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Peirce in 2005

William S. Peirce (pronounced /ˈpɜːrs/ PURSS; born December 7, 1938, Stoneham, Massachusetts) was the Libertarian Party of Ohio candidate for Ohio Governor in the November 7, 2006 election. On November 12, 2005, the party made its endorsement of Peirce official.

A Professor Emeritus at Case Western Reserve University, he was Chairman of the Economics Department at Case Western for six years and has degrees from both Harvard (A.B. 1960) and Princeton (Ph.D. 1966) universities.[1]

Political careerEdit

Peirce supporters protesting his exclusion from a debate
Peirce giving a speech

The 2006 Peirce Ohio gubernatorial campaign was centered upon its "Freedom to Prosper" plan. The plan proposed to cut taxes in Ohio across the board, the elimination of Republican governor Bob Taft's tax increases, protection for homeowners and business people from eminent domain abuse, and increase school choice for parents and teachers.

The Peirce/Noble campaign filed a nominating petition with 13,394 signatures on May 1, 2006. The law requires 5,000 valid signatures for an independent candidate for governor. All 88 counties of Ohio were represented in the petition. When denied access to the debate between the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor, Pierce created a news release, Blackwell, Strickland Chicken to Debate Pierce. At the September 20, 2006 debate, two Peirce supporters dressed in chicken costumes bearing "Ken" and "Ted" nametags and danced in front of supporters. The two were arrested by the police, who claimed they walked into the street and disrupted traffic.[2]

Peirce finished third of the four candidates running receiving 67,596 votes for 1.8% of the total vote; Democrat Ted Strickland won the election (60.4%)

2006 election resultsEdit

2006 gubernatorial election, Ohio
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Ted Strickland 2,307,420 60.4 +22.1
Republican Ken Blackwell 1,406,792 36.8 -19.0
Libertarian Bill Peirce 67,596 1.8 n/a
Green Bob Fitrakis 38,987 1.0 n/a
Majority 900,628 21.6
Turnout 3,820,795
Democratic gain from Republican Swing

Note that while Pierce and Bob Fitrakis were endorsed by the Libertarian and Green parties, respectively, they appeared as independents on the ballot.

Later careerEdit

Peirce endorsed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Peirce married Nynke Witteveen in 1966; the couple has three adult children.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Curriculum vitae
  2. ^ "Ken" and "Ted" arrested
  3. ^ "An open letter to Congress signed by 137 economists supporting GOP tax reform bill". CNBC. November 29, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2018.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Libertarian nominee for Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by
Ken Matesz