Our Interview with Arin Sime, a Libertarian Candidate for Virginia State Senate

Third Party Watch: What first inspired you to become a member of the Libertarian Party?

Arin Sime: I watched the LP throughout much of the 1990’s, but I wasn’t quite ready to join. In 2000, I was rooting for Alan Keyes in the Republican Primary because I really liked his positions on fiscal issues and he seemed much more intelligent than the other candidates. When it was clear to me that the Republicans were going to nominate one of their least principled candidates, I decided I had enough. Not too long after getting a nice raise when I changed jobs, I realized how much more I was paying in taxes. I got really upset about that because I had worked very hard to earn that new job. About the same time I happened to see the Libertarian Party convention on C-SPAN. I decided it was time I go ahead and join a party that I actually believed in.


Third Party Watch: When did you decide that you wanted to seek public office?

Arin Sime: In January of 2006 our local libertarian group started planning my campaign, and we went public with the campaign in April 2006, on Tax Day. So I will have been campaigning for over a year and a half when Election Day comes along.


Third Party Watch: How much money have you raised thus far? How does that compare with your opposition’s fundraising?

Arin Sime: We’ve got about $11,000 to spend exclusively on direct mail, radio, and TV ads in the next month. We’ve already spent a lot of money to get our yard signs (large and small), outreach letters to people across the district, brochures, thousands of Sime balloons in parades, door hangers, etc. So we have everything we need and the rest all goes into advertising at this point. We will have at least twice as much as the Democrat it appears (unless he is able to do a big push at the end), but the Republican incumbent has about $90,000 in the bank.

So as is often the case, the incumbent has a large fundraising advantage.



Third Party Watch: Your campaign has produced some of the nicest looking materials that I’ve seen in recent history. How important is it to project a professional image in terms of signs, t-shirts, literature, and other items?

Arin Sime: It’s incredibly important, especially when you are a third party candidate or a relative unknown. We’ve had a graphic designer do almost all our materials, and we go through pretty extensive peer review within our campaign team on everything we do. People are naturally suspicious of the unknown, and most libertarian candidates are still an unknown to voters. So we felt it was crucial that we present a very good first impression. In order to get people to break out of their normal voting patterns, it was also crucial to convince them that we are a serious campaign. To do that, I have to make sure we present an image at least as professional as my opposition, if not more so.


Third Party Watch: You’ve been campaigning at a lot of parades, fairs, and other local events. How has the general response been when you tell voters you’re running as a Libertarian?

Arin Sime: Very good. I’ve been impressed and pleasantly surprised with how many people are open to candidates who are not Democrats or Republicans. I think that there is a lot of disgruntlement with the two big parties nationwide, and that is trickling down to my race to some degree. When I talk to people, I first introduce myself and talk with them about the issues. I also ask them what issues they are concerned about, and then I try to address their issues with a libertarian solution. At that point, people usually ask what political party I am. That’s the point where I talk to them about the Libertarian Party, and they are generally pretty open to it at that point because I have already made a personal connection with them and hopefully made a positive impression that I care about the same issues they do.



Third Party Watch: How much money do you think you’ll need to raise between now and the election to give you the resources to win?

Arin Sime: To match the incumbent I suppose I would need about $80,000, although I don’t expect him to spend his entire treasury. We’ll already be sending mailings to over half of the most likely voters in the district with the funds we have. If we could raise another $15,000 in the next two weeks, then we would be able to reach all of the most likely voters with a direct mail postcard. We could also spend more on radio and television ads so that we hopefully reach all the voters.


Third Party Watch: You have a lot of volunteers helping you out. How much help have you received from the state and national LP?

Arin Sime: My campaign staff is made up of local Libertarian Party members like Jim Lark, Lindsey Burke, and John Munchmeyer, who have been great and worked very hard for my campaign. Our volunteers have been a mix of LP members and libertarian leaning people who have just met me on the campaign trail and want to help. We’ve had excellent volunteer help - without them we could not have made the strong impression we have at so many parades and county fairs over the last two summers. I have not received any direct funds from the national or state LP, but many people who are active in the state and national LP have either donated to my campaign as individuals, provided invaluable advice, or helped out at various events.


Third Party Watch: If some of our readers are interested in helping you out—where should donations be sent to? What is the maximum legal contribution size?

Arin Sime: Donations can be made online at ArinSime.com. We’ll actually get their donation faster if they mail a check to the campaign however. Checks can be made out to “Friends of Arin Sime”, and should be mailed to:

Friends of Arin Sime
PO Box 367
Crozet, VA 22932

There are no campaign contribution limits in Virginia, so you are welcome to donate as much as you can. Donations can be from individuals or coporations. However, I have made a campaign promise not to take contributions from corporate PAC’s. I would greatly appreciate all donations, and I encourage anyone interested to donate right away. We are buying our ad time now and the sooner you send a check, the sooner we can put it to great use spreading the message of liberty!



Third Party Watch: Finally, short of a complete victory what other goals do you have for this campaign as far as education and outreach are concerned?

Arin Sime: Winning is certainly a goal for this campaign. While I am certainly the underdog in this race, I do think there is a reasonable possibility of victory. Since we are already doing a tremondous amount to reach out to voters, the results will all depend on voter turnout and how hard my opponents work, items which are largely out of my control. My goal has simply been to present a professional and respectable image for the Libertarian Party, and to bring our message of small government to a part of Virginia that has never had a Libertarian candidate for state office before. Given the positive feedback I have received from many people in this district, I am confident we are accomplishing that goal.


Third Party Watch: Thanks for talking with us. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Arin Sime: I’d simply like to thank those many libertarians who have reached out to my campaign with offers to help. I hope they know how much I truly appreciate their kind words and their support. For those who live in Virginia or nearby, we are looking for more help at the polls on Election Day, and if anyone is interested in helping out they can contact me at [email protected]. Please keep an eye on my campaign website at ArinSime.com - we’ll be posting the campaign TV commercial there shortly, and you can also keep up with our very busy schedule of candidate forums!

6 Responses to “Our Interview with Arin Sime, a Libertarian Candidate for Virginia State Senate”

  1. Arin Sime Says:

    One thing I should have been more clear about: I am the first Libertarian candidate for General Assembly in this district that I am aware of. However, we did have candidates for Governor (Bill Redpath) and Lt. Governor (Gary Reams) in 2001, and I was proud to work with both of those campaigns.

  2. Old Republic Federalism Says:

    Nice work, Arin. I hope you win!

  3. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Arin.

    You’re doing a great job representing your party as a serious candidate for public office. Best of luck to you!

  4. unnamed Says:

    is the lphq going to help out with the campaign or not?

  5. Derrick Says:

    It’s not really the job of LP HQ to help with individual campaigns. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

  6. Third Party Watch » Blog Archive » Local Newspaper Endorses Sime for Senate Says:

    [...] Our Interview with Arin Sime [...]

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