Atlanta activist Chase Oliver selected as Libertarian Party presidential nominee

Chase Oliver, 2024 Libertarian presidential candidate, speaks at the Des Moines Register political soapbox during the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, US, on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. Republican presidential hopefuls last week crowded into Des Moi

The Libertarian Party nominated Atlanta activist Chase Oliver for president on Sunday, beating out former President Trump and independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Trump was deemed ineligible for the nomination by the Libertarian chair, and Kennedy was eliminated in the first round of voting after receiving only 19 votes.

Oliver won with more than 60% of the vote after seven rounds of voting, according to FOX News.

Third parties have rarely been competitive in U.S. presidential elections, and the Libertarian candidate four years ago won 1% of the vote. However, the party’s decision is gaining more attention this year due to the rematch between former President Donald Trump and Democratic President Joe Biden, which could hinge again on small vote margins in a handful of contested states.

The Libertarian Party was formed in 1971 and prioritizes small government and individual freedoms, with a mix of policy positions that could be seen as liberal, conservative, or neither. It typically garners around 3% of the national vote and has few elected officials.

Oliver, 38, describes himself as "armed and gay" and says he discovered the Libertarian Party in 2020 while at the Atlanta Pride Festival, according to Politico. He is more aligned with the traditionalist faction of the Libertarian Party—the Classical Liberal Caucus—than the hard-line Mises Caucus.

According to Oliver's campaign website, he wants to make major cuts to the federal budget with an eye toward balancing the budget, abolish the death penalty, close all overseas military bases, and end military support to Israel and Ukraine.

Oliver, born in Nashville, Tennessee, claims he has already made campaign stops in all 50 states and has 500 volunteers. He plans to target young voters angry about the Israel-Hamas war on college campuses, Twitch, and TikTok.

Oliver is currently the CEO of the Libertarian Party of Metro Atlanta. He has been a vocal critic of the new Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.

Oliver, who worked in the restaurant business prior to politics, has previously run for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House. He received approximately 2% of the vote (about 80,000 votes) during his 2022 Senate bid, which forced a runoff between incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

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In 2020, he earned about 2% of the vote when he was a congressional candidate in the state's 5th district.

Political positions:

  • Oliver is reportedly pro-choice, although he is opposed to taxpayer funding of abortions.
  • Oliver is a supporter of gun rights.
  • Oliver supports legalizing marijuana and ending the war on drugs.
  • Oliver supports ending qualified immunity for law enforcement at the federal level.
  • Oliver supports an Ellis Island-style immigration system, saying if immigrants are coming here to work and be peaceful, it is not his business.
  • Oliver wants to abolish the U.S. Department of Education and advocates for more choice in the education marketplace.
  • Oliver supports removing regulatory barriers that prevent people and organizations from feeding homeless people.
  • Oliver is a strong supporter of ranked-choice voting, which he says would have prevented the runoff in the 2022 U.S. Senate election in Georgia.

His running mate is a former Florida police officer named Mike ter Maat.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.