As we prepare for the 2024 election year, the political climate in the United States is already deeply polarized along partisan battle lines. Candidates and parties are following the old playbook of demonizing the “other side” to motivate their base. This polarization drowns out common sense policy solutions that unite people across the partisan divide.

The Libertarian Policy Institute sees this polarization as an opportunity to lead in a direction not associated with any political party. Libertarians advocate for policies that are focused on individual liberties, limited government, and free markets. Sensible libertarian policy solutions like repealing regressive grocery taxes and expanding educational options are appealing to both conservatives and progressives, as they align with different aspects of each side's values.

Conservatives are drawn to libertarian policies on limited government and individual liberties, while progressives are drawn to libertarian policies on social freedoms and anti-authoritarianism. By focusing on policy rather than partisanship, libertarians can appeal to both sides without being associated with the stigma progressives and conservatives have for each other.

Policy is not partisan. 

Our policy champions create opportunities for dialogue and compromise between the two dominant parties, leadership which is sorely needed in the current political climate. By solving shared problems, libertarian policies can serve as a bridge for communication and progress.

We believe that the best way forward is to focus on policy solutions that solve the most pressing problems in our communities with cooperation instead of government regulation. We can meet voters where they are, feeling the pinch of high taxes, seeing their family members get sucked into the criminal justice system by prohibition, being denied educational options for their children. 

These voters are tired of hearing which party is responsible for the problems, they want to hear solutions that put more money in their pocket, set their loved ones free, and provide a quality education to their kids.

That’s where the Libertarian Policy Institute comes in. 

We believe that the libertarian policy direction can capture the attention of both conservatives and progressives, providing an option for the voiceless. Our approach is different from what others are doing, focusing on policy rather than partisanship. 

The Libertarian Policy Foundation, our sister organization, launched a nonpartisan candidate training program in 2023 called Amplify to teach prospective candidates and activists how to effectively run for office on a focused policy platform. Intensive in-person events have been held in four states around the country in the second half of 2023, with graduates prepared to take the next step in their communities in 2024.

The Libertarian Policy Institute's flagship program, "The Golden Spike," is effective at recruiting candidates to run for office in a target state, united around a trio of popular free market policy solutions that solve problems the entrenched incumbents can’t or won’t. We put an emphasis on districts where incumbents do not face any challengers or competitive opponents due to gerrymandering and other factors that make it non-competitive for challengers and safe for incumbents. By providing training, resources, and support to these Golden Spike candidates, the program helps to ensure that they are prepared to mount a successful campaign.

Running a candidate in these districts on a focused set of libertarian policy solutions creates an opening for debate and dialogue on policy issues that might not otherwise exist. By challenging an incumbent who is protected by the establishment of their political party, the Golden Spike candidate can force the incumbent to defend their policy positions and engage in a public debate on issues that might otherwise be ignored. This can create an opportunity for the Golden Spike candidate to have a meaningful impact on the policy debate, even if they do not win the election. 

Candidates focus on the top three libertarian solutions that are most popular in their state. This is effective for engaging entrenched incumbents on either side and pushing the Overton window in a libertarian direction. 

Since we launched the program In 2022, the Libertarian Policy Institute has recruited over 160 candidates in five states who went on to earn hundreds of thousands of votes and influenced statewide policy changes.

We are accelerating in 2024!

We are entering an election year where the country will be focused on a Presidential election that is shaping up to be a rematch of 2020. Many groups around the country will be focused on national and Federal politics, working their base and trying to demoralize the other side.  We’re going to do something different.

With your support, we will continue to train future state legislative candidates on how to run for office by focusing on popular libertarian solutions to problems the incumbent politicians can’t or won’t fix. This growing group of graduates forms a new generation of libertarian policy champions to be the candidates and activists for policy change at the state level, where we can have the most positive impact on people’s everyday lives.

We will be expanding the Golden Spike program to more states around the country, focusing on those where Amplify training events have already been held in 2023, as well as going back to states like Iowa and Arkansas to build on the success we had in 2022.

We believe that our innovative approach is a real path forward to bring our country together. We would love to have you be a part of our success. Your contribution can make a significant difference in our ability to achieve our goals.

Yours truly,


Nicholas Sarwark
Executive Director
Libertarian Policy Institute


Overview of LPI/LPF history from 2020-2022

During the six years that our founder, Nicholas Sarwark, was Chair of the Libertarian National Committee, he would often hear from people that they thought the Libertarian candidates had good policies, but they couldn’t vote for them because the candidate had a slim chance of winning their race. As he finished his final term in 2020, it was clear that an organization had to be built to advance practical, popular, real world policy solutions in a nonpartisan way, and the Libertarian Policy Institute was born.

In the first three years of operation, the Libertarian Policy Institute published dozens of articles proposing libertarian solutions to pressing public policy problems like the immigration crisis, higher education inflation, school safety, rising municipal taxes, and housing shortages, to name just a few.

Not only did we provide libertarian policy solutions, through our Golden Spike program, we partnered with senior advisors like Wes Benedict to recruit over 150 candidates to run for public office to bring competition to some of the least competitive states in the country. We focused our efforts in Alabama, Iowa, Arkansas, and New Hampshire in 2022, garnering media attention and forcing entrenched politicians to change their positions on our policy priorities.

In surveys asking candidates about their experience running for state legislature in the Golden Spike target states, the most common feedback is that the candidates wished that they had more training prior to running for office so they could have avoided some mistakes and made an even bigger impact. We took that feedback to our board and our donors and decided to solve that problem by creating the Libertarian Policy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit that provides education about our policy priorities and trains candidates from across the political spectrum to be libertarian policy champions in their communities.

Golden Spike Project

The Experience – The Golden Spike Project is focused on recruiting candidates to run for office in districts where incumbents do not face a contested election or have competitive opponents due to gerrymandering or other factors. With growing frustration from voters towards the status quo and no other way voters can express their preferences, there is a unique opportunity for independent candidates to make a significant impact. 

Recruitment Process – The Golden Spike Project recruits normal people to become candidates for office through a variety of channels, including social media outreach, direct contact with activists and volunteers, and targeted direct mail advertising. Candidates are vetted through an application process that includes a review of their background, experience, and commitment to libertarian principles and libertarian policy solutions. Once accepted into the Libertarian Policy Coalition, prospects will receive support and guidance from our Golden Spike Advisor. Prospects will be referred to training by the Libertarian Policy Foundation’s “Amplifyprogram, which provides them with the necessary tools to run a successful campaign.

Previous Results – 

  • Arkansas – 57 Candidates recruited in 2022 to run alongside our board chairman and candidate for Governor, Ricky Dale Harrington Jr., who holds the record for highest vote total in a statewide race by a Libertarian candidate. 
  • Alabama – 69 candidates were recruited in 2022 that boldly stood against incumbents protected by an establishment political machine that no other political group had the will to challenge. 
  • In 2023, the Golden Spike Project recruited 17 candidates in Mississippi, breaking a 100-year old record for independent candidates on the ballot for state legislature previously held by the Mississippi Socialist Party since 1923.

2024 Goals – 

  • Plant a Golden Spike in 8 new target states: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Utah and California.
  • Revisit previous Golden Spike States: Arkansas and Iowa.

Mississippi Golden Spike 

While there are no regular Federal elections held in 2023, four states around the country have legislative elections this year: Virginia, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Mississippi. After the success of our 2022 efforts to recruit candidates in targeted states, we evaluated the opportunities in all four states, meeting with aligned organizations and leaders in all of the states to identify where we could have the most impact. 

Analyzing the political makeup of each state, the policy issues each state faced, and the support infrastructure available, we made the choice to focus all of our candidate recruitment efforts in 2023 on Mississippi. Why Mississippi? In 2019, four out of every five seats in the Mississippi legislature had only one candidate in the general election, making it one of the least competitive states in the country. 

In Mississippi, we identified three policy priorities that had strong public support based on polling and conversations with on the ground activists in the state: expanding educational opportunities by making it easier to open public charter schools, repealing the highest in the nation seven percent tax on groceries, and legalizing cannabis for adults.

Working with Senior Advisor Wes Benedict and State Director Vicky Hanson, we sent out a direct mail letter to thousands of potential candidates asking them to run for legislature to advance our three policy priorities for Mississippi. Intensive follow up by phone, email, and text was necessary to get candidates filed within the one month filing period that ended on February 1, 2023. When the deadline came, we had recruited 12 candidates for state house and 5 candidates for state senate, breaking a century-old record for candidates from outside the entrenched parties.


Libertarian Policy Foundation 

founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

It’s a huge undertaking to create a new nonprofit organization, but our dedicated team swung into gear immediately after the 2022 elections were over to develop organizational documents, file the appropriate paperwork with the government, and received approval from the IRS to operate as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization in November of 2022.

The Libertarian Policy Foundation Board approved a plan to seek a nonprofit mailing permit to allow for more efficient outreach to supporters and prospects by mail and to develop a training program to prepare people to advocate for libertarian policies in their communities.

Creation of Amplify Training Program

The first order of business was to develop an intensive in-person training program with the assistance of an expert instructional designer that would develop real world advocacy and campaign skills beyond what was already available from more partisan training organizations. Those organizations do great work, but they tend to focus on maximizing partisan turnout and running with a focus on party and personality; to train candidates in bringing people together around policy solutions instead of dividing them based on partisan animosity, we had to start from scratch. 

Five months of collaboration

  • identifying performance goals;
  • developing interactive exercises; and
  • bringing in real world examples resulted in the Amplify training program. 

Amplify is an all-day, intensive course with

  • meals included;
  • instructors with extensive experience
  • networking opportunities
  • guest lecturers, including current and former officeholders


Training Libertarian Policy Champions for Change

Why “Amplify” - The goal of the Golden Spike Project is to provide an opportunity for Libertarian candidates to run for office and challenge the two establishment parties in districts where one establishment party is guaranteed to lose by a wide margin, and therefore they don’t bother contesting the race at all. This creates an excellent opportunity for independent candidates to challenge the incumbent one-on-one. However, in order to effectively challenge these incumbents and push the Overton window toward libertarian policy solutions, candidates must be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to advocate for their policies. 

The Experience -Amplify”, the Libertarian Policy Foundation's candidate training program, is designed to provide candidates and activists with the education and tools they need to become effective advocates for policy change in their state. Amplify consists of a rigorous training program that includes strategy and tactics sessions. Candidates will learn from experienced libertarian policy experts and top grassroots operatives on how to effectively operate their campaign from start to finish with training on how to properly advocate for their policies, communicate with the press and the public, raise funds to support their operations, recruit volunteers and conduct voter contact. The training will take place over a weekend, with social hours to allow candidates and activists to network and build relationships that will grow our movement for the long term.

Providing Opportunities To Get Involved - Once candidates and activists have completed the Amplify training, the Libertarian Policy Institute will ensure they have the opportunity to utilize their newly-acquired skills. We will follow up with candidates and activists to deploy them into immediate opportunities to push the needle towards freedom through our advocacy programs.

2023 Amplify Results:

  • Hosted 3 Amplify training programs in California, Massachusetts, and Mississippi to develop our Libertarian Policy Champions.
  • Trained at least 75 Libertarian Policy Champions equipping them with the skills they need to advance Libertarian Policy Solutions.

2023 Remaining Goals:

  • Host an additional Amplify training program in Indiana.
  • Host 1 Annual training event for top activists and national supporters.
  • Train at least 120 Libertarian Policy Champions on how to advance policy change.

2024 Amplify Goals:

  • Host an Amplify Training in at least 10 states in the first half of the year. 
  • Train at least 250 Libertarian Policy Champions with the skills to advance Libertarian Policy Solutions.


State Director Program Launched

We organized our State Chapters to bring volunteers and valuable, local projects together to form the heart of our movement. Each Chapter is focused on the issues the people of their state face in their real lives, bringing greater focus to the solutions that will work for them, while receiving support from and working in union with the national organization on issues important to liberty nationwide.

State Directors

Our State Directors are responsible for organizing local volunteers and projects of the Libertarian Policy Coalition in their respective states, and we are confident that they will bring energy, passion, and a deep commitment to the principles of individual freedom, limited government, and free markets to this important work.

Kevin Kahn - New Hampshire

Kevin is an entrepreneur owning and managing businesses engaged in international trade and service. In political activism, Kevin was previously the Political Director at the Libertarian Party of Ohio, a founding Board member of the Ohio Coalition to End Qualified Immunity and had served in various executive roles on the Hamilton County (OH) Libertarian Party. In the 2020 election cycle Kevin was the Libertarian Party candidate for US Congress in the OH-1 District where he obtained a top 5 result in both vote total and vote percentage compared to all Libertarian Congressional candidates in the US.

Cassaundra Fryman - Ohio

Cassaundra is currently serving her 1st term as Mayor of Plymouth, Ohio. She also serves as political director for the Libertarian Party of Ohio. Her work focuses on non-profit organizations that focus on private solutions to community problems. She has two sons and an incredibly supportive husband that encourages all of her ambitions.

Jeff Maurer - Indiana

Jeff is an entrepreneur, technology innovator, and community leader passionate about building a better tomorrow. His career spans tech, transportation, and budget and finance. He serves as a development officer for Students For Liberty, the largest global pro-liberty student organization which champions free markets and free speech around the world. Jeff was the 2022 Libertarian candidate for Indiana Secretary of State.

Laura Lane - Alabama

Laura has served as a County Chair and the State Chair of The Alabama Libertarian Party. In 2022, she ran for an Alabama Public Service Commission seat and achieved over 16% of the votes cast, placing as the highest achieving state-level candidate for the Libertarian party.  She has a background in Business Administration and over 20 years of career experience including Configuration Management and Policy Analysis in the aerospace industry for companies such as Boeing, Sea Launch, and Trident Data Systems. Laura's spouse serves in the US Army and retires next year with 29 years under his belt. They have been married for 15 years and have two Australian Shepherd dogs.

Vicky Hanson - Mississippi

Vicky has been involved in the liberty movement starting with the Ron Paul campaign in 2007. Her activism in Mississippi has included managing campaigns for public office, serving on the Libertarian Party of Mississippi’s executive committee, running for State Representative and project manager for Defend the Guard movement. She is a mother of 8 and grandmother to 4.

Eric Mulder - Colorado

Eric Mulder is a small business owner, US Army veteran, and political activist from Aurora, Colorado. He has previously served on the city of Aurora's Veterans Affairs Commission, as well as graduated from the Aurora Citizen's Academy and Leadership Aurora programs. Eric has been active in Colorado politics since 2016, and has testified before the Aurora City Council and Colorado State Legislature on matters of individual rights and zoning deregulation.

Jennifer Imhoff-Dousharm - Idaho

Jennifer has been a long-time advocate for accountability and transparency in government spending. She has degrees in Organizational Communication, Communication, and Psychology. Jennifer has been involved in the liberty movement since 2018 where she has volunteered with numerous organizations for liberty focused candidates, government and tax accountability, voter outreach, and digital privacy. Jennifer lives in Idaho with her family.