Larry Sharpe, a little-known candidate on the libertarian fringe who has been energetically campaigning against Governor Andrew Cuomo and polling between 3% and 4% of likely voters, has a peculiar history of waging hapless campaigns that split the Republican voter base to benefit Democrats.
During the 2016 presidential election, Sharpe aspired to be Gary Johnson‘s running mate on the Libertarian Party ticket, which waged as an unapologetically anti-Donald Trump message and was funded by donors aligned with Hillary Clinton.
This year, Sharpe is playing the same role at the gubernatorial level.
Sharpe has been campaigning as a truer, further rightward alternative to the more centrist Republican nominee Marc Molinaro, in an orchestrated effort to diffuse the opposition vote and help re-elect Cuomo in a year when he is vulnerable and would be certain to lose a head-to-head contest.
Observers worry that many activists are being duped by the electioneering scheme.
Sharpe is said to be a puppet of former Governor Bill Weld, of Massachusetts. A fierce advocate of gun control, Weld defeated Sharpe for the 2016 Libertarian vice-presidential nomination. Weld is an outspoken Trump critic who intends to run for president in 2020.
To accomplish their goal of undermining Trump’s reelection, the Libertarian Party and Weld need to increase ballot access in as many states as possible. In New York, a party earns a ballot line for four years if their gubernatorial nominee attracts at least 50,000 votes.
“Larry Sharpe’s motive is purely to create this ballot line and to give Weld easier access in 2020 to assist the Libertarian quest to defeat President Trump,” explains one party insider.
“Sharpe is brilliantly executing a plan to mislead conservative voters. The presence of a Libertarian ballot line in New York would displace the Conservative line, possibly resulting in the loss of ballot access for the party,” explains the Republican official.
Although Sharpe has raised less than $450,000, he lists more than $150,000 in unitemized disclosures, which has been raising eyebrows among operatives and election law attorneys. They note that the basis of former Senator George Maziarz‘s prosecution and resignation was for the same offense with fewer dollars.
One Republican claims that GOP headquarters has evidence that Democrat operatives close to the Governor have been “actively orchestrating” the flow of those unitemized monies to Sharpe. The campaign has been spending heavily on paid social media operatives.
Sharpe identifies himself as an “entrepreneur and business consultant.”
Perhaps most curious is Sharpe’s support of a markedly left-leaning agenda that he disguises with conservative buzzwords and a brash anti-establishment tone. He supports legalizing drugs and creating heroin injection sites; wants to vastly expand the pardoning of criminals; and has taken a hostile posture with law enforcement.
While Sharpe has never taken a vote on any Second Amendment issue, he has made gun rights the centerpiece of his campaign. Operatives say that his motivation is simple: he is using the issue to leverage all of the organizing that has been done in recent years to secure 50,000 votes and with it a ballot line.
The question that begs an answer is WHY? Why spend time effort and money defeating someone that could never win in the first place. Lets go over this again. Lets pretend its a 2 way race, WHERE IS MOLINARO GOING TO PICK UP THE 500,000 (490k+ actually) TO WIN. What this article really says is Sharpe is enough of a threat to be noticed
Agreed. This writer did a very poor job of reporting. Which makes me believe they see Sharpe as the threat to the Republican Party in New York State. Maybe they need to run better candidates. Neither Coumo or Molinaro want to debate Larry Sharpe. Hmm wonder why. Because Larry has solutions to cutting government in NY. Molinaro wants to keep state government growing.
And who is this writer? Funny this article is accredited to no one!
This article is complete speculation and uses loaded — and slanderous — words to try to make its readers believe that Larry Sharpe is a Democratic stooge.
Larry Sharpe, and other Libertarians, are folks who believe in the principles of freedom and are running to promote these principles.
Heard the same said of Molinaro.
This is completely false! Interesting isn’t it that Larry Sharpe has 30k more followers then Molinaro and google trends is covered with Larry and not Molinaro? Stop spreading lies! Did you get paid to do this article? What a joke.
You guys are terrific fertilizer salesmen!! It won’t grow any crops, but it is a big stinky pile of bull. #YellowJournalism
Actually you just described Dog S%@t. It stinks and doesn’t help grow anything.
Who is Mark Marinara? My news feed is nothing but Sharpe. I think I have seen a few marinara/ Julia signs around. Is that who’s running on the elephant line?
What trash. Can’t name a single source? That’s what happens when you make the whole thing up.
This is utter nonsense! Have you ever met and listened to Larry Sharpe? I have, six times now. I’m a registered Republican and have seen how “great” the Republicans have been for NY. That’s why I’m voting for Larry Sharpe. Did the Molinaro campaign pay for this crap piece?
#fakenews I’m disappointed in the chronicle. Shame shame shame.
Buffalo Chronicle, I’m surprised that you would allow such lies and heresay to be published! This is complete fabrications and harassment. I would fact check before publishing opinion pieces that could get you in legal trouble for defamation of character.
That is what this piece is: an opinion not based on actual integrity, researched journalism or fact based!
Republican Party is upset they are getting overthrown by a 3rd party and Republicans are flocking to someone that actually is making a difference and showing up!
Democrats want real change and want corruption out of office and are also moving to a 3rd party candidate!
Larry Sharpe instills hope, transparency and real change that NYers want and need!
Molinaro stands no chance in the state of New York, everyone in New York knows this. Sharpe is the only chance we have and the only canidate who has shown at all to care about upstate and the economic drain Cuomo has caused. Molinaro is more of a moderate then a republican and refuses to do anything about the Safe Act that has been a proven failure at stopping gun crime, especially here in Syracuse. Sharpe has said he will repeal the Safe Act. The only person that could be a “Cuomo Operative” in this situation is Molinaro himself and he needs to drop from the race if he at all cares about NY. That is the only way we will defeat Cuomo, Sharpe is already beating Molinaro in all of the Polls I’ve seen that are at all trustworthy.
#fakenews and will be reported as such. Where do you losers come up with this garabage, try some real journalism for once. Don’t think your deceitful ness in this election will go unnoticed we are documenting the Larry’s sharpe campaign in its entirety including those of you who’ve sold out to the statists and your attempt to manipulate this election, which is a felony btw. Thanks for showing your true colors.
This could be one of the dumbest attempts at political writing I’ve ever read. Stop being so ferociously un-American. John Adams feared the two party system. Yet here you are, fear mongering to attempt to turn your crappy page into clickbait. Embarrassing.
Please take down this article. The photo contains my storefront and I do not want to be associated with this libelous drivel. You did obtain permission for this photo nor my permission to use my store front for it. Please take this down or I will have my attorney contact you.
Not even an author?
“Said to be a puppet?” by whom? The author?
“Little known?” Maybe to you. He’s been running this campaign since the early spring. He is probably the most well-recognized libertarian in NYS.
“Libertarian fringe?” Hardly. Larry is mainstream libertarian.
Wow! The blatant false claims in this article are slander… the lack of evidence, author or sources is in agreement with this assessment. As a representative of the campaign I can assure you we will not allow this one to slip by peacefully.
This is flat out slander and conspiracy theories with zero substance. I’m forwarding this to the campaign and they can deal with you.
The buffalo Chronicle is fish wrap. This article has all of the merit and truth of the national Enquirer. Who wrote this crap?
Anyone who has met Larry Sharpe knows this is complete bullshit! I hope you get sued for slander.
Whoever wrote this piece of fiction, should be HEAVILY SUED, for those slanderous remarks, to OVERTHROW our NY state election!
Wow! This is probably one of the most fantastic pieces of fiction ive ever read, i o2n alot of fantasy novels. Larry Sharpe is the most anti cuomo candidate of them all and has been shirked by the mainstream media and now here you are making bold faced lies about the man! I hope you get sued for making yhese false accusations and trying to align him with emperor Cuomo!
Took a page right out of the Ol’ Demican / Republocrat misinformation playbook. LOL How come there is no author credited? That’s of course rhetorical, it’s because there are absolute falsehoods written in the article. Not much of a try, Republocrats, that’s all you guys got?
The writer is statist scum and needs to learn how to report
This is a very ambiguous attempt by the N.Y. GOP to smear a candidate they are threanted by. This hit piece is garbage. Its a disgrace. Not one source was cited for information. The Democrats dont need help beat the Red Team. They were going to beat them regardless. The Republicans know they are in trouble and will be 3rd place. This is an act of desperation.
Libertarian candidate Larry Sharpe is the only one taking votes away from Cuomo. Virtually No Democrat votes Red!!
Democrats for Larry Sharpe!
Republicans for Larry Sharpe
Sharpe gets bipartisan support….he doesn’t split votes, he earns them.
Stop believing the lies of the republicans that are saying Larry is “stealing” from them. The last Republican challenger for Governor of New York had more support than Molinaro does now, and STILL LOST. Marc is dead in the water. And if you watched their theatrics in the pre-recorded debate on tuesday, it was all about whether Red or blue was more corrupt. Not about hope, not about how to improve education, not about bringing jobs back to the State, nor even how to improve infrastructure. You wonder why the largest bloc of eligible voters did not turn out ? Because they are TIRED of corruption and mudslinging !
LARRY plans to END that corruption ! THIS IS YOUR SHOT. Take it or sit on the sidelines like armchair quarterbacks do, while corruption gets worse. LARRY earned my vote. #SharpeHollister2018
FULL Interview with Libertarian Candidate for NYS Governor Larry Sharpe. How does he plan to save New York from economic collapse? Watch him explain his policies and outlook on New York in this 1hr exclusive interview on the #SimpleAnswersPodcast. Make sure to share this all over social media and VOTE November 6th for a New New York
Is Sharpe also responsible for Molinaro running a terrible campaign?
I think I met the guy who wrote this .He was sitting behind us at Cornell University when we went to hear Larry Sharpe speak. The kid was “asking questions” that are the exact lies in this article. I think Larry told him to “vote republican” 😂😂
I think it is funny that news organizations call 3rd party candidates “little known” as they actively omit them from polls and keep them out of debates.
Start watching at 59:55 I’m pretty sure I found the butthurt author of this p.o.s editorial .
Yep.. Rocco.. who writes. I bet he wrote this.. he has been full of this conspiracy theory for awhile.
A lesson here: How to turn a 2% candidate into a 25% candidate. I’d vote for the evil trouble making interloper if I only could. Makes me wonder how far into the Cuomo pocket this so-called journalist has fallen. Hard times for churnalists, will say for pay.
What a BS article. Shameful “reporting”.
Who writes this crap? Surely not someone who values freedom and liberty.
Who is the piece of shit reporter who put my sons face on their website… you will be getting a call from my lawyer
Mike Madigan……why not any accreditation for this piece, like you’ve done on all your others?
Would like to know who the Coward is that dared to write this trash. What is he or she getting in exchange for this smear article that isn’t even well-written? Pieces like this are why the Media has such a bad name. If you live in Buffalo, I recommend you boycott this paper and get the news out about what you are doing and WHY.
REAL EYES .. REALIZE ..REAL LIES…… that’s all
thought I was reading the Onion… then stopped laughing –
glad the comments recognized it was written by a desperate NY GOP…
which just gave Larry Sharpe a boost.
Lol When did Cuomo have time to write this?
Funny, Sharpe joined the race a year ago. Molinaro joined two months ago. Wonder why?
Wow. What a bullshit article.
What a joke! If your worried just vote Sharpe and spoil is evil scheme by making him governor lol
The democrats are paying everyone to get votes, or steal votes from Republicans, this is not surprising at all. When you New Yorkers lose all your guns and right to hunt and protect yourself, you’ll find yourself in deep Doo Doo! In the meantime I’ll keep taking Hilary’s and wiping my Obama!