Former Libertarian Legislative Nominee Plays Key Role in Ongoing New Hampshire Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Steve Vaillancourt is a Republican state legislator in New Hampshire who in 2000 was elected to the legislature solely as a Libertarian Party nominee. He has been in the national news this week. Two weeks ago, the New Hampshire legislature passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Governor John Lynch said he would only sign that bill if it were amended to provide extra protection for individuals who do not ever want to be forced to participate in anything involving same-sex marriage.

On May 20, the House rejected the Governor’s proposed amendments to the bill, by a two vote margin. Vaillancourt, who is gay, and who supports same-sex marriage, feels the Governor’s amendments are bad policy, and spoke on the House floor against the Governor’s amendments. See this story.

Vaillancourt became the Libertarian Party nominee in 2000. He had been a Democratic house member but he had run and lost the Democratic primary for State Senate in August. After he was defeated in that primary, he asked the Libertarian Party to nominate him for his House seat. The party was permitted to do that because in 2000 it was permitted to nominate by convention for any partisan office in the state. It had that legal ability because it had completed a petition (requiring signatures equal to 3% of the last gubernatorial vote). That petition effort was so difficult, the Libertarian Party has never since completed it, but it paid off for the party in November 2000 when Vaillancourt was re-elected, even though he was only listed on the ballot as a Libertarian. Later Vaillancourt switched his affiliation to the Republican Party.

The only instances at which the Libertarian Party has ever elected a state legislator who was not also running as the nominee of a major party were this instance in New Hampshire in 2000, plus instances in Alaska in 1978, 1980 and 1984.


Former Libertarian Legislative Nominee Plays Key Role in Ongoing New Hampshire Same-Sex Marriage Bill — No Comments

  1. Hmmm. The arguments he used against the amendment don’t sound very libertarian. I suppose with the party switch he became more of a plain old liberal.

  2. Is Steve a “Republican” legislator? Are you absolutely sure about that??

    In a Gay website from 2008, they listed him solely as a “Libertarian,” state legislator.

    I had Steve on my radio show last year, and he demurred about his political affiliation, saying that he was a “Libertarian,” but that the State Party did not recognize him as such.

    I had numerous conversations with the NH LP Chair Brandon Kelley, while I was up there last summer, about the Vaillencourt situation. He told me that the State LP thought he was “too radical,” and “too much of a liability.”

    Tomosso confirmed as much.

    So, I think we have a case actually, of a guy who is an elected Libertarian, who identifies himself as such, but that the Libertarian Party does not wish to recognize as an elected member of the Party.

  3. BTW, Steve will tell you straight out, if asked, that he considers himself to be 99% “Libertarian.”

    The one and only issue he says he disagrees with the national Libertarian Party on, is bans on smoking at restaurants and bars.

  4. One other note Winger, there were indications back in 2007, that Vaillancourt “switched back” to the Libertarian Party. I remember reading reports about this in the NH media. But the National Libertarian Party HQ overlooked them.

    Irony of all ironies, that the Libertarian Party would consider a sitting State Legislator as “too radical,” to be affiliated with the Party.

    Especially when you consider that his 3,000 some constituents in his West Manchester district, consider him just fine to represent them in the disginguished NH House.

  5. I think I posted a link from the state website that clearly shows he’s registered as an (R). He runs as an (R) because the LPNH is irrelevant…

    As for what he calls himself it doesn’t matter.

    He is known as a liberal.

    And if you could actually spell Tomasso, I might actually take you seriously.

  6. Yes. The others were Dick Randolph (who won as a Libertarian in both 1978 and 1980) and Ken Fanning, who won in 1980. In 1981 Fanning was gerrymandered out of his district, and Randolph gave up his seat to run for Governor.

  7. Down with supporters of affirmative action! Down with supporters of the Bill of Rights!

  8. Vaillancount has been mentioned on the website of the Catholic League For Religious And Civil Rights because of his bill. It gives another viewpoint to the bill.

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