One news outlet has learned that former two-term Republican New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will seek the presidency by running as a third-party Libertarian Party candidate. Johnson has claimed for weeks now that he's been "shafted" by the GOP.
Digital Journal reported late last month that former libertarian-leaning New Mexico Republican Governor Gary Johnson hinted at running for the Libertarian Party nomination and abandon the GOP because he has been “shafted” by them in his quest for the presidency.
Politico has confirmed that Johnson will announce at a news conference in Santa Fe next week of his plans. The popular governor also announced the event on his official Facebook page.
Johnson, who has focused his presidential campaign in New Hampshire, has not been able to gain any momentum throughout the election. He has only participated in two GOP debates thus far and has barely registered in national/state polls.
The governor has run on a campaign promising to slash spending, balance the budget and end government intervention in the economy. He has also advocated legalizing marijuana and is pro-choice and supports LGBT rights.
Libertarian Party chairman Mark Hinkle told the website that Johnson will officially change his voter registration to Libertarian. Hinkle noted that the governor remained a dues-paying member of the party while he was governor of New Mexico.
In recent months, the Libertarians had hoped that Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul and former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura would seek the party’s nomination. However, Dr. Paul is now a top-tier candidate and Ventura is down in Mexico where he cannot be contacted.
A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey found that Johnson could be a factor in his home state during the 2012 election. The poll found that President Barack Obama would garner 44 percent of the vote, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would receive 27 percent and Johnson would get 23 percent.
This would help the president in securing the five electoral votes that New Mexico maintains.
“Barack Obama’s popularity is way down in New Mexico but voters don’t see any of the Republican candidates as serious alternatives,” said President of PPP, Dean Debnam. “It should stay in the Democratic column in 2012.”
As of Sept. 23, there are six official candidates running for president as a Libertarian: Roger Gary, R.J. Harris, James Ogle, Carl Person, Bill Still and Lee Wrights.