Libertarian David Patterson makes pitch to GOP, calls for end to marijuana prohibition

09/26/2014 02:38 PM

David Patterson, the Libertarian candidate running for U.S. Senate, has just $5,000 in his campaign coffers and a plea to voters to compare his stance on the issues with Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s record.

In August, Patterson, a 43-year-old Harrodsburg police officer, filed his paperwork after collecting 5,000 voter signatures and $500 to enter what some say may be the most expensive U.S. Senate race in American history.

Pundits estimate candidates and outside groups will pour nearly $100 million into the state before it’s all said and done.

Speaking outside the old state Capitol in downtown Frankfort, Patterson questioned his own ability to break through the noise and get noticed.

“If I had more money it would be a whole lot easier to make myself more known,” he said. “… As it stands now, yes I think I do have an opportunity to win. I don’t know probability versus possibility — I think that’s a whole other issue.

“I think that 40 percent of Kentuckians will vote the issues — will vote the candidate.”

Once a registered Republican, Patterson said he could not support Mitt Romney’s presidential bid in 2012, and his search for a candidate led him to former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and the Libertarian Party.

Patterson brings in 7 to 8 percent of the vote in recent polls, which show his inclusion in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race appears to draw support from both Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and McConnell.

“All the votes that are potentially there. They don’t belong to anybody. They belong to whomever is going to cast the vote,” Patterson said. “I guess I have a tendency to think of it as otherwise would have voted for.”

With the unlikelihood of tea party support for Grimes, Patterson pleaded his case to potential GOP voters who might otherwise vote for McConnell.

“If it’s me or Senator McConnell, please look at the issues. Look where I stand and look at what he’s done,” he said.

Carrying a pistol on his hip, Patterson said he is a believer in the Constitution and an advocate of the Second Amendment.

“Second Amendment is huge with me. I believe that if you want to put a gun on your hip and you want to walk through society armed you should be able to offer that protection for yourself,” Patterson said.

Identifying himself on his campaign website as an “outspoken activist for equal rights for minorities and LGBT persons,” Patterson said the debate over gay marriage is really about human rights.

“To me it’s not really a matter of gay rights — it’s a matter of human rights, civil rights. … If two people are in love, let them be in love,” he said.

As a sworn officer of the law, Patterson is asked to enforce laws that go against his personal philosophies, such as the Libertarian philosophy which “states that if an individual wants to put something in their body, then they can put it in their body as long as they’re not hurting someone else.”

“People look at marijuana as this horrible thing. … Marijuana is not this horrible drug it is a plant,” Patterson said. “If somebody wants to smoke marijuana in their own home, why shouldn’t they be able to?”

He added: “I understand I am an arm of the government. … I have a duty to uphold the law. However, we have what’s called officer discretion. In that instance if it was a person use type situation … I would take that marijuana from them book it in for destruction.”

Patterson said that is something he has done in his police experience.

“I’ve never had any flack over it,” he said.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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