Libertarians Irvine and Grayson Want to be Your Next Governor and Lt. Governor

Party has gained ballot access for the first time this decade

By John Corrigan


(BEXLEY) In the shadows of the Governor’s Mansion, Travis Irvine grew up in this Columbus suburb. Now he wants to get back there via the voters. For the first time in years, The Libertarian Party of Ohio (LP) has fielded statewide candidates. 


Gaining ballot access for a third party is not easy under Ohio law. As this lawsuit by 2014 LP Governor candidate Charlie Earl, who did not make the ballot can testify, the major parties make it very difficult to gain ballot access.  The LP has had to use the court system across America to force states to field candidates. Unlike 2014, where Republicans played hardball and forced Earl off the ballot in order to help Governor John R. Kasich’s electoral prospects against hapless Democrat Ed FitzGerald, Libertarians have fielded candidates for the state’s top job, but you will not see them in any debates.


Who is Travis Irvine and running mate J. Todd Grayson?  What would they do if they prevailed on November 6, 2018 and led the state?  


Unlike the major party candidates, Irvine is described as a “filmmaker, journalist, comedian and political activist” according to Columbus Alive: Described as “The Guy from Ohio,” Irvine has his own video collection available from Amazon, Viceland, The Guardian and Spotify. He has appeared on network and cable comedy programs but his campaign for Governor is dead serious.


Irvine has run for office before. In 2007, he ran for Mayor of Bexley, losing that race as well as the 2010 U.S. House of Representatives District 12 race  to U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Genoa Twp.).  Last year, Irvine wrote an editorial that appeared across America where he encouraged fellow Millennials to run for office.  He closed his article by stating, “…. Pretty much everything about our political system is outdated at this point so don’t be afraid to shake it up. If millions of Millennials dare to finally get involved by running for office this year (and even winning!) the tide in American politics will change forever — and for the better.”


His running mate is former Perrysburg City Councilman J. Todd Grayson, who is co-owner of Crushproof Tubing Company, a NW Ohio maker of industrial hoses. Grayson, 40, is a Fremont native and graduate of The Ohio State University and has also lived in Dayton, Columbus, and Indiana.


The Libertarian agenda that Irvine and Grayson are running upon involves several straightforward Libertarian beliefs.


Criminal Justice Reform:

Irvine claims that Americans commit three felonies per day due to a lack of simple laws and too many laws. He states that “profiling and sentencing are disproportionately applied based on socio-economic class.”


The LP Ticket calls to abolish the death penalty and private prisons and replacing them with job training opportunities for prisoners and changes to the state’s legal system about how juries are seated.  The LP also call for less arrests and a “de-escalation” strategy for police officers in criminal incident scenarios.

The whole criminal justice reform agenda is here:


Comprehensive Tax Reform:


Irvine and Grayson, both small business owners, particularly hone in on small business-related issues at the centerpiece of their tax plan and call for a change in philosophy that would promote small business and take away what they term as “unfair advantages” that larger employers enjoy under Ohio’s tax policy.


LP is seeking to cut the size of government as well as the regulatory environment in Ohio and seek to eliminate redundancies in government and eliminate whole departments of State government, without specifying which ones.


The third- party duo call for less spending on Ohio’s budget citing budget numbers of $87 billion in the last biennium. That figure also includes federal transfer funds (not wholly Ohio generated revenue) The LP agenda on taxes can be found here:


Legalize Marijuana:


The LP program for Ohio would include a full legalization of marijuana.  Candidate Irving claims that this has public support, will help to alleviate the opioid crisis and bring in perhaps as much as $250 million in revenue to State government


They believe that the state legislature and bureaucracy have proven themselves incapable to manage a medical 
marijuana program by continually missing deadlines and declaring illegal CBD, a non-intoxicating portion of the cannabis plant shown to help some 
seizure patients.


The LP candidates have 6 other platform policy statements at based off of questions from the public.  They also respond to all requests for more information.

Medicaid expansion rollback:
2nd Amendment rights:
Education reform:
Electoral ethics:


National LP philosophy, from the 2018 Platform includes a full throttled support of limited government, an education policy that models charter schools where private entities and parents make educational choices.  LP candidates are pro-choice on abortion policy, pro Second Amendment on firearms, oppose public employee collective bargaining, support free markets in their truest form and without state regulation, oppose government mandated pensions and retirement programs like Social Security and unfettered free trade among other positions. These are the positions of the national platform and may or may not reflect the views of Irvine and Grayson.


Upon recognition as party status from Ohio Secretary of State's office, Irvine issued this statement in part, “Voters who want real, positive change here in Ohio know they’re not going to get it from Republicans or Democrats,” said Irvine. “We’re offering that change, especially in the areas of criminal justice reform, reducing taxes and regulations, as well as the legalization of marijuana, which will help combat Ohio’s opioid crisis. We also offer different stances from Cordray and DeWine on rolling back Kasich’s Medicaid expansion, making JobsOhio transparent, and protecting Second Amendment rights.”


No registered Libertarian has ever been elected to statewide office in Ohio. Irvine will square off against DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray on November 6, 2018.  


3rd Rail had the opportunity to secure more information about Irvine from his campaign manager Ken Moellman.


1.  Tell us about Travis Irvine's Early years?


Travis grew up in Bexley, Ohio. He was a 4.0 Valedictorian from Bexley High School. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Ohio University in Communications and a Master's Degree in Journalism from Columbia University. He is not married.  Travis has temporarily lived in other parts of the country (DC and NY) for school and work but has always maintained his permanent residence in Ohio, his home.

2. How did Mr. Irvine get involved in politics/government?


Travis always had an interest in politics growing up and was involved in student government all the way from being student council VP in 6th grade until losing the election for class President senior year.  Initially involved with Democratic politics in college, he later became interested in Libertarian politics thanks to Ron Paul. Travis doubled down on his activism on a local level by running for Mayor of Bexley in 2007 to save his neighbors' homes from an aggressively expanding university in the city (a political venture he documented in the film "American Mayor" which is available on Amazon Prime).  He was endorsed by both the Green Party and Libertarian Party in his run for mayor.
3.  Why is Mr. Irvine running for Governor of Ohio? What are his key issues?


Travis is running for governor of Ohio because we need a pro-freedom alternative to the political duopoly. As a millennialentrepreneur, no other candidate  has the vested interest in Ohio’s future that he does.

Travis plans on improving Ohio's economy by reducing taxes and regulations on small businesses and will cut wasteful spending from the state budget. He also would like to legalize marijuana to battle the opioid crisis and implement common sense criminal justice reforms, which will save both money and lives in the long run.

Travis is a staunch defender of gun rights for hunting and self-defense. He will also work to rollback the costly and corrupt Medicaid expansion program over an appropriate amount of time and create free market based health care solutions to bring down the costs of insurance and prescription drugs.


4. Why should Ohioans seriously consider voting for a 3rd party candidate and why the Libertarian party?


The Democratic and Republican opponents are actually very similar. They represent Ohio's past; not Ohio's future. If you want something different - if you actually want to solve problems and help all Ohioans - then the Irvine/Grayson ticket is your bestoption.
5. Anything else you would like to add?


Travis entered this race because he believed he could do something great for Ohio.  Travis' message has been well received
across the political spectrum - it's just a matter of getting it out  there.  The Irvine/Grayson ticket isn't funded by special interest groups, but everywhere they go - everyone they reach - loves the campaign platform.


Ohioans can choose a fresh voice against the establishment Democrats and Republicans in Columbus - Travis Irvine.