The Libertarian Party is proud to announce its nominee for District 4 is Lou Antonelli of Clarksville in Red River County, a small business owner with a long record of public service and community involvement. Antonelli pledges to run a full-fledged active campaign.
Antonelli says his goal running as a third party candidate is to inject original ideas into the discussion, and push for the Libertarian Party to become the second party in the district, displacing the Democrats.
“Can you imagine how much better our political system would be if the two major parties were the Republicans and Libertarians, instead of the Republicans and Democrats?” asked Antonelli. “Libertarians are the loyal opposition, as opposed to the Democrats, who are the disloyal opposition.”
Antonelli said Libertarians stand for hacking away strangling bureaucracy at all levels of government, and returning as much authority as possible to individuals. “Thanks to the COVID pandemic, we have all gotten a free trial of Socialism,” he said. “How do you like it?”
Lou and his wife Patricia own The Clarksville Times, founded in 1873, the oldest business in Red River County. He is the managing editor, and has been a community journalist for 40 years.
He has served in the past as an elected school trustee, a library trustee, an animal shelter board member, and a condemnation court judge. He is presently the President of the Clarksville Lions Club and the Clarksville Planning and Zoning Commission.
The Texas Supreme Court on Saturday, Sept. 5, rejected a Republican attempt to remove 44 Libertarians from the November ballot, according to the Texas Tribune.
Groups affiliated with both major parties have gone to court in recent weeks to remove from the ballot non-major-party candidates perceived to be a threat. In general, Libertarians are believed to peel votes away from Republicans, while the Green Party is thought to siphon votes from Democrats.
The GOP sued because the Libertarians didn't pay their filing fees. But the state Supreme Court said Republicans missed the deadline to kick them off the ballot.
Lou Antonelli, one of the candidates the Republicans sought to block – welcomed the decision.
"We need more diversity of the ballot, not less,” he said. “The two-party system has created polarization and an ‘us versus them’ mentality.”
He faces Republican Pat Fallon and Democrat Russell Foster in the Nov. 3 general election. Fallon was nominated by a district convention Aug. 8 following the resignation of the incumbent, John Ratcliffe, to take a federal appointment as director of national intelligence.
Antonelli has asked Republican nominee Pat Fallon to join him in a public forum or debate.
“I sent my request via Facebook, since I could not find a good email or mailing address for the candidate," said Antonelli. "I understand having no address on any of his social media pages, since he actually doesn't live in the district."
The letter sent by Mr. Antonelli reads as follows:
"Dear Mr. Fallon –
"As a candidate for the Texas 4th Congressional district, I’m sure you want to make every effort to inform the voters of Northeast Texas of where you stand and what you plan to do in office.
"So do I.
"As the Libertarian candidate for the seat, I’d like to ask if we can set up a debate or forum to meet and greet voters and answer their questions.
"I’m open to any location and I’m very flexible about the time; I’m a self-employed small business owner and my time is my own. I may be contacted at any time at my office in Clarksville.
"If you are amenable to this, I’d contact the other candidates – the Democrat as well as the declared write-in – and invite them to participate.
"Let’s take the high road in this election, and not take anything for granted. These are difficult times for our nation; the next Representative from this district will face many challenges. A forum is a good way to not only expound on one’s positions, but gather input from the people he will represent.
"I hope to hear from you soon.
"If Mr. Fallon declines, or doesn't reply, I suppose I'll just debate an empty chair with his cutout on it," said Antonelli
Facing a lack of transparency from his opponent, and with less than two months before the general election, Antonelli asks how Pat Fallon plans to represent a district he doesn’t live in.
Many of the prospective candidates who spoke at the Republican district convention in Sulphur Springs Aug. 8 referenced Fallon’s residency. Fallon lives in the Denton county portion of Prosper, an outer suburb of Dallas, which is just outside the 4th's boundaries.
Even Wikipedia, the largest and most popular general reference work on the World Wide Web, notes Fallon’s position: “Fallon's state senate district includes much of the eastern portion of the congressional district.”
However, regarding the 4th Congressional District, Wikipedia continues: “While candidates for the House are only required to live in the state they wish to represent, longstanding convention holds that they live either in or reasonably close to the district they wish to represent.”
The Libertarian Party candidate in the election, Antonelli said “A number of candidates who lost to Fallon in the district convention seem to feel his victory was due to arm-twisting by himself and Senator Ted Cruz, and they resent it and have told me so,”
“The residency requirement for the U.S. House is in the Constitution, so Fallon has done nothing illegal,” said Antonelli. “But Texas deserves congressional leaders who do better than just skirt the law.”
Antonelli issued a challenge Sept. 8 to Fallon to debate but to date has received no reply.
“If he showed up, perhaps he could address the subject of his candidacy,” said Antonelli.
Antonelli met with campaign supporters at the Two Senoritas restaurant in Mount Pleasant Thursday night, Sept. 10.
Afterwards he announced the appointment of three county campaign chairmen: Kate Prather for Franklin County, Garrett McGraw for Hopkins County and Madlen Krause for Camp County.