Libertarian Petition Signers And Candidates Harassed By Operatives

Brandon Bentrim Family


HARRISBURG, PA, August 11, 2022 – In an attempt to scare Libertarian candidates off the ballot, operatives for the major parties have harassed both petition signers and candidates themselves. One Pennsylvanian woman who signed a petition for a Libertarian candidate was called by an operative, shown a photo of her signature, asked why she would sign, and told someone may go to jail.

“After feeling harassed…I told him I would sign anything that would unseat Fitzpatrick, that we didn’t even want him on the ticket, [he’s] unfit for the job,” the woman said, whose name she did not want disclosed. “This call shows exactly the corruption I’m talking about.”

The candidate whose petition was signed is Caroline Avery, running for the 1st Congressional District currently filled by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. To make the ballot, Pennsylvania election law required Avery to collect 2,338 signatures. She collected a total of over 4,800.

“So many people are unhappy with the job Fitzpatrick is doing in Washington, but no one should suffer these kind of intimidation tactics,” Avery said. “Pennsylvanians of the 1st Congressional District deserve a representative who respects their rights and liberties. I call on Mr. Fitzpatrick to denounce these tactics and apologize to his constituents. I will be a representative that fights for their freedom and knows I work for them.”

Another Libertarian candidate, Brandon Bentrim, was approached multiple times by an operative at his home where his wife and children live, seemingly in an attempt to pressure and intimidate him off the ballot. Brandon is running for Pennsylvania’s 6th Senatorial District, which resides within the 1st Congressional District.

“Despite the already uneven playing field, our candidates and those that help them still have to suffer harassment from the other parties,” Bentrim said. “The Pennsylvania Constitution states that ‘all elections shall be free and equal.’ It’s time for Pennsylvania election law to reflect that. The people of the 6th Senatorial District deserve to have their voices heard and more choices come November. I will not stop fighting for those voices.”

Article I, Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states that “All elections shall be free and equal,” yet the two major parties maintain several obvious advantages over any third party or independent challengers. Republican and Democrat candidates are required to collect fewer signatures to appear on the ballot, have primaries subsidized by taxpayers, and are placed on the ballot earlier in the year, thereby allowing them to campaign sooner.


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