On October 6th, 1972 - forty years ago today - the NJ Libertarian Party was started. A party constitution was adapted and Bob Steiner was elected the first state Chairperson. Peter Cooper was elected Vice-Chairperson, Joe Salerno was elected Treasurer, Denise Cooper was elected as Recording Secretary, and Lydia Longinotti was elected as Executive Secretary.
Dues were set at $7.50 per year which included a subscription to the PREMISE Newsletter. The first newsletter was produced in November of 1972. The party adopted the Libersign (arrow angling upward) and TANSTAAFL slogan (There ain't no such thing as a free lunch) over an outline of the state of NJ as the party's emblem.
Our first convention was held in February of 1973, during which John Goodson was nominated as our first candidate for NJ Governor.
This is an invitation to join us, not to sacrifice yourself to some so-called "higher purpose", but to increase your own liberty and happiness. Hop aboard the only freedom train which is still running in the United States - the Libertarian Party.
- Robert Steiner, First Chair of the NJ Libertarian Party
Libertarian Party Dates in History
7/17/1971 The Committee to Form the Libertarian Party was organized by David Nolan and four friends
12/11/1971 The committee meets in the home of David Nolan to officially form the Libertarian Party
6/1972 The first convention is held in Denver. Hospers and Nathan nominated for President (they got a total of 89 votes in NJ!)
10/6/1972 The NJ Libertarian Party is formed. Robert Steiner is the first chair.
11/1972 The first issue of the NJLP newsletter, "The Premise" is published with Lydia Longinotti as the editor.
2/24/1973 The first NJLP Convention is held. (This makes my claim of our past convention being the 40th incorrect!). John A. Goodson is nominated to be our first Gubernatorial candidate. Bob Steiner is reelected Chair. At the convention, Chair Bob Steiner warns against nominating candidates who are not libertarians as this would compromise the principles of the NJLP.
11/1997, Dick Randolph is elected as a libertarian to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was re-elected in 1980. He was instrumental in the repeal of the state income tax and saving the Alaska Permanent Fund, through effective use of the initiative process. He was also the LP's Alaska gubernatorial nominee in 1982, garnering nearly 15 percent of the vote.
12/29/1981, the first widely reported successful election in the continental United States of a Libertarian Party candidate in a partisan race occurred as Richard P. Siano, a Boeing 707 pilot for Trans World Airlines, running against both a Republican and a Democrat, was elected to the office of Kingwood Township Committeeman in western Hunterdon County, New Jersey. His election resulted from the special election held on December 29, 1981 to break a tie vote in the general election between him and the Democratic candidate. He received 63% of the votes cast in the special election. He served a three-year term of office.