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For the first time in a decade, citizens in much of Western North Carolina will have the chance to vote for a Libertarian congressional candidate in the November General Election. 

Disillusionment with the two-party American political system has been around for a long time, but with a polarizing President in the White House and gerrymandered districts that tend to push major party candidates towards more extreme primary election positions, it’s rarely been higher.

“The fastest growing group in North Carolina is neither Democrat nor Republican, but it’s unaffiliated,” said Dr. Chris Cooper, a political science professor at Western Carolina University. “There’s actually more unaffiliated voters than Republicans in the state right now.”

After finishing the last pages of Libertarians On The Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books (Arcade Publishing, 2016, 259 pages), my first thought was: I am glad I am not a farmer.

A year in the making, Western Carolina University has sealed a deal with the Charles Koch Foundation for a $1.8 million gift to set up an economic research center on campus with a focus on economic development and free market ideas.

Few if any universities have made the Charles Koch Foundation jump quite so many hurdles before opening its wallet as Western Carolina University has.

It’s a great time to be a Libertarian, according to Brian Irving, the party’s North Carolina chairman.

A coup within the Haywood County Republican Party was set in motion this week by a group of precinct chairs who called for the ousting of the party’s chairwoman.


A takeover of the local party by a faction of conservative ideologues has been brewing for more than a year. The faction has increased its toehold in the party, eventually amassing enough seats on the executive committee to make an end-run for the chair’s seat.

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