While this year has seen a large crop of presidential candidates flooding into New Hampshire, one presidential hopeful doesn’t have to go too far to meet local voters: Max Abramson, a two-term state representative from Seabrook, has announced he would seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for the White House in 2020.
In 2016, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, running with former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, received just over 4 percent of the vote in New Hampshire on the Libertarian Party’s ticket. Seem like a small share? Recall that Hillary Clinton edged out Donald Trump in the state by less than 3,000 votes in that election.
This time around, Weld is challenging Trump in the GOP primary, and Libertarians, due to a poor showing in the last New Hampshire gubernatorial race, will have to petition to get on the 2020 general election ballot. The party’s nominee, who will be chosen at the national convention next year, must gather 3,000 signatures and pay a fee to have their name on the state’s general election ballot.
Abramson isn’t sweating it: In addition to his New Hampshire roots, he’s the only elected official who’s expressed interest in the race. He ran as a Republican in his successful bid for state representative in 2014 before switching to Libertarian in the 2016 gubernatorial race, where he finished third with 4.3 percent of the vote. He ran as a Republican in his 2018 state representative race before flipping back to the Libertarian Party in June 2019.
Abramson said he has always been a “small-L Republican,” but officially switched parties again because he disagreed with certain policies within the Republican Party.
“I campaigned on getting things down to the local level and handling problems at the local level,” he said in an interview earlier this week. “I don’t see that the current leadership in the Republican Party is supporting that goal.”
The 43-year-old has been convicted of reckless conduct, a felony, in 2012 for firing a handgun at his home in 2010, according to Seacoast Online. Abramson said he is seeking to have the conviction expunged.