Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is an American politician who was the secretary of the Libertarian National Committee, the governing body of the Libertarian Party, from 2018 until her suspension in 2021. Her suspension is currently being reviewed by the party's judicial committee. Prior to her election in 2018, she served in various positions within the Libertarian Party of Colorado, and as the Region 1 representative to the LNC.

Caryn Ann Harlos
Caryn Ann Harlos (cropped).jpg
Harlos in 2018
Secretary of the Libertarian National Committee
In office
July 3, 2018 – September 5, 2021[1]
Preceded byAlicia Mattson
Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Colorado
Assumed office
May 23, 2021[2]
Preceded byMike Spalding[3]
Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Douglas County
Assumed office
October 1, 2020[4]
Preceded byKathi Pober[5]
Member of the Libertarian National Committee from the 1st region
In office
May 2016[6][7] – July 3, 2018
Preceded byNorm Olsen[6]
Succeeded byRichard Longstreth[8]
Personal details
Political partyLibertarian
Spouse(s)Wayne Harlos
ResidenceCastle Rock, Colorado, U.S.


Before entering politics, Harlos was a paralegal for twenty years, working in document management and remains employed in that field.[9] Harlos joined the Libertarian Party and the state affiliate in Colorado in 2014. She later served as the Communications Director for the affiliate, Region 1 Representative for the LNC, Historical Preservation Committee Chair, and on the National Platform Committee for the 2018 Libertarian National Convention. She became involved in the Radical Caucus in 2016.[10]

On 3 July 2018, at the 2018 convention, Harlos was elected as the LNC Secretary with 372 votes, 56.6 percent of the delegates.[11][12] The incumbent secretary, Alicia Mattson, received 36 percent of the vote.[13]

A month after her election as Secretary, she denounced what she saw as socialists entering the party, asserting that Libertarianism is distinctly separate from both the left and the right of the political spectrum. This occurred about a year after the party had denounced a similar issue with people on the alt-right becoming interested in Libertarianism.[14] Harlos also advocates for an anti-abortion stance within the Libertarian party.[15][16]

In the July 2020 Libertarian National Convention, Harlos was re-elected as Secretary with 51% of the vote.[17]

She is known for her bright pink hair, and wearing a crown in the style of the Statue of Liberty to events.[18][19][20] She describes herself as an anarchist.[21][better source needed]

In June 2021, the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire made a series of highly controversial tweets which were criticized on Twitter by former presidential nominee Gary Johnson, including calls to "legalize child labor", repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and keep the Guantanamo Bay detention camp open "so that Anthony Fauci and every governor that locked their state down can be sent there". Harlos fervently defended the LPNH's tweets from criticism by LNC Chair Joe Bishop-Henchman and other prominent Libertarians, dismissing them as "mean tweets". On June 12, LPNH Chair Jilletta Jarvis, who opposed the tweets, seized control of her affiliate's assets and attempted to form a new affiliate, claiming support from Bishop-Henchman based on a letter he wrote her on June 7 affirming her status as Chair. Harlos strongly critized Bishop-Henchman, accusing him of conspiring with Jarvis to usurp the elected New Hampshire Executive Commmittee. On June 13, Harlos interviewed Jarvis and published a video recording of the interview online, in which Jarvis claimed Bishop-Henchman was aware of her intentions when writing the letter. After a Bishop-Henchman-sponsored motion to disaffiliate the recognized New Hampshire affiliate failed, Jarvis returned control of the affiliate's assets to the elected Executive Committee and Bishop-Henchman resigned as LNC Chair. For interviewing Jarvis and investigating the attempted takeover outside of the LNC's processes, Harlos was subject to two suspension motions, both of which were ruled out of order. Harlos claimed she was the victim of whistleblower retaliation for attempting to expose corruption on the LNC.[22]

On September 5, 2021, Harlos was suspended by the LNC by a vote of 11 to 2, plus one abstention.[1][23] She appealed her suspension to the party's judicial committee on September 10.[24]

Ballot-selfie lawsuitEdit

In October 2016, Harlos challenged the Colorado "ballot selfie" law in a lawsuit against Colorado Secretary of State Wayne W. Williams, Attorney General of Colorado Cynthia Coffman, and District Attorney of Denver Mitchell R. Morrissey over its constitutionality.[25] Prior to filing the suit, she had petitioned Coffman and Morrissey to declare the law unconstitutional, to which they declined.[26] In the suit, she argued that it is her constitutional right to post a picture of her voting for the Libertarian candidate in an effort to promote the party. Two other plaintiffs were involved in the lawsuit, both of whom had violated the law by taking and sharing pictures of their ballot, and thus were at risk of prosecution.[27][28] This was the second suit filed against that law, the first being filed by Owen Hill, a Colorado state representative.[27] In November 2016, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction, preventing the state from prosecuting people for violations of the law, and in March 2017 Governor Hickenlooper signed into law a bill permitting ballot selfies.[29][30]

2016 electionEdit

In 2016, the Libertarian Party's nominee for president was Gary Johnson, who promoted Bill Weld to be the vice presidential nominee. Harlos opposed Weld, arguing for a member of the Radical Caucus to be on the ticket to balance with some of Johnson's views that did not conform to typical Libertarian positions.[31] At the 2016 Libertarian National Convention, she made a nominating speech for vice presidential candidate Will Coley, who lost to Weld.[19][32]

In her capacity as a spokeswoman for the Libertarian Party of Colorado, she heavily criticized the candidates for the two major parties, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, describing them as "the two most disliked candidates since ancient Rome" and predicting "the death of the two-party political system as we know it."[33]

After the election, when membership for the Libertarian Party dropped, Harlos contacted people who let their membership expire in an attempt to retain dues-paying members. Although there were significant ideological conflicts within the party, Harlos heard mostly reasons unrelated to those. Most members contacted were entirely unfamiliar with the names of the party's chair and vice chair.[34]

2020 electionEdit

Harlos stood in District 45 at the 2020 Colorado House of Representatives election but came in 3rd place behind Democrat Katie Barrett.[35]

Historical PreservationEdit

In 2017, while the representative of Region 1 Libertarian National Committee, Harlos worked to establish the Historical Preservation Committee. It was tasked with maintaining the party's history, and given a $10,000 budget to do so. She collected documents, tape recordings, bumper stickers, buttons, fliers, and other items from the party's past. The documents were then organized and digitized in the committee's MediaWiki-based community-driven project, LPedia.[9][36][37] In 2018, Harlos and others recovered the Libertarian Party's founding document, the original "Statement of Principles", which was found on eBay.[38]

Parliamentary ProcedureEdit

Harlos co-hosts, with Mike Seebeck, a YouTube video series called "The Cult of RONR" based on questions from the registration examination given by the National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP).[39] Harlos is a member of the NAP.

The videos received a favorable review in the NAP's National Parliamentarian, which called it "... an exceptionally good series of educational videos, especially for people studying for the NAP registration examination, or for people that want an in-depth education in RONR," and "This discussion of both the daily and Sunday questions is in depth, often delving deeply into the text to determine why an answer is correct, not merely if an answer is correct. This is the true educational value of 'The Cult of RONR.'” It also noted "These videos are not for everyone, however. Someone offended by language that could not be used in debate (which is an understatement), should not watch these videos. The language is salty, risqué, and filled with double entendres, such as the oft repeated phrase 'That’s what she said.'” [40]

Drug advocacyEdit

In early 2018, Harlos announced her opposition to a ban on kratom, a plant-based pain reliever and stimulant, instituted by Denver Environmental Health. At the time, she was the communications director for the Libertarian Party of Colorado. In agreement with Libertarian Party views, she argued that the government does not have a right to regulate whether the drug can be used. Harlos used the drug herself to help with a degenerative back disorder and spinal stenosis.[41]

Electoral historyEdit

2018 Libertarian National Committee secretary election[42]
Round 1
Candidate Votes %
Caryn Ann Harlos 372 56.6
Alicia Mattson (incumbent) 235 35.8
Jeff Wood 38 5.8
None of the above 12 1.8
Total votes 657 100%
2020 Libertarian National Committee secretary election[43]
Round 1
Candidate Votes %
Caryn Ann Harlos (incumbent) 461 51.8
Evan McMahon 417 46.9
Dave Jones 74 8.3
None of the above 25 2.8
Frankie Mermaid (write-in) 2 0.2
Tim Ferreira 1 0.1
Andrew Chadderdon (write-in) 1 0.1
Elon Musk (write-in) 1 0.1
Emily Salvette (write-in) 1 0.1
3 small children in a trenchcoat (write-in) 1 0.1
Vermin Supreme (write-in) 1 0.1
Jeff Wood (write-in) 1 0.1
Total votes 986 100%
2020 Colorado House of Representatives election, District 45[44]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Patrick Neville (incumbent) 40,418 60.19
Democratic Katie Barrett 24,779 36.90
Libertarian Caryn Ann Harlos 1,958 2.92
Total votes 67,155 100%
Republican hold

Personal lifeEdit

She is married to Wayne Harlos, who is also active in the Libertarian Party and serves as the chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado. She was also elected secretary of the Colorado Party and is secretary of her county Party, the Libertarian Party of Douglas County.[45]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Libertarian Party (5 September 2021). Q3 LNC Meeting - Louisville - Day 2 (video). YouTube. Event occurs at 5:18:36. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  2. ^ Spalding, Mike (23 May 2021). "50th Convention Sunday Minutes". Google Docs. Libertarian Party of Colorado. p. 3. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Board History". Libertarian Party of Colorado. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  4. ^ Harlos, Caryn Ann (7 January 2021). "Douglas County Minutes – October 1, 2020" (PDF). LPedia. p. 3. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  5. ^ Libertarian Party of Douglas County (2 July 2020). "Douglas County Minutes – July 2, 2020" (PDF). LPedia. p. 1. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  6. ^ a b "LNC Minutes – May 26, 2016" (PDF). Libertarian Party. 3 June 2016. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  7. ^ "LNC Minutes – May 30, 2016" (PDF). Libertarian Party. 21 June 2016. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  8. ^ "LNC Minutes – July 3, 2018" (PDF). Libertarian Party. 29 September 2018. p. 2. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  9. ^ a b Hutchins, Corey (May 30, 2017). "The Libertarian Party's national archives now live in Colorado". The Colorado Independent. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  10. ^ "Big Liberty Little Rock 2019: The LPAR Annual Convention". The Libertarian Party of Arkansas. February 23, 2019.
  11. ^ Libertarian Party [@lpnational] (July 3, 2018). "The vote is in! Caryn Ann Harlos receives a majority vote for Secretary of the LNC. #ImTHATLibertarian" (Tweet). Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Retrieved November 1, 2019 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Bentley, Robert J. (July 3, 2018). "Caryn Ann Harlos Elected as the Next Secretary of the Libertarian National Committee". The Libertarian Vindicator.
  13. ^ "Libertarian convention breaks fundraising records, elects new officers" (Press release). Libertarian National Committee. July 4, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  14. ^ Mohon, Mason (August 13, 2018). "Libertarian Party LNC Secretary Denounces Socialist Entryism · 71 Republic". 71 Republic.
  15. ^ West, Mark (January 22, 2019). "Libertarian Ideals: Unintentional Self-Destruction". 71 Republic.
  16. ^ Harlos, Caryn Ann (August 25, 2015). "Caryn Ann Harlos: Abortion and the Libertarian conscience". Independent Political Report.
  17. ^ Johnston, Bob (July 28, 2020). "New LNC Elected at National Convention".
  18. ^ Mahaskey, M. Scott (May 28, 2016). "Behind the scenes of the Libertarian Party convention". Optics. POLITICO Magazine. Image 9. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Welch, Matt (July 10, 2016). "Did the Libertarian Radicals Lose Their Inter-Party Fight? Not So Fast, Says One". Reason. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  20. ^ "Abortion and the Libertarian Conscience: A Discussion with Caryn Ann Harlos". Flathead County Libertarian Party.
  21. ^ Bacavis, Chris (April 12, 2016). "Anarchy in Pink". Chris Bacavis's Poemunition.
  22. ^ Doherty, Brian (23 June 2021). "Inside the Battle Over the Soul of the Libertarian Party". Reason. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  23. ^ Harlos, Caryn Ann (5 September 2021). "Live Voting Template – Suspension". Google Sheets. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  24. ^ Harlos, Caryn Ann (10 September 2021). "Notice of Filing Petition for Appeal" (PDF). lnc-business. Google Groups. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  25. ^ Hutchins, Corey (October 21, 2016). "How a Libertarian plans to challenge Colorado's 'ballot-selfie' law". The Colorado Independent. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  26. ^ Knapp, Thomas L. (October 27, 2016). "The Virtue of Selfies-ness: Libertarians Fight for Free Speech at the Ballot Box". The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.
  27. ^ a b Miller, Blair (October 26, 2016). "Second lawsuit challenging Colorado's 'ballot selfie' statute filed in federal court". Denver7. Scripps Media. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  28. ^ "Harlos et al vs Morrissey et al" (PDF). October 25, 2016. USDC 16-cv-02649.
  29. ^ Miller, Blair (November 5, 2016). "Federal judge keeps Colorado 'ballot selfie' law on books but says AG, DA's can't prosecute". Denver7. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  30. ^ Miller, Blair (March 17, 2017). "Hickenlooper signs Colorado bill allowing 'ballot selfies'". Denver7. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  31. ^ Weigel, David (May 29, 2016). "Libertarians pick Johnson and Weld ticket after close contest". Washington Post. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  32. ^ Harlos, Caryn (May 29, 2016). Nomination of Will Coley (Speech). Libertarian Party National Convention. Orlando, Florida: C-SPAN. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  33. ^ Matthews, Mark K. (August 22, 2016). "Small but growing number of Colorado voters shift to Green, Libertarian parties". The Denver Post. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  34. ^ Doherty, Brian (September 15, 2017). "The Libertarian Party's Paid Membership Numbers Take a Dive". Reason. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  35. ^ "Colorado State House District 45 candidate Q&A". The Denver Post. 2020-10-09. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  36. ^ Wolf, Stephanie (August 7, 2017). "Libertarianism Was Born In Westminster And Other Historical Party Facts". Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  37. ^ Doherty, Brian (February 2018). "". Reason. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  38. ^ Harper, Jennifer (May 22, 2018). "Libertarian Party rescues its original founding document from eBay". The Washington Times.
  39. ^
  40. ^ Jacobs, Jonathan M., “'That’s What She Said,'” a Review of 'The Cult of RONR', Summer, 2021, pp. 20-21
  41. ^ Roberts, Michael (January 23, 2018). "Kratom: Libertarian Party of Colorado Rips Denver Human Use Ban". Westword.
  42. ^ Mattson, Alicia (29 September 2018). "2018 Libertarian Party Convention Minutes" (PDF). LPedia. p. 38. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  43. ^ Harlos, Caryn Ann (5 December 2020). "2020 Libertarian Party Convention Minutes (Second Sitting)" (PDF). LPedia. p. 65. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  44. ^ "State Representative - District 45". Colorado Election Results. Secretary of State of Colorado. 5 May 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  45. ^ "2018 Libertarian State Convention". Libertarian Association of Massachusetts. August 1, 2018.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Norm Olsen
Member of the Libertarian National Committee
from the 1st region

Succeeded by
Richard Longstreth
Preceded by
Alicia Mattson
Secretary of the Libertarian National Committee
Preceded by
Kathi Pober
Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Douglas County
Preceded by
Mike Spalding
Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Colorado