Raleigh, Wednesday, 21 Apr 2021—Long-time Wake County Libertarian Party (“WakeLP”) treasurer Brad Hessel has resigned, the Committee to Elect Brad Hessel (CEBH) announced today.
First elected in March 2013, Hessel is the longest-serving treasurer in WakeLP history. During his stint, the party increased their fundraising yield six out of eight years, overall progressing from negligible to noticeable in Wake County politics:
“I appreciate that relatively speaking $20 thousand dollars is still peanuts in Wake County,” Hessel commented. “The Wake Democrats raised $267k and the Republicans $377k in 2020. But there are 30 times more registered Republicans in Wake County than registered Libertarians…and they only outraised us by 18 times. And there are 46 times more Democrats than Libertarians…and they only outraised us 13:1. We are punching well above our weight class, financially speaking.”
WakeLP have grown in other respects, too, during Hessel’s tenure. The party contested none of the 16 North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) seats allocated to Wake County in 2012 or 2014. In 2016, they ran seven NCGA candidates, then 14 in 2018 and 13 in 2020. And despite the party not running anyone in three of the 16 districts, the collective votes for Libertarian NCGA candidates in Wake County in 2020 set a new all-time high record.
“Would it have been a lot more interesting if we had $50 or $100 thousand in our warchest for an election? Sure!” commented WakeLP Chair David Ulmer. “But carefully managed, $20k is enough for us to ensure all our candidates have decent head shots, professional-looking websites, business cards, name tags and templates to print door-hangers and yard signs using their own funds. With enough left over for us to run an active social media campaign, a couple of modest media buys, a mailer, and the best-designed voter guide of any party in 2020 for our volunteers to hand out at voting sites. It’s enough to get us on the map.”
Hessel himself was a candidate for the NC Senate in 2016 and 2018, garnering more votes than the difference between his establishment party opponents in one race and falling just 14 votes short of that mark in the other. Asked about his future electoral plans, he stated, ”There are more than enough libertarian-minded voters in Wake County to hold the balance of power in any close election. I do expect to run for public office again, but have no firm plans for 2022. WakeLP have contracted with my consulting company, Intelledgement, to help with management and delivery of their candidate services, so that is likely to be my priority for the next cycle, at least.”
Former assistant treasurer Steve Prins was appointed to finish Hessel’s term and has announced he is running to be elected for a full term as WakeLP treasurer. “Replacing Brad won’t be easy, but if I am elected, I want to focus on growing not just the dollars but also the number of donors.”
CEBH is a candidate committee registered with the state of North Carolina. For more information, visit electbradhessel.org.
For more information about WakeLP—also registered with the state of North Carolina but as a party committee—visit wakelp.org.
Intelledgement, LLC is a knowledge management consulting company based in Raleigh; for more info visit intelledgement.com.
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