Peter Diamondstone, Longtime Vermont Political Figure, Dies At 82

Aug 31, 2017

Peter Diamondstone was a founding member of the Liberty Union Party and ran for statewide office in every election cycle between 1970 and 2016.

Whenever Diamondstone announced his candidacy, he always insisted that he wasn't "running for the office." Instead, he said he was "offering" his ideas to the voters of Vermont.

Diamondstone was born in New York City in 1934 and received a law degree from the University of Chicago. He came to Vermont in the late 1960s.

In a 2014 gubernatorial debate, Diamondstone said the issue of climate change was the greatest threat facing the country.

"We are on the verge of a disaster beyond belief,” said Diamondstone. “Unless we stop the carbonization of the atmosphere we are dead. Dead, get it?"    

In 1970, Diamondstone helped launch the Liberty Union party. It was a party that strongly opposed the Vietnam war.

UVM political science professor Garrison Nelson said the party has since played an important role in Vermont politics.

"You have to remember, Vermont was far away the most Republican state in the Union for more than 100 years,” said Nelson. “And then Democrats started winning elections in the 1960s and then the Liberty Union built on that and tried to nudge it a little further to the left."  

Diamondstone was 82 years old.