Republican Liberty Caucus
ChairmanJohn Dennis (CA)
SecretaryJessico Bowman (FL)
Vice-chairmanBen Beckhart (AZ)
TreasurerMatt Nye (FL)
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.
IdeologyClassical liberalism
National affiliationRepublican Party

The Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) is a political action organization dedicated to promoting the ideals of individual liberty, limited government and free market economics within the Republican Party in the United States.[1] It is part of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party.[2] It also operates a political action committee, the RLC-USA PAC.[3]

The organization was founded in 1991 and has chapters in many states.[4] In 2011, the organization hosted its National Convention in Arlington, Virginia.[5] The 2013 convention was held in Austin, Texas and the 2015 National Convention was hosted in Nashua, New Hampshire.

RLC logo in 2006


The RLC works within the Republican Party to influence the party to adopt the RLC's agenda.[6] As activist Tom Heitman put it, "We're trying to reintroduce the Republican platform to the Republican Party."[7]

The RLC favors individual freedom and limited government.[8] Specifically, the RLC favors reduced government intrusion, lower taxes, elimination of federal agencies, less regulation, a strong national defense with fewer military bases abroad, and no foreign aid.[9]

In 2010, the Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas denounced the new state Republican Party platform that supported criminalization of sodomy and making same-sex marriage a felony.[10]


No. Image Chairman Term State[11] Notes[12]
1 Eric Rittberg 1991–1992 Florida
2 Roger MacBride 1992–1995 Florida
3 Ron Paul 1995–2000 Texas
4 Chuck Muth 2000–2001 Nevada
5 Ron Paul 2001–2002 Texas (Honorary)
6 Douglas Lorenz 2002–2004 California
7 Bill Westmiller 2004–2009 California
8 Shepard Humphries 2007–2008 Wyoming
9 Dave Nalle 2009–2013 Texas
10 Matthew Nye 2013–2023 Florida
11 John Dennis 2023–Present California


Presidential endorsements

The Republican Liberty Caucus' process for endorsing presidential candidates is described in the organization's Bylaws and Rules:

A candidate for President of the United States may be endorsed by the Caucus by a 2/3 vote of the active and voting Chartered state's executive committees. The national Secretary shall notify all Chartered states of a favorable national board proposal for endorsement and state executive officers shall inform the Secretary of the approval or denial by their executive committee within 60 days.[13]

Since the Caucus' founding in 1991, only three candidates have reached this level of support: Steve Forbes 1996, Ron Paul in 2012 and Rand Paul in 2016. When Forbes ran again in 2000, the organization remained neutral in that primary and did not endorse another specific Republican candidate in any presidential primary until December 30, 2011, when the RLC endorsed Ron Paul for President.[14] In 2016, his son Rand Paul was also endorsed by the RLC.[15]

Notable 2012 endorsements

On November 2, 2011, the Republican Liberty Caucus announced its first two endorsements in the 2012 election: Barry Hinckley, ran in the Republican primary in Rhode Island, and Brian K. Hill, ran in the Republican primary in Connecticut.[16][17] The Republican nominee in Rhode Island challenged Democratic United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse while the Republican nominee in Connecticut ran for an open seat being vacated by independent United States Senator Joseph Lieberman.[18]

Notable 2014 endorsements

Notable 2016 endorsements

Notable 2018 endorsements

See also


  1. ^ "Republican Liberty Caucus - "The Conscience of the Republican Party"". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  2. ^ Hallow, Ralph (21 May 2001). "GOP will court its libertarian wing New group forms amid fears of splitting party strength". Washington Times. p. A4.
  3. ^ RLC-USA PAC
  4. ^ History of the Republican Liberty Caucus. 2-20-2011. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
  5. ^ Republican Liberty Caucus Celebrates Twenty Years. 2-15-2011. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
  6. ^ Guinta, Peter. GOP warns dissident wing. Quoting William Westmiller, former RLC National Chair. Palm Beach Post, 7-2-2008. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
  7. ^ Scott, Sam. Ron Paul Cured Their Apathy. Star News, 5-3-2008. Quoting Tom Heitman, Cape Fear RLC. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
  8. ^ Moffett gets support of Republican Liberty Caucus. Lexington Herald-Leader, 4-14-2011. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
  9. ^ Guinta, Peter. GOP warns dissident wing. Palm Beach Post, 7-2-2008. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
  10. ^ Mataconis, Doug. Texas RLC Denounces Anti-Gay Planks in Party Platform., 6-26-2010. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
  11. ^ The Republican Liberty Caucus Library, Republican Liberty Caucus: Background and Early History, accessed November 24, 2011. Archived June 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ The Republican Liberty Caucus, History of our Movement, accessed November 24, 2011.
  13. ^ Bylaws and Rules of the Republican Liberty Caucus
  14. ^ Republican Liberty Caucus endorses Ron Paul
  15. ^ "RLC Endorses Rand Paul for President".
  16. ^ "Elected Officials". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  17. ^ "Republican Liberty Caucus - "The Conscience of the Republican Party"". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  18. ^ Republican Liberty Caucus Announces First Endorsements for 2012
  19. ^ "Poliquin endorsed by Republican Liberty Caucus". Bruce Poliquin for Congress. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  20. ^ "Congratulations to the RLC Endorsed Candidates".