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This article concerns the Libertarian presidential candidate. For information on other people of the same name, see Edward Clark.


Ed Clark (born 1930) was the Libertarian candidate for President of the United States in the 1980 presidential election.

In 1978, Clark received some 377,960 votes, 5.5% of the popular vote, in a race for Governor of California.

Clark is an honors graduate of Tabor Academy, Dartmouth Collegemarker and received a law degree from Harvard Law Schoolmarker.

1980 Presidential campaign

In 1979 he won the Libertarian Party presidential nomination at the party's convention in Los Angeles, Californiamarker. He published a book on his programs, entitled "A New Beginning". The book's introduction was by Eugene McCarthy. During the campaign, Clark positioned himself as a peace candidate and tailored his appeal to liberals and progressives unhappy with the resumption of Selective Service registration and the arms race with the Soviet Unionmarker. When asked in a television interview to summarize libertarianism, Clark used the phrase "low-tax liberalism," causing some consternation among traditional libertarian theorists, most notably Murray Rothbard. A growing split within the Libertarian Party between a moderate faction (including Clark) and a radical faction led by Rothbard eventually came to a head in 1983, with the moderate faction walking out of the party convention.

Ed Clark's running mate in 1980 was David H. Koch of Koch Industries, who pledged part of his personal fortune to the campaign in exchange for the vice-presidential nomination.

Clark received 921,128 votes (1.06% of the total nationwide)[57738]; the highest number and percentage of popular votes a Libertarian Party candidate has ever received in a presidential race. His strongest support was in Alaskamarker, where he came in third place with 11.66% of the vote, finishing ahead of independent candidate John Anderson and receiving almost half as many votes as Jimmy Carter.


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