Flight instructor Chris Rockhold was the overwhelming choice Saturday to represent the Libertarian Party in the April 11 special election to fill the 4th District House seat vacated by Mike Pompeo.
Rockhold defeated Gordon Bakken 17-3 on the first ballot at the Alford Branch Library in south Wichita. John Kostner did not receive any votes.
Prior to the vote, Rockhold — who ran in 2014 for a seat in the Washington state House of Representatives — told the small crowd that “a cancer” is afflicting the nation today and that cancer is statism.
An overwhelming majority of people he has spoken with, Rockhold said, have told him they want a third political party. The Libertarians are well-positioned to fill that role, he said.
As for why he won so handily on Saturday, the flight instructor for Flight Safety International said, “I think I was the best voice for representing what they believe in.”
As a third-party candidate, he said, “It will be a little bit of a struggle, but we’re ready to tackle it.”
Name recognition figures to be the most substantial obstacle he faces in the short run-up to the special election, Rockhold said. He will also work to get voters to focus on the issues, not party labels, he said.
“Where the Libertarians are” on the issues “will resonate with a lot of voters,” he said.
He will face Democrat James Thompson and Republican Ron Estes in the race.