May 29, 2016

Gary Johnson secures Libertarian nomination

Andy Lyman

Gary Johnson at the Libertarian National Convention

ORLANDO — Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is the Libertarian nominee for president.

Gary Johnson at the Libertarian National Convention

Andy Lyman

Gary Johnson at the Libertarian National Convention

After two rounds of voting Johnson secured 518 number of votes or 55.8 percent. The first round of votes resulted in Johnson securing almost 50 percent of the vote, or 458 delegates.

According to convention rules, a candidate must receive at least 51 percent of the votes in order to become the official nominee. By the second round, Johnson won 55 percent of the votes and secured the nomination.

This is the second consecutive Libertarian nomination for Johnson, a first for the party. In 2012, Johnson received more than one million votes and just under one percent of the total vote.

Note: This is a breaking news story and may be updated throughout the day.

In a press conference after winning the nomination, Johnson fielded questions regarding going up against Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee who Johnson has in the past called racist.

Johnson also told reporters that he would not “reach out” to other politicians for support, opting instead to keep his door open.

NM Political Report asked specifically if he would seek support from New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez after Trump criticized her record as governor during an Albuquerque rally last week.

Johnson did not directly answer the question but alluded to a reason why Martinez may not be calling him anytime soon.

“She took me on and she made a name for herself by taking me on, on my proposal to legalize marijuana,” Johnson said. “She made a name for herself being anti marijuana and she does to this very day.”

Between the first and second round of votes, the convention hall was filled with Johnson supporters as well as those adamantly opposed to Johnson.

At one point a crowd made its way into the convention hall yelling, “Petersen, McAfee, Perry. Anybody but Gary.” The chant referred to those in the Libertarian Party who saw Johnson as too moderate to represent the party.

Ahead of the vote, Johnson worked the room talking to supporters while being followed by media cameras and reporters.

Johnson took most of the time during his acceptance speech to lobby delegates to vote for former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld to be his running mate. He used his often repeated line, saying that without Weld, the Johnson campaign would be handicapped.

“I just want you to know if it’s not Bill Weld I don’t think we have the opportunity to be elected for the President of the United States,” Johnson said.

Johnson was a two-term governor in New Mexico, while Weld served two terms in Massachusetts in the same position. Both were Republicans at the time.

Johnson heads to New York next to start campaigning.