On April 24, the Libertarian Party of Rhode Island met at Italian Corner Deli Market in East Providence for its annual convention.
Twenty-three eligible voting members were in attendance, well surpassing the ten members required by the party’s bylaws to constitute a quorum.
Chair Billy Hunt provided opening remarks, looked back at his first year in office, and spoke about how to advance the libertarian cause in Rhode Island.
“In this state especially, no one is going to come and ask the libertarian opinion. We need people to step up and take responsibility for ourselves and to help us advance our cause in this state. I want people who want to be involved. And if somebody wants to run for office, I want them to come and say “I want to run for office as a libertarian.” I think that means something. And I think that means something to everyone in this room, otherwise they wouldn’t be here.” said Hunt.
Hunt also talked about the party’s goal for the next year and said he wants to be able to celebrate LPRI receiving recognition from the state as an official political party before the next convention.
Vice-chair Mike Rinaldi, Treasurer Beth Richardson, Secretary Katherine Revello, and Member At-Large Shawn Mizener also presented reports related to their positions. Both Richardson and Rinaldi, whose positions were up for election, announced their intention not to seek another term.
The voting portion of the convention began with calls for candidates for public office planning to run as libertarians during the 2022 elections. Joel Hellmann, who is running for governor, sought and secured the party’s nomination for his
Party members also voted to endorse Joel Hellmann, who is running for governor. Hellmann said he believes he can get the party the 5 percent it needs to win party status. The motion to award Hellmann the party’s endorsement was unanimously approved by voice vote.
The party also voted to award Mike Fleury its endorsement. Fleury is running for Ward 5 of the Warwick City Council.
A pending Region 8 agreement, which was on the convention agenda, was tabled following a motion from the membership. The Executive Committee voted on April 25 to accept the agreement.
Billy Hunt, Elijah Gizarelli, and Pat Ford were also elected to serve as LPRI delegates to the Libertarian National Convention.
The party put out a call for amendments to its bylaws, but none were offered from the floor.
Elections for Executive Committee concluded the party’s business for the day.
Shawn Mizener was elected to a two-year term as LPRI Vice-Chair. Larry Davis was elected to serve a two-year term as Treasurer. Jesse Tolppa was elected to serve a one-year term as Member At-Large.