Idaho State University
Richard L. "Dick" Randolph (born April 10, 1936) is a longtime insurance agency owner in Fairbanks, Alaska who is best known as the first person to be elected to partisan office under the banner of the Libertarian Party with his election to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1978. He was re-elected in 1980. He was instrumental in the repeal of the state income tax and saving the Alaska Permanent Fund, through effective use of the initiative process. He was also the LP's gubernatorial nominee in 1982, garnering nearly 15 percent of the vote.
Dick Randolph was born in Salmon, Idaho and graduated from Idaho State College in 1960 with a B.A. in education. He moved to Alaska that same year to teach school, spending several years doing such in Valdez and South Naknek. He moved to Fairbanks in 1964 and founded a State Farm Insurance agency, becoming its top sales agent in the nation in 1965. He also served as the state president and national vice-president for the Jaycees before entering politics.
Randolph was first elected to the Alaska House in 1970 as a Republican. He was re-elected in 1972, but did not seek re-election in 1974, likely in protest of financial reporting laws which had just been enacted. A number of fellow legislators, also self-employed, had resigned from the legislature around this same time.
Dick Randolph joined the Libertarian Party (LP) in the wake of the 1976 presidential election, after having met its nominee Roger MacBride during one of his campaign trips to Alaska. For roughly the next eight years, Randolph would serve as the public face of the LP in Alaska.
Running as a Libertarian in 1978 Randolph finished fifth out of 17 candidates, taking one of the six State House seats in District 20. He was re-elected in 1980, coming in first out of 18 candidates, with his fellow Libertarian Ken Fanning taking 4th and giving the Alaska LP two of the six seats in District 20.
As the Libertarian candidate in the 1982 gubernatorial election, Randolph and his running mate Donnis Thompson received nearly 15% of the vote.