Founded: December 11, 1971 in Westminister, Colorado
Highest Office Won: County Supervisor
Current Party Ranking: 3rd largest of Six Qualified Parties in California
Current Voter Registration: 0.73% of California's voters (141,461 registered voters as of 2/10/2017)
The Libertarian Party was first founded in Westminister, Colorado in 1971. According to the Encyclopedia of Third Parties in the United States by Earl R. Kruschke, "Only four years after its establishment, the Libertarian Party had grown from a miniscule organization to what was essentially the third largest party in the United States." In 1978, Libertarian candidate Ed Clark received 5% of the vote in his race for Governor of California. A year later, the party received permanent ballot status with more than 80,000 voters.
The 1980 Presidential elections were the first for the party as a qualified political party in all 50 states, and it is interesting to note that although the Libertarians are not the largest "third party" in California, (currently at number 5 of 6), they are regularly of the most active in terms of candidates running for office. The Libertarians have significant membership in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Clara Counties, although the highest percentage of registered voters reside in Mono, Sierra, and Siskiyou counties. As of 2008, the most frequent Libertarian candidate is Ted Brown Jr., who has run for office fourteen times.