Obama Donor Funded Libertarian in Virginia Governor's Race

Tuesday, 05 Nov 2013 02:52 PM

By Melanie Batley

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A major Democratic Party campaign donor and top bundler for President Barack Obama's campaign funded a push to secure Virginia Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis a place on Tuesday's ballot.

Campaign finance records show that Texas software billionaire Joe Liemandt was a major benefactor to the Libertarian Booster PAC, donating $150,000. The group gave the largest independent contribution to Sarvis' campaign with $11,454 in in-kind donations, $10,000 of which helped pay for professional petition circulators to collect enough signatures for Sarvis to appear on the ballot, The Blaze reports.

The revelation raises questions about whether Sarvis was recruited to split the Republican vote, drawing support away from Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to boost Democrat Terry McAuliffe's candidacy.

Liemandt was one of Obama's top finance bundlers and was invited to a state dinner honoring British Prime Minister David Cameron, according to The Blaze. His company, Trilogy, has also donated heavily to both libertarian groups and a number of Democratic organizations.

A Newsmax/ Zogby poll released Tuesday showed McAuliffe as the solid frontrunner in the race for governor, leading Cuccinelli 43 percent to 31 percent. Sarvis meanwhile appears to be on target to reach the "magic 10 percent," or the level of support needed to ensure a Libertarian Party candidate a place on the statewide ballot for the next three years.

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