As candidates for statewide positions line up to be considered for the LPTexas nomination at its state convention in April 2018, it might be useful to consider the Party’s history of retaining ballot access through vote results. Though winning an election should always be the goal of anyone running for office, state convention delegates may also want to consider the likelihood that each candidate will be able to garner sufficient votes to retain ballot access for 2020 (see my recent blog).
As recently as 1966, small political parties in Texas could appear on the Texas ballot without restriction. A public rift in the Constitution Party that year, however, caused the Texas Legislature to require a 2% voting threshold for Governor to retain ballot access in subsequent elections. At that time, Texas Governor was on the ballot every two years, though a constitutional amendment passed in 1972 increased the term to four years.
In 1987, largely at the behest of the Libertarian Party, the Texas Legislature liberalized statute to include a 5% ballot-retention threshold for any statewide race, in addition to the 2% threshold for governor. This remains the law today.