CELORON – Larry Sharpe, Libertarian candidate for governor of New York, knows he’s an underdog, but says he’s an underdog with a real shot to oust incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“The reality of it is we only need 30 percent to win. This is going to be a five-way race,” Sharpe told WNYNewsNow in an exclusive interview Tuesday evening. “His majesty, King Andrew will run. The Republican sacrificial lamb, who’ll lose, will run. The Communist Howie Hawkins will run, either Stephanie Minor or Cynthia Nixon will run and me. In New York you only need a plurality.”
“The people who actually know who I am, I poll at about 25 percent, so if I just get my name out there I’m five points from victory. This is a winnable race. I win on social media, I win on events, I’ll win on debates,” Sharpe said.
He said, ultimately, voters don’t want to know your policy as much as they want to know you have solid answers.
“My plan is to let people know who I am and what I stand for because people don’t care actually in the long run about my views and ideas. They care about one thing, do I have actual solutions for their problems and the answer is yes,” he said.
Sharpe addressed voters at the Celoron Herman Kent Post American Legion 777, Tuesday evening. He introduced himself and then had a spirited open dialogue with those in attendance, answering questions, offering solutions and urging voters to not settle for the same old thing this election.
Sharpe said a growing number of Republicans are looking for an alternative because they feel the GOP has lost touch with its traditional stands.
“What you are finding is many Republicans are realizing that the Republican Party right now is not as conservative as they want it to be,” he said. “They don’t feel like it represents real traditional Republican values. When they look at that, they say ‘wait a minute. The Libertarian Party will let me be as conservative as I want to be, they will let me be I want to be in my own county.”
Sharpe said a Libertarian victory this fall would actually benefit the Republicans and Democrats because it will push them back to the parties they once were.
“Two things will happen. Number one, those people who are already liberty minded, those who are in the Republican and Democratic Party will come over, the Libertarian Party itself will grow because there are people who think the way we think who think you can’t win so why bother running. When we win, they will come over,” he said.
“The second thing that will happen, both Democrats and Republicans will have almost a renaissance because they’ve been stuck in this thugocracy of just we’re number one, we’re number two, just stay there and keep our power and once that’s broken up you’ll find Republicans will become better Republicans. They will care more about small government, they will care more about small business, they will care more about our tax base, they will care more about those things,” Sharpe said. “And the Democrats will care more about civil liberties. You will find better Democrats and Republicans once I win.”
When asked why people don’t step up to make a difference, Sharpe said people think it no longer matters.
“They don’t because it doesn’t matter. Seventy percent of New Yorkers don’t because they know it doesn’t matter anymore. I’m here to tell you it can matter. Third party, Libertarian party, Larry Sharpe 2018, it can matter,” he said.
WNYNewsNow Multimedia Journalist Justin Gould contributed to this report.
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