Friday’s Candidate: It’s Me…

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
—Theodore Roosevelt




This November I will be dipping my toe into the great ocean of public service by seeking election to a seat on the Duval County Soil and Water Conservation Board.

I’m mentioning my campaign here because I manage this site, but as I’m sure most everyone is aware I’m not a member of a third party, rather I am (as I’ve repeatedly stated) a registered Republican.

The campaign will be managed by a close friend of mine who’s already won a seat on a similar board in a neighboring county. This won’t be a particularly easy race, but I do believe that victory is possible with some hard work and the help of a my wonderful group of friends and family.

This is a non-partisan election to an at-large seat, so all 529,000 registered voters in my county will be eligible to vote. Next month is when we’ll officially file the paperwork and all that fun stuff.

As we approach campaign season I’ll occassionally share with my readers on this blog how the race is shaping up.

For those interested, below is a rough draft of the yard signs we plan to order later this summer. Other campaign materials like bumperstickers will follow, all using a similar layout…

36 Responses to “Friday’s Candidate: It’s Me…”

  1. Richard Winger Says:

    You always mention the party affiliation of all your featured “candidates of the day”. So why make an exception now? Come clean, tell us what party you are registered in.

  2. Austin Cassidy Says:

    This took a little bit of a different format than most of my “CoD” items, so I skipped past that part. However I am a Republican and have added that in near the top of the item.

    I’m not pitching for money or support on here, just sharing the fact that I’ll be running for something in the Fall. :)

  3. NewFederalist Says:

    Austin Cassidy a DemoRepublicrat? Oh horrors! Good luck with your race.

  4. ABAsite Says:

    I knew it, I knew it! :)

  5. George Whitfield Says:

    Are you a soil and water conservative?

  6. Austin Cassidy Says:

    I firmly oppose the marriage of soil and water into mud… it’s unnatural. ;)

    No really, it’s a pretty small board with very limited powers. It is surprisingly well managed though. With the city government in a financial pinch lately, the current board members voted to voluntarily cut their budget request by about 7% from last year. Not exactly a common occurance, particularly since they could easily have asked for and received an increase.

    Overall it is a pretty fiscally conservative group. I have a friend from school that’s been on there for about 5 years now… but he’s leaving to run for City Council in the Spring.

  7. NewFederalist Says:

    C’mon, what does it pay?

  8. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Absolutely no salary. :)


  9. Darcy G Richardson Says:

    I don’t necessarily agree with the late Eugene McCarthy’s observation that all Republicans are “like the lowest forms of plant and animal life,” but I think the public acknowledgement that you’re really a Republican goes a along way in explaining your rather vicious attacks on numerous Libertarian bloggers this past week. I think it might also help explain why you were so upset when one LP blogger stated earlier this week that “all Republicans are liars.” I guess it was hitting too close to home…

    So, Austin, given your party affiliation, what exactly is the purpose of Third Party Watch? Is it to cover and promote third party candidates—- or to keep an eye on them?

  10. Austin Cassidy Says:


    I’ve been extremely open that I’m a libertarian-leaning Republican on about a dozen occassions on this blog. And on others.

    My viscious attacks? I was called mentally ill by someone over on Hammer of Truth. Many of THEIR COMMENTS were viscious about Weld… Period. (someone said he should be kicked in the crotch repeatedly until he could no longer have children…. because he dropped out of the race)

    Saying “all Republicans are liars” is an over the top statement. Period. It’s not the way to win over people, my own affiliation aside.

    And yes, I’m an agent of the Republican party sent to track third party activities through this blog. You got me. Just like the American Patriot Party figured me out back when I considered joining them.

  11. Austin Cassidy Says:

    And furthermore on this matter… I am for a more multi-party system and have long had an interest in third party politics.

    I’m a registered Republican but I’m pleased whenever I see a Libertarian… a Green… an independent… a CPer… or just about anyone break through the system successfully. And I am frustrated when I see them fail.

    I’m not meaning to be confrontational here, but when people question my motives for running this site it just makes me want to fold it up and work on other projects. It’s not like I make any money or anything from this… it’s just something I find of great interest.

  12. Will Says:

    Austin, don’t listen to these people. I love your site and I hope you win your election. Please don’t shut down TPW!!

  13. ABAsite Says:

    I agree. Don’t shut this site down because a few extremists can’t handle your party affiliation.

  14. Richard Winger Says:

    I endorse you and I hope you win. Darcy must be in a bad mood tonight.

  15. Trevor Southerland Says:


    You’ve got a great site here and you do a good job. I appreciate your work, and wish you a great victory in your campaign.

  16. Khatores Says:

    This site is the bomb. I’d frame it on my wall if I could. :)

  17. Allen Hacker Says:

    Good Luck!

    I’m looking forward to seeing your feet wet.


  18. Phil Says:

    Oh don’t listen to the paranoids Austin - this site is great, and best of luck in winning!

  19. will Says:

    yeah austin, i hope you win, and i love you site you do a great job.

  20. Joey Dauben Says:

    Your logo is awesome.

    And hey, while we’re at it, you guys should compare the Badnarik campaign logo to that of the Braum’s ice cream logo.

    They’re very, very similar. I guess that’s why Badnarik had an ice cream social grin after last year’s Leadership Institute seminar (which I attended, but couldn’t find the damn campaign office. I was on my way SOUTH of Austin, not the northern part - oh well hah.)

  21. Darcy Richardson Says:

    No, Richard, I wasn’t in a bad mood yesterday. Like many other Americans, I suppose I’ve just reached the point where I can no longer stomach Republicans—- even ones who try to portray themselves as “sympathetic” to third parties (whatever that means).

    I guess I found it particularly insulting that a Republican like Austin, whose own party has given us the most nefarious and deceitful administration in American history while spending the nation into bankruptcy, would have the gall to publicly criticize Libertarians for being upset that a member of his party—- that Grand Old Party of fiscal irresponsibility and corruption which never tires of pummeling gay people—- deliberately misled the Libertarian Party of New York while accepting their gubernatorial nomination. The Libertarians—- and I’m not just talking about the so-called “purists”—- are completely justified in their anger toward William Weld. They gave him their nomination in good faith and he cowardly walked away when the going got tough.

    In politics, one’s word is everything, or at least it used to be. But I guess it’s entirely acceptable—- in the new political world according to Dubya—- to lie and deliberately mislead people whenever its convenient. From George W. Bush to Bill Weld, it’s obvious that most Republicans have never learned the old Mark Twain axiom: “When in doubt, tell the truth.” In fact, one could argue that the Republicans have proven to be quite the opposite; they’re always in doubt and rarely tell the truth. That’s how they campaign and that’s how they govern. Sadly, that’s their modus operandi.

    Make no mistake about it. They’re destroying this country and everything it ever stood for.

    In any case, I suppose what I found most infuriating recently about Austin—- and I admit that I enjoy his website and applaud his professed support of a multi-party system in the United States—- was his comment earlier this week that “there is no way in hell any Libertarian candidate this year is going to get 50,000 votes” in New York’s gubernatorial contest. Oh, really? How does he know? How can he be so certain? Moreover, his utterance that the LPNY was doomed to garner one-tenth of one percent of the vote was completely belittling—- not only to Libertarians, but to all third-party advocates.

    Even though I’m not a member of the Libertarian Party, I was also a little offended by his remark, on another blog, that Libertarians generally consider anyone who’s “not a clerk in a pet store or a retired professor” to be a celebrity. Give me a break. How demeaning is that to Libertarians? Austin is not only saying that Libertarians lack political savvy, he’s pretty much implying that they are idiots. Maybe he thinks the New York Libertarians should emulate his own party and try to find a candidate, like Dubya, who—- when he wasn’t busy fleecing the taxpayers of Arlington, Texas, out of tens of millions of dollars as the owner of the Texas Rangers—-stayed drunk well into his forties while failing miserably in every entrepreneurial endeavor he ever undertook before being elected governor of the Lone Star State. The Libertarians, of course, would have a pretty difficult time finding such a candidate—- most New York LPers, unlike George W. Bush, are relatively successful in life.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but with friends like Austin, who needs enemies?

    Personally, I think this is going to be a banner year for America’s third party and independent candidates—- and the LPNY will be no exception.

  22. NewFederalist Says:

    Whew! :)

  23. Austin Cassidy Says:

    I think this will be a great year for third party and independent candidates… but I see no reason why there will be much improvement over the past twelve years of results.

    “Moreover, his utterance that the LPNY was doomed to garner one-tenth of one percent of the vote was completely belittling—- not only to Libertarians, but to all third-party advocates.”

    I believe that if you keep doing what you’ve done, you’re going to keep getting what you’ve gotten. And while Richard Winger has said the party did qualify in 1992 with a Senate candidate, I’ve only been able to locate results back to 1994 in statewide contests (it’s all they have on the Sec. of State’s site).

    And, well… the 0.1% figure is exactly what you see over and over again. I didn’t say it to belittle the party, I said it because that’s what has happened and keeps happening everytime they nominate someone who can’t run a real campaign…

    NY Governor
    1994 - 9,506 votes (0.18%)
    1998 - 4,722 votes (0.10%)
    2002 - 5,013 votes (0.11%)

    U.S. Senate
    1994 - 17,991 votes (0.32%)
    1998 - 8,223 votes (0.18%)
    2000 - 4,734 votes (0.07%)
    2004 - 19,073 votes (0.19%)

    Even in Presidential races, the only candidate to ever top 50,000 votes or cross the invisible 0.2% threshold was Ed Clark and that was 26 years ago.

    2004 - 11,607 votes (0.16%)
    2000 - 7,702 votes (0.11%)
    1996 - 12,220 votes (0.19%)
    1992 - 13,451 votes (0.19%)
    1988 - 12,109 votes (0.19%)
    1984 - 11,949 votes (0.18%)
    1980 - 52,648 votes (0.85%)
    1976 - 12,197 votes (0.19%)

    I’m sorry if you don’t like the actual results and what’s gone on for the past three decades. I’m not a big fan of them myself, but I don’t think repeating the same strategy and tactics are going to turn things around.

  24. mark san souci Says:

    Darcy, I am with you and your thoughts 100%, except: Why are you not a Libertarian Party member? Your advocacy would be most welcome up here in Washington State, for instance, where we have an active party!

  25. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Thanks everyone for the support! I’ll probably post once or twice more about how things are going, but for the most part I think I’ll want to keep the campaign and this site largely seperate.

    Win or lose, I do plan to continue with this site for as long as people are interested to read it. And as of this point we’ve averaging over 300 daily visitors, so I guess many people are interested. :)

  26. Richard Winger Says:

    Austin, you’re cheating when you leave out the New York Libertarian gubernatorial total in 1990 of 24,611. 1990 was the last time Golisano wasn’t running.

  27. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Richard, I’m not cheating as I said in my post I’ve only been able to locate results back to 1994 in statewide contests (it’s all they have on the Sec. of State’s site). Where are you pulling the numbers you’ve cited for 1990 and 1992?

    But even with 24,611… that’s still less than 50% of the way to ballot access.

  28. Richard Winger Says:

    Ever since I was in high school in 1960, I have been sending away for election returns from all states, so I have a collection. Also I have collected such returns all the way back to 1870, for all federal office and all statewide state office, for all states.

    But anyone near a good library could see Post World War-II results for all states for Governor and congress by finding the volumes of “America Votes” (a book is published after each election), or other reference works that go back even further, such as Congressional Quarterly’s “Guide to US Elections” or Mike Dubin’s wonderful reference book “US Congressional Elections 1788-1997” (which has everyone who ever ran for congress, and that person’s vote and percentage of the vote). Everyone who is interested in minor parties ought to own that book.

  29. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Ah, I remember now how I used to thumb through “America Votes” when I was in High School… I think my main focus of interest then was in Presidential primaries or something of the sort. Anyway,

    Our local library system is a bit weak, but I would suspect the University would at least have all of the books you referenced… so I will certainly have a look. Thanks.

    (There isn’t anywhere online for data like that, is there? I frequent Dave Leip’s site, but that’s largely Presidential… and the various SoS sites are wildly uneven when it comes to trying to find anything older than 2000.)

  30. Mike Grimes Says:

    I usually vote for Democrat or Republicans for Soil Water board

    In 1998 I voted for current US Senator, then candidate for Governor Norm Coleman

    In 2000 I voted for Al Gore

    In 2002 I voted for Rick Kahn (best known for his speech at Paul Wellstones “memorial”)

    In 2004 I voted for Minnesota Secratary of State Mary Kiffmeyer.

    It should be fun to see who earns my vote this time around.

  31. Nancy Hanks Says:

    Austin - glad to see you are running! Nonpartisan races are very good ground for innovation. Good luck with your campaign. I (and many of my readers) enjoy your Third Party Watch - a serious and refreshing look at politics. Keep up the great work!

  32. Stuart Richards Says:

    You kick their asses real good-like, Austin. Good luck!

  33. Mike Indiana Says:

    I love Third Party Watch it’s one of the first sites I check when I log on. but I was wondering is there a reason that I’m unable to access your campaign web site I’d love to take a look at it but I’m either redirected to or taken to a page that says opening soon am I to understand that the site isn’t up yet. In any case good luck with the campaign.

  34. Austin Cassidy Says:


    Yep… the site isn’t up yet as I haven’t officially filed paperwork or opened a campaign account. It’ll probably be another 3 weeks or so until all of that happens.

  35. Atlee Yarrow Says:

    Darcy Richardson,

    I have been trying to contact you on a much needed title for your new book. Give me a call when you receive this post.

    I made contact with Greg at the national office and Richard at B.A.N. and both said I needed to call you. I did try but your line is busy.

    Atlee Yarrow, Candidate for Governor of Florida 2006

  36. Third Party Watch » Blog Archive » Well, I’m Off And Running… Says:

    [...] Not a third party campaign… but just a quick little update for anyone who might be interested. Last week I officially qualified for a place on the ballot as a candidate for Duval County Soil and Water Conservation Board. [...]

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