On the Road: Libertarian Presidential Debate

Originally published on Independent Political Report on Saturday November 11, 2023

On November 11, the South Carolina Libertarian Party held their 2023 State Convention to elect new officers and select delegates to the 2024 Libertarian Party National Convention.  Following the convention, a debate was held between six candidates seeking their nomination next May in Washington DC.

The candidates present in the debate were (as placed left to right at the podiums) Jacob Hornberger, Lars Mapstead, Chase Oliver, Michael Recktenwald, Joshua Smith and Mike ter Maat.

The debate was moderated by Antony Davies and James Harrigan, the hosts of the Words & Numbers podcast.

IPR was present to cover the debate, and was able to get sit-down interviews with each of the candidates during the day.  These interviews totalled nearly three hours of discussion, covering questions selected by the author and included some submitted by our readers.

While the interviews will take time tomorrow to prepare for publication, the debate was live streamed by the SCLP and is available for viewing on their official channel located here:


In this author’s opinion, the debate was civil for the most part, however it did look slightly like a Republican debate at one point, with candidates speaking over each other a bit and challenging each other on the validity of their message and ability to win the nomination.  The moderators sliced, diced and washed some of them down the drain on the issue of Social Security, and as one audience member said afterward, it all depends on who recovers from it.  But overall, they all made good presentations of their message.  Some of the same  questions were covered in the IPR interviews, where we will give you the opportunity to read their responses made without the required short limits of the broadcast medium.

Although there were a few minor audio issues, the production quality of the debate was far more professional and organized than many others in the past, and in this author’s opinion is clearly worth watching to help delegates and the general public form (or solidify) their opinion of the candidates.  I do have my personal opinion of how the candidates did, but that will be reserved for post-interview analysis after the interviews are published over the next few days.

The timing of interviews prevented any observation of the actual convention, although it appeared to be well organized and civil.  South Carolina is not a recommended convention to watch if you want to see political food fights.  Details on the convention will be reported later by another person in attendance.


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