Gary Johnson Wins Libertarian Party Nomination On First Ballot

Gary Johnson has won the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President:

For the second consecutive election cycle the Libertarian Party has nominated a prominent ex-Republican politician as their presidential nominee. Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, won the party’s nomination on the first ballot. Johnson’s opponents, including his debate partner Lee Wrights, trailed far behind.

Johnson is the first former state executive to run for president on the Libertarian line and, arguably, provides the LP with their highest profile candidate since Ron Paul in 1988.

Johnson, you may recall, originally ran for the Republican Party’s nomination but dropped out of that race and left the Republican Party in December after recieving little traction or media coverage, and after being invited to only one of the many debates that were held between May and December of last year. Since then, he has been travellng the country meeting with Libertarian Party state organizations, members, and national officials in pursuit of the LP nomination.

Judging from the first ballot results, it would appear that his efforts were quite successful:

  • Gary Johnson 70.420%
  • Lee Wrights 25.546
  • Jim Burns 2.017%
  • Write-Ins 1.008%
  • Carl Person .5%
  • None of the above .5%

Recent polling has shown Johnson performing quite well nationally, as well as in states like Montana where he garnered 8% of the vote in a recent poll, athough it’s unclear if that is a reflection of actual support or just general voter distaste for the major party candidates. Johnson has said that one of his goals is to garner at least 15% in national polling so that he would be given a place in the Presidential debates scheduled to take place in September and October. Hopefully, he’ll be able to reach that goal although it is quite a high bar under the circumstances.

Next up at the Libertarian National Convention is selection of a Vice-Presidential candidate. Johnson has endorsed Judge Jim Gray of California but reports out of the convention seem to indicate that there is no real consensus  on a VP nominee so a floor fight seems likely.

Update: Jim Gray has won the LP’s Vice Presidential nomination, also on the first ballot like Johnson:

Former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will be the Libertarian Party’s 2012 presidential nominee, and former judge James “Jim” Gray will be his running mate.

Gray beat out Lee Wrights and one other candidate for the vice presidential nomination.

Gray, a former Orange County Superior Court Judge who ran against Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) as a Libertarian in 2004, announced his candidacy last week. Shortly after, Johnson expressed his preference to have Gray as his running mate if he won the presidential nomination.


Gray is a leading critic of the war on drugs, and supported California’s Prop 19.

I can’t say I know much about Gray, but what I’ve seen in recent days is pretty impressive. He should be a good spokesperson for the ticket.


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