Libertarian, Barry Hess, on his fifth campaign for Arizona governor—this time as a write-in candidate


Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

Barry Hess (L) write-in candidate for Arizona governor

Kye Graves, Reporter

With the Arizona primaries under four months away, five-time governor hopeful Barry Hess (L) feels Arizonans and Americans best interest lies in the Libertarian party.

Hess is used to running for political office.

In the last 22 years, he has run for President (2008), Senator (2000, 2018) and is now in his fifth run for Arizona governor.

“Arizonans haven’t won an election in at least 20 years,” Hess said.

“The Republicans may have won, the Democrats may have won, but the people lost all the way around.”

This time around however, Hess will be running as a write-in candidate.

“The signature requirement used to be the same percentage based upon the number of registrants in your party but  Republicans changed that because they didn’t want us on the ballot specifically,” Hess said. “They said we’re gonna add Independents, which is the largest group, to yours.”

What used to be a requirement of 300 signatures to get on the ballot has now ballooned to 3,500.

According to Hess, this is part of the reason why he continues to campaign. He believes that a true answer can be found in a third-party option or what Hess corrects as “America’s First Party.”

“What I offer is an alternative, someone who will stick to the constitution and basic principles,” Hess said. “I have a tremendous advantage. Because if we hire a Republican, half the state is gonna hate him. Or her. Nothing gettin’ done. Hire a Democrat, same scenario. But I’m in a different, privileged position. I can walk the aisle and pick good legislation for either side without fear of repudiation. I can actually give the people what they say they want.”

The alternative would have to come with compromises though. Hess’ ideologies are ones that may be difficult to swallow for some voters who usually stay within their party lines.

Some of his positions, whether it be anti-vax, anti-abortion, pro-immigration or against capital punishment, would be enough to steer many voters the other way. But Hess says he operates with “too much logic and too much reason”, something he also calls the “problem with Libertarians.”

What Hess ultimately wants however is a revamp of how government has “gone too far.”

“I like things simple; I like them clear. These guys all talk about different pieces of legislation to try and distract the public,” Hess said.

A real piece of important legislation for Hess deals with individual income taxes.

“If I get in, we’re gonna be moving toward eliminating all direct personal taxes. Income and property. Eliminating. There’s theft. There is no provision in the U.S. Constitution to allow such a thing,” Hess said. “Instead, I would be looking at a transaction tax that would max out no more than 9.9%. They would have to divvy it up between local, state, and feds. The feds getting the least of it, of course.”

But for clarification—The Sixteenth Amendment is that provision.

The Sixteenth Amendment provides, “that Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on income from whatever source is derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

Education is another area that Hess has wanted to see drastically improve.

“We have the same exact problem that we have in education that we had in 2002. Nothing has changed,” Hess said. “Even though we went through Janet Napolitano, the ‘education governor’. All she did was give money to the administrators.”

That problem is what Hess calls a “federal educational influence.” He believes that many other political figures are “more concerned with preserving the process of government education rather than the progress of the students.”

Without that influence, Hess thinks that schools in the valley would be better served in the hands of the state but ultimately believes that homeschooling may be the best option.

“We’ve seen the results from homeschooling. Phenomenal. They take virtually every scholastic and academic competition. It blows everybody out,” Hess said.

Still, opponents point to data that directly question Hess on his homeschooling advantage claims.

Hess is currently the only Libertarian candidate running for governor this election cycle and believes that his opponents will come down to Katie Hobbs (D) and Matt Salmon (R) despite Salmon polling poorer than both Kari Lake (R) and Karrin Taylor Robson (R).

“I think it’ll be Matt, the good ole’ boys want him. They don’t want Kari, even though I like Kari,” Hess said. “Katie’s got her legal problems right now and Matt has his problem of lying. It should be fun.”

While Hess laid out to Northeast Valley News some of the divisive issues facing his gubernatorial opponents—Hess himself is no stranger to controversy nor contradiction.

Recalling a 2016 “hess4governor” anti-Semitic Facebook post that Hess shared—material taken from a scathing screed by a known Holocaust denier, Neo-Nazi, and author of the novel, “The Turner Diaries,” William L. Pierce.

Reportedly, when Hess was asked why he would post that material on his hess4governor Facebook site and from a Neo-Nazi blog, Hess said he, “shared the post because of the content—not its origin, (I didn’t pay any attention to that).”

The author of the anti-Semitic novel, “The Turner Diaries,” the late Pierce, was a known Neo-Nazi recruiter and alleges that the Anne Frank diary is a “hoax” and that the writings were made by the girl’s father—the Pierce allegation has never been evidenced nor accepted by leading forensic experts.

Hess reportedly commented further with regard to the Pierce contention about the diary being a hoax.

“I knew it was faked before there were computers, I don’t care either way, but I understood (the diary) was simply a propaganda piece” Hess reportedly said when questioned by a reporter about the Pierce post listed on his Hess4governor Facebook page.

Arizona’s primaries will be held on August 2, 2022, with the General Election on November 8, 2022.

More Information on how and where to vote can be found here.

Updated Saturday, May 21:  Mr. Hess has submitted the following statement to Northeast Valley News regarding his references to the Anne Frank Diaries in a 2016 social media post.

“While traveling in Germany, decades ago, I happened to read a prominent article in a State paper called Die Zeit.  It purported to be a scientific study, and it indicated that the actual manuscript for a popular war diary had been analyzed and it was found that the ink used wasn’t invented until well after the diary written.  I believe it also stated the paper some of it was written on, and the handwriting was not consistent.  And that was it.  An post came up on my FaceBook feed with a picture of the newspaper’s article.  It’s not a subject that comes up in conversation at all, so I just assumed ‘everybody’ knew, by now.  I shared it with a question asking if the reader ‘knew’.  It was nothing to me, but the troll came out with his/her accusatory insinuations.  I went looking for corroborating articles on the subject; not the content of the manuscript, just the authenticity of the materials it is recorded on.  I didn’t find any, and I also found attacks on the original Die Zeit article that seemed to have some merit.  So, it remains the single post I have removed, and that’s because I had doubts about it.  In the original troll’s article, it insinuated that I might be a ‘denier’–well, I’m not, and never have been.  End of comment.”