Rob Sarvis, a libertarian alternative to McAuliffe and Cuccinelli, gains traction in Va. governor’s race

by Paul Schwartzman, The Washington Post  |  published on October 4, 2013

The students greeted the boyish-faced man in the charcoal suit as the stranger he is to Virginia politics.

“Hi — Rob Sarvis, running for governor,” the Libertarian said, wading into an auditorium of seniors at a Northern Virginia high school’s “Meet the Candidates” day.

Polite smiles. Handshakes. Giggles. Silence.

Sarvis sat alongside stand-ins for his opponents, Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli II, who apparently had more important places to be than a gathering of teenagers, many of them not old enough to vote.

Libertarian candidates have never made much of a dent in Virginia politics. But Sarvis, a software developer and lawyer who also has master’s degrees in math and economics, climbed as high as 10 percent in recent polls, causing no small amount of whiplash in Virginia political circles.

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