Disillusioned with the GOP, Gary Johnson to drop out of primary to run as Libertarian

I deeply respect and admire Gary Johnson, whose two terms as Governor of New Mexico are all I need to know that he’d make a great president.

It is for that reason that I am disappointed in this move:

Gary Johnson will quit the Republican primaries and seek the Libertarian Party nomination instead, POLITICO has learned.

The former two-term New Mexico governor, whose campaign for the GOP nomination never caught fire, will make the announcement at a press conference in Santa Fe on Dec. 28. Johnson state directors will be informed of his plans on a campaign conference call Tuesday night, a Johnson campaign source told POLITICO.

The move has been expected for weeks — Johnson had run a New Hampshire-centric effort that never got him past a blip in the polls. He appeared at only two nationally televised debates, and only one in which other major candidates took part.

Johnson expressed deep disillusionment with the process as his libertarian message failed to catch fire and he received almost no attention for his bid. He soon began flirting with the Libertarians when it became clear that he was gaining no traction in GOP primaries.

So Gary Johnson is tired of being marginalized and ignored in electoral politics, and his solution is to join the Libertarian Party? Johnson has a brilliant record behind him and the potential of a brilliant future in politics ahead of him, but I’m inclined to think so only if he doesn’t burn bridges with the GOP in an unwinnable third party presidential bid.

What’s the point of this? Just to send a message? Gary Johnson could send a message AND secure an electoral victory AND influence public policy AND leave open the possibility of becoming president some day if he simply runs for the open U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico where he has high name recognition and popularity.

Along with the millions in fundraising available nationwide from the Ron Paul camp, which Gary Johnson would be able to tap into since he won’t be a spoiler for Ron Paul’s bid anymore, that seat practically has Gary Johnson’s name on it. Why not remain a Republican and become a U.S. Senator?

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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