members also heard from three of its nominees for the U.S. House of Representatives: Pete Wells, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Donald McEachin in the Fourth Congressional District; Joe Walton, who is running in the Seventh Congressional District against incumbent Republican Dave Brat; and Stevan Porter, who will face off against incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly in the Eleventh District.

Like Senate candidate Matt Waters, the nominees for the U.S. House must submit petitions due on the same day as the June primary. They each must collect a minimum of 1,000 signatures of registered voters from within their districts.