Austin Petersen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Austin Petersen
Austin Petersen at 2016 FreedomFest cropped.jpg
Petersen at FreedomFest, July 2016
Personal details
Born Austin Wade Petersen
(1981-02-19) February 19, 1981 (age 36)
Independence, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Republican (after 2017)
Other political
Libertarian (until 2017)
Residence Kansas City, Missouri
Alma mater Missouri State University
Occupation CEO of Stonegait LLC
Founder and Publisher of The Libertarian Republic
Known for Former 2016 Libertarian Party presidential candidate
2018 Missouri Senate candidate

Austin Wade Petersen (born February 19, 1981) is an American producer, writer, political activist, and commentator. He was the runner-up for the Libertarian Party's nomination for President of the United States in 2016, finishing second place to former governor Gary Johnson with 21% of the vote.

On July 4, 2017, Petersen announced that he would be running as a Republican in the 2018 Missouri Senate race.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Petersen was raised on a farm in Peculiar, Missouri, the son of Donna and John D. Petersen, he attended Missouri State University, where he graduated with a degree in musical theater.[2][3]


Early work[edit]

Petersen's early career included stints as a model and as a product demonstrator at FAO Schwarz; at the latter position, he briefly appeared during a Late Night with Conan O'Brien sketch filmed at the store.[2]

In 2008 Petersen worked for the Libertarian National Committee and the Atlas Network, assisting on the 2008 and 2012 presidential bids of former U.S. Representative from Texas, Ron Paul,[2] he was an associate producer at the Fox Business program Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano, which aired from 2010-2012, and later went to work as director of production at the libertarian advocacy group FreedomWorks.[2][3] Petersen has also been a frequent guest on the RT program The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann.[4]

Current activities[edit]

As of 2017, Petersen is the owner and CEO of a photo and video consulting firm called Stonegait LLC and is the founder of The Libertarian Republic and Liberty Viral - both libertarian news and commentary websites.

2016 presidential campaign[edit]

By 2015, Petersen was living in Kansas City, Missouri "behind a midtown QuikTrip" when he announced his candidacy in the 2016 Libertarian Party nominating convention for President of the United States.[2][5][6] Writing in the Los Angeles Times, he was described by Reason editor Matt Welch as "an eager libertarian dudebro on the make".[7]

Petersen called himself the "Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama" of the Libertarian Party due to his grassroots fundraising strategy.[8][9] After Ted Cruz terminated his campaign for the Republican Party's nomination for president, Petersen received the backing of Mary Matalin and Erick Erickson.[10][11] In many polls, he placed in the top three presidential choices for his party, along with opponents John McAfee and Gary Johnson, on May 29, 2016, at the Libertarian National Convention, Petersen lost the nomination to Johnson, getting second place on the second ballot.[12] Petersen congratulated Johnson on the win and gave him a replica of George Washington's pistol. Petersen then immediately began to criticize Johnson for his vice presidential pick William Weld, in response to which Johnson placed the replica into a garbage can. Petersen, thereafter, endorsed Johnson for president.[13][14][15]

2018 Senate campaign[edit]

In late June 2017, Petersen filed an exploratory committee to consider running for the 2018 U.S. Senate election in Missouri.[16] On July 4, 2017, Petersen announced his bid to run as a Republican in the 2018 Missouri Senate race.[17]

Political positions[edit]

Petersen has voiced and published his rejection of the non-aggression principle.[31][32][33][34] During his presidential campaign, he maintained the he had a "consistent pro-life ethic," meaning he is both pro-life and anti–death penalty,[6] he opposes the War on Drugs.[8] He is a non-interventionist on most matters of foreign policy and applies a free-market capitalist approach to economics; in the past, Petersen has expressed regard for the concept of open borders (while being against the welfare state).[35] He is an advocate for the Second Amendment and the right to freedom of association.

Personal life[edit]

On social media and in interviews, Petersen has described himself as an agnostic and an atheist.[36][37][38] He grew up as a Christian, though in a 2016 interview with Glenn Beck, Petersen spoke about how the death of his mother changed his religious views: "When I was a young man, my mother died; and she was victimized by a pharmacist who diluted her chemotherapy drugs. I lost my faith and I never went back."[39]

Petersen resides in Kansas City, Missouri.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Petersen, Austin (July 4, 2017). "Why I'm running as a Republican for U.S. Senate". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Montgomery, Rick (June 20, 2016). "Kansas Citian lost Libertarian Party race, but likely ran campaign of the future". Kansas City Star. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "Petersen at a glance:". Petersen for President. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Thom Hartmann Explodes at Libertarian over Life-Saving Healthcare". YouTube. January 25, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2017. 
  5. ^ Zeoli, Rich. "The Libertarian Candidate For President Wants Voters To Join A 'Generational Movement'". KYW-TV. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Rogers, Brooke (May 19, 2016). "Can Austin Petersen Unite Disenfranchsied Republicans?". National Review. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  7. ^ Welch, Matt. "Op-Ed Meet the libertarians — the #NeverTrump movement's last hope". Los Angeles Times. 
  8. ^ a b Watkins, Eli (June 22, 2016). "What is Libertarianism?". CNN. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  9. ^ Welch, Matt (May 28, 2016). "Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen Says He's the "Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama" of the Libertarian Party". Reason. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  10. ^ Nelson, Steven (May 4, 2016). "Libertarians Say 'Brave' Ted Cruz Should Endorse Them, Not Trump". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  11. ^ Doherty, Brian (May 25, 2016). "Austin Petersen Catches More Endorsements from the Media Right for His Presidential Campaign". Retrieved September 12, 2016. 
  12. ^ Libertarian Party National Convention (Live Video). Orlando, Florida: C-SPAN. May 29, 2016. Event occurs at 03:12:00. Retrieved May 29, 2016. 
  13. ^ Chakraborty, Barnini. "Libertarian nominee accepts rival's gift of Washington replica pistol – then trashes it". Fox News. Retrieved June 3, 2016. 
  14. ^ Chasmar, Jessica (June 2, 2016). "Gary Johnson tossed rival Austin Petersen’s gift of George Washington’s replica pistol in trash". Washington Times. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  15. ^ Weigel, David (August 7, 2016). "Is Libertarian Gary Johnson a factor in Clinton-Trump matchup?". Washington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  16. ^ Bentley, Robert (June 29, 2017). "Austin Petersen Forms Exploratory Committee For U.S. Senate". The Libertarian Vindicator. Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  17. ^ Gillespie, Nick; Keyser, Ian (July 4, 2017). "Exclusive: Libertarian Activist Austin Peterson Is Running for U.S. a Republican! [Reason Podcast]". Reason. Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Former Congressman Bob Barr Endorses Austin Petersen". Austin Petersen for US Senate. July 11, 2017. Retrieved July 11, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Sen. Eric Brakey on Twitter". Twitter. July 4, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Ron Coleman on Twitter". Twitter. July 5, 2017. Retrieved July 5, 2017. 
  21. ^ "B. Wayne Hughes Jr. on Twitter". Twitter. July 6, 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Dana Loesch on Twitter". Twitter. July 5, 2017. Retrieved August 8, 2017. 
  23. ^ "PROUD TO SUPPORT AUSTIN PETERSEN FOR SENATE". July 27, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Mark Pellegrino Endorses Austin Petersen for Senate". Austin Petersen for US Senate. July 20, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Dave Rubin Endorses Austin". Austin Petersen for US Senate. July 19, 2017. Retrieved July 21, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Ben Shapiro on Twitter". Twitter. August 29, 2017. Retrieved August 30, 2017. 
  27. ^ "LIVE: Ben Shapiro with Austin Petersen Exclusive". YouTube. September 6, 2017. Retrieved September 6, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Tom Woods on Twitter". Twitter. July 6, 2017. Retrieved August 8, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Kurt Schlichter on Twitter". Twitter. September 2, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017. 
  30. ^ >"Building St. Louis on Twitter". Twitter. September 4, 2017. Retrieved September 5, 2017. 
  31. ^ "The Austin Petersen NAP Debate Is A Dream, And It Will All Be Over Soon". December 31, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Austin Petersen's Case Against Libertarianism - Matthew Reece -". May 24, 2015. 
  33. ^ "6 Reasons Why the Non Aggression Principle is Stupid - The Libertarian Republic". September 29, 2015. 
  34. ^ Cook, Joshua (March 8, 2016). "Exclusive: LP Candidate Austin Petersen Responds to Colorado Debate Exclusion". 
  35. ^ "Libertarian Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen Redeems Himself on the 'Glenn Beck Program'". PJ Media. May 25, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2017. 
  36. ^ Doherty, Brian (May 11, 2016). "Austin Petersen, the Conservative's Libertarian Presidential Candidate?". Reason. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  37. ^ "Austin Petersen via The Libertarian Republic". Facebook. September 9, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2016. 
  38. ^ Petersen, Austin (May 8, 2016). "Sure. It's a distinction, but the intellectually honest answer is agnostic. Technically everyone is an atheist in some way.". Twitter. Retrieved August 18, 2016. 
  39. ^ Austin Petersen in studio on the Glenn Beck Show. YouTube. 2016. Event occurs at 24:16. Retrieved April 3, 2017. 

External links[edit]