Gary Johnson Launches Third-Party Bid

Former NM governor will seek Libertarian nomination
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2011 12:35 PM CST
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson makes a statement during a debate Sept. 22 in Orlando, Fla.   (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, Pool)

(Newser) – Gary Johnson formally launched his bid to run for president as the Libertarian candidate today, declaring himself "liberated" and fed up with the "elitist media organizations" that largely ignored his attempt to run as a Republican, reports CNN. "I'm a Libertarian in belief," said the former New Mexico governor. "I successfully governed as a Libertarian in everything but the name, and I am running for president as a Libertarian." Among other things, he wants to eliminate the IRS and legalize marijuana.

It's not a slam dunk he will be the party's nominee, notes the Wall Street Journal. Ron Paul has until May 5 to change his mind and seek the nod himself. If he does, lots of observers—including this one—think it would split the Republican vote and give a huge boost to President Obama. Either way, pollsters in both parties think the lousy economy makes conditions perfect for a significant third-party bid. The nonpartisan Americans Elect, for example, already is on the ballot in 13 states, notes the Journal. Under its process, voters would select independent candidates online ahead of an online convention in June. (Read more Gary Johnson stories.)

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