|Chairperson||Rufus Holt Craig, Jr.|
|Ideology||Libertarianism; Austrian School; Non-aggression principle; Classical liberalism|
|National affiliation||Libertarian Party (United States)|
|Colors||a shade of Blue; Yellow|
The Libertarian Party of Louisiana (LPL) is the Louisiana affiliate of the Libertarian Party. The state chairman is Rufus Holt Craig, Jr. It is the third largest party in Louisiana and one of five officially recognized parties in the state. The LPL has two legislative accomplishments to its credit, one a friendlier ballot access law passed in 2004, and the other, a defeat of a bill which would have redefined any party under 40,000 registered voters as a "minor" party and not deserving of federal primary elections.  The party is currently organizing individual parishes with their own party committees and is fielding candidates in state and local elections.
- 1 Membership
- 2 Party organization
- 3 Ballot access
- 4 Party primaries
- 5 Past candidates
- 6 State platform
- 7 Party success
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Party membership as of 2017 is 14,414 registered Libertarians in the State of Louisiana  up from January 2012, which was 4,813 registered voters statewide. Party membership continues to increase since official recognition increased knowledge about libertarianism and by those seeking an alternative to older parties presently in power.
To become a member of the Libertarian Party in Louisiana, one simply need register as "Libertarian" on their voter registration form by circling "LBT", or ask their Parish Registrar of Voters to change their party affiliation to "Libertarian." This can now be accomplished online at the Louisiana Secretary of State's website: GeauxVote.com
Those registered Libertarians who also pay annual dues, are automatically registered for the State Convention, can seek party office, and can vote at the convention on party business. The party currently offers the following annual memberships: $25 – Sustaining, $50 – Bronze, $100 – Silver, $250 – Gold, $500 – Liberty, $1000 – Pelican. 
Although the lofty goal of increasing its registration to 40,000 by December 31, 2011 was not met, gains are being made and the task looks more achievable in time for the 2020 Presidential cycle. If the party is successful in doing so, the State of Louisiana will hold a Presidential Preference primary for the Libertarian Party according to State law. (LA RS 18:1280.21.A)  Achieving this goal would also head off future attempts at relegating the LPL to "minor party" status as was attempted in the Spring 2009 legislative session.
The Party is organizing on the parish level as required by state law similar to that used by the larger Democrat and Republican parties. This consists of a Parish Executive Committee (PEC) made up of a number of members that equal those on the parish's governing body. (police jury or parish council) If at-large positions are not already available on the governing body, then each parish can have up to two such positions. From among themselves, the Committee selects a Parish Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Officer, Elections Officer, and Campus Officer. These officers are chosen every four years by caucus of party members in the parish. (state run elections will be used if the party has more than 5% of the registered voters in the state, which is approximately 144,000 voters as of June 2012.)
The PEC's are the primary organizational unit of the LPL and are responsible for membership, fund raising, electioneering and public outreach within their parish. They are also responsible for implementing and overseeing the Government Liaison program of the LPL. In addition, only organized parishes control the selection of delegates to the Libertarian National Convention.
As of May 2015, there are 19 organized parish affiliates listed by order of registered Libertarians.
1. Orleans 1,302
2. E.Baton Rouge 1,245
3. Jefferson 1,167
4. St. Tammany 992
5. Lafayette 823
6. Caddo 607
7. Calcasieu 470
8. Livingston 431
9. Ascension 380
10. Bossier 301
11. Ouachita 288
12. Tangipahoa 271
13. Rapides 264
14. Terrebone 223
15. Lafourche 189
16. St. Charles 158
17. St. Bernard 133
18. St. Landry 100
19. Plaquemines 71
The LPL is governed by a State Central Committee which serves as the Party's Board of Directors. This committee is chosen every four years at a State Convention. Its members include: Party Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and five At-Large Representatives. (larger parties in Louisiana must elect State Central Committees based on State House districts) The five At-Large Representatives serve as chairs of each of the five Supporting Party Committees – Finance, Registration, Elections, Economic Development, & Media Relations. The five At-Large Representatives and the Vice-Chairman serve as the Strategic Planning Committee. In addition to the Executive and At-Large officers, organized parishes hold a seat on the State Central Committee.
The LPL is one of five officially recognized parties in Louisiana and as such its members are designated by "LBT" on voter registration cards rather than "other", and its candidates have "Libertarian" printed next to their names on the ballot. Being a recognized party, only filing fees dictated by statute are required to be placed on the ballot; petition signatures are not needed. (though one can always opt to turn in signatures in lieu of filing fees)
Louisiana has one of the most liberal ballot access laws in the nation, due in no small part to efforts by the LPL in 2004. The LPL approached independent members of the state legislature and urged them to support legislation that would formally recognize additional parties and distinguish their candidates on the ballot from other parties and from independents. The measure passed and currently a party can choose two methods of recognition: method A) register 1,000 voters, pay a $1,000 fee, and register with the La. Secretary of State; or B) achieve at least 5% of the total votes in any statewide election. To retain ballot access, a party must maintain at least 1,000 registrants and field a statewide candidate at least once every four years if choosing option A, or repeat the 5% or better vote total if qualifying by method B. The LPL chose method A and has both maintained that status and fielded statewide candidates every year since.
Due to problems arising from Hurricane Gustav closing state offices during the 2008 qualifying period and other issues, the LPL did not meet the filing deadline to place Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Bob Barr on the ballot for November. State law at the time, allowed for a 72-hour "grace period" where a national party could secure a ballot line for their candidate, where the state party had failed to do so. The LNC filed their paperwork within 72 hours of the state party missing the deadline, but the Secretary of State, Jay Dardenne refused to add Barr's name to the ballot. Litigation commenced with the first round in U.S. District court going to the LP, however, the Judge agreed to a two-day stay of his order to reprint the ballots pending appeal by the State. Dardenne won the next two rounds at both the fifth circuit and the US Supreme court and so Barr did not appear on the 2008 Louisiana ballot. Notably, neither the Fifth Circuit Appeals Court, nor the Supreme Court addressed the issue of a Secretary of State or a Governor altering the deadlines for qualifying set by the Legislature as a violation of Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution in rendering their decision. Instead, both courts focused on the issue that the LPL failed on its own accord to meet the filing deadline, (which was never disputed) and they both used the circular logic that the State's act of printing the incorrect ballots precipitated a hardship for the State to have to reprint them and that overseas, military, and absentee voters would be needlessly "confused" by receiving a second ballot. Both courts also failed to acknowledge findings from the District court that the State had received the LNC (national party) filing before the "proof" copy of the ballot was returned from the printer for final approval, and that the state could have printed the ballots correctly without this confusion or hardship. 
While Louisiana has experimented with closed party primaries in the past, at present, there is no such system. There are Open Primary Elections where all candidates, regardless of how many from each party, are placed on the ballot for each office. This means there can be any number of people from any party, officially recognized or not, as well as independents all vying for the same office. If there is no clear winner after the primary (a majority is needed for single seat offices) then the two candidates receiving the most votes compete alone in the "General Election" which essentially is a runoff election, usually held one month later.
The only closed party "primary" in Louisiana is the Presidential Preference Primary which essentially is a non-binding straw-vote of party member preference for their nominee for President. It is not a true primary for any office in the traditional sense as losers may still end up the nominee, and winners may not. As noted above, at this time, the Libertarian Party of Louisiana does not yet qualify for such a primary.
A record of previous LPL candidates and their votes can be found on LPedia.org.
The state party platform is geared towards state issues, or national issues where state government has some influence or jurisdiction. Issues that are national or international in scope and can or should only be addressed by Congress, the President, or the Supreme Court are not allowed in the state platform.
The platform consists of two parts, General Principle Planks and specific Policy Issue Planks.
The General Principles fit under the three headings of the Louisiana State Motto "Union, Justice, Confidence" and should act as guides in formulating policies on specific issues.
- Louisiana is a sovereign State jealous of its territories and powers and zealously guards them. We have a reciprocal responsibility to our fellow States to bind the national government with the chains of the Federal Constitution. We pledge in this union, assistance to protect all from Invasion from without and to maintain republican government in our own territory.
There are no Policy Issue planks adopted in the Platform at this time. Specific current policy initiatives are currently the purview of the State Central Committee.
The Libertarian Party of Louisiana has had some success in elections. In the 2006 election for Louisiana's 6th Congressional District, Libertarian candidate Richard Fontanesi received just over 17% of the total vote or 19,648 votes. Though he received only 10.5% of the vote, Rufus Holt Craig Jr. currently holds the title of most votes in District 6 with the 32,200 he garnered in November 2012. These were very strong showings for candidates who raised comparatively little money. The largest percentage in a US House race is 24.87% received by Randall Lord in the 4th District in November 2012. He also holds the record for largest vote total in a US House race with 61,586 votes. In 2006 S.B.A. Zaitoon received 11% of the vote in a special election for Insurance Commissioner, garnering 60,182 votes, this is the most for any Louisiana Libertarian candidate in a Statewide race in both percentage and total votes received.
In November 2012, Electors for Gary Johnson for President received 17,975 votes – about 0.92% statewide, which is more than double the number of votes received by Electors for Ed Clark in 1980, and nearly double what Electors for Ron Paul received in 2008.
For State Legislative races, the most votes received was 3,995 by Richard Fontenesi in his 2007 bid for the State Senate, and the largest percentage was 21.9% garnered by William David Chance in his 2011 bid for State House.
In 2012, the LPL achieved its first electoral victories when Randall Todd Hayes filed for the office of Alderman for the Village of Atlanta and Michael Riffe filed for the office of Alderman for the Village os Sykes, both in Winn Parish. For each office, three were to be elected. In Atlanta, only three candidates files, and in Sykes, only two candidates filed, thus all are deemed "elected" and will take office on January 1, 2013. Mr. Riffe is an incumbent who recently switched his affiliation to the Libertarian Party.
In 2009, the party was instrumental in defeating Louisiana HB 776, which would have caused Reform, Green and Libertarian Congressional candidates to appear only on the general election ballot no matter how many there were of each, and without the benefit of a party primary. This issue has been rendered moot since the repeal of party primaries to took effect after the November 2010 general election.
- "MID-2017 VOTER REGISTRATION TOTALS". Ballot Access News. Retrieved December 2, 2017.