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Thursday, October 24, 2013
RICHMOND — End the war on drugs and legalize marijuana.
Make college more affordable.
Keep government out of the private lives of its citizens.
Reject establishment politics.
These kinds of positions typically go over well on college campuses.
On Wednesday evening, Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate for governor, got his chance to try them out at the University of Richmond.
But the college students of today have also been forced to marry their dreams to the 21st century reality of escalating student debt and an ultracompetitive job market.
So it was no surprise that Sarvis, who is polling around 10 percent, drew fewer than four dozen spectators, compared with the crowd of nearly 500 who turned out two weeks earlier to hear major party candidates Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli make their pitches for votes.
“Virginia voters want something different,” Sarvis told the audience during a 30-minute question-and-answer session with political science professor Dan Palazzolo as part of the speakers series presented by the Richmond Scholars Program.
“The Republican and Democratic parties haven’t been serving the public interest very well,” he added.
“I am the moderate in the race and I intend to govern from the middle. Both the parties have good ideas. They also have a lot of bad ones.”
Looking and sounding at times more like a well-dressed graduate student than a sound bite-synched politician, the 32-year-old Sarvis answered a series of questions on topics ranging from how to improve the job market for new college graduates to balancing civil liberties with national security to health care and social issues.
All came back to his theme of “freedom, economic and personal freedom. Freedom under the rule of law.”
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