Biloxi set to host Libertarian Presidential Debate

Biloxi set to host Libertarian Presidential Debate

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Democrat and Republican debates are held nearly every week, but those aren't the only parties involved in the race for the White House.

"There are more than just two sides to this argument," said Danny Bedwell, Chairman of the Libertarian Debate Committee.

Bedwell has helped organize and bring a Libertarian Presidential Debate to Biloxi Saturday night at the Beau Rivage. One of the candidates taking part, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, believes America needs another option in the election.

"I advocate for an open process. Let's get as many voices out there as possible," said Gov. Johnson.

Johnson was the Libertarian presidential nominee in 2012, and received just under 1 percent of the popular vote nationally. He says with the current political environment, it's the perfect time for a third party candidate to break through.

"When you take the Republican nominee who has to cater to 30 percent of the far right, and you take the Democratic nominee who has to cater to 30 percent of the far left, what you end up with the two major parties is a solid representation of 30 percent of the voting population," noted Johnson.

As for what makes the Libertarian Party different, Johnson says it comes down to the size of government.

"A philosophy that really is about smaller government, and it is about personal liberties and freedoms," said Johnson. "That's really the Libertarian perspective."

The debate Saturday night is designed to narrow the field of 11 candidates vying for the Libertarian nomination.

"We'll try to establish what we call top tier candidates," said Bedwell. "Those top tier candidates will go to the next debate in North Carolina. They will do the same, and by the time we get to the national convention which is in Orlando, Fla. in May, all of the delegates will have to chose between probably two candidates."

The debate is part of the Mississippi State Libertarian Convention, and starts at 7 p.m. in the Magnolia Ballroom. The public is invited to attend.

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