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Jack Hunter: Liberty Candidates on the Rise

In May, I wrote a column about Republican Congressional candidate Thomas Massie in Kentucky. Endorsed by both Ron and Rand Paul, I noted that a strict constitutionalist like Massie finding success in the GOP marked a significant departure from the big government Republicanism we’d become accustomed to under President George W. Bush. After already winning the Republican primary, most polls show Massie easily defeating his Democratic opponent in November, which would make him the next Congressman for Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District.

In June, I wrote a column about Republican Senate candidate Ted Cruz in Texas. Endorsed by both Ron and Rand Paul, I noted that a strict constitutionalist like Cruz finding success in the GOP was also indicative of a significant change happening in the Republican Party, similar to Massie’s example. Since that column, Cruz has found himself in a run-off with his establishment-backed Republican primary opponent David Dewhurst. As of this writing, one internal poll has Cruz at 49% and Dewhurst at 40%. Most polls also indicate that whichever Republican wins the primary will easily defeat their Democratic opponent, becoming the next U.S. Senator from Texas in November.

Both men are closer to being strict constitutionalists in their domestic and foreign policy positions than most Republican candidates I’ve seen in my lifetime. Both men are better on civil liberties issues—opposing indefinite detention, abolishing the TSA—in ways Republicans haven’t been since the Barry Goldwater era. This is not to say that Massie and Cruz are identical. It is to say that they are no longer alone in their constitutionalist similarities. It is to say that, finally, such serious liberty-minded candidates are no longer anomalies in the Republican Party.

In Missouri, there is Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Brunner. Brunner believes our government is far too big, wants to bring the troops home from Afghanistan and believes we can only go to war through a congressional declaration.

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