It’s Thursday afternoon and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson just arrived in Orlando for the Libertarian National Convention. In a makeshift campaign office, he’s shaking hands and listening to concerned Libertarians. Having arrived on the scene about 12 hours before Johnson, I’ve already scoped out the area. This is part two of a two-part story. Read part one here.
To see all of Andy Lyman’s reporting about the Libertarian National Convention, see our full series.
ORLANDO — When I told friends I was headed to the Libertarian National Convention, many assumed I would be surrounded by a group of gun-toting, pot-smoking Republicans who advocate total anarchy. This proved to be untrue—mostly. Note: This is part one of a two-part series by Andy Lyman on the weekend at the Libertarian National Convention. Part two will run on Saturday. For all of Andy Lyman’s stories from Orlando, see The 2016 Libertarian National Convention series.
Aside from a rotund candidate for national Libertarian Party chair stripping down to a thong while dancing on stage and some outspokenly frustrated anarchists, the conference was largely tame.
ORLANDO — Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson went up against four other candidates Saturday night vying for the Libertarian Party nomination at the party’s National Convention. The two hour debate did not see any personal attacks as in previous debates, but Johnson found himself the subject of rounds of jeers. The crowd first booed Johnson after he was asked a question about climate change and the effects on the environment. Johnson said he wasn’t sure what the cause was, but that the coal industry was bankrupt due to free market ideals. The crowd showed their loud disapproval of Johnson’s stance that doesn’t quite fit with their ideas of Libertarian ideals.
ORLANDO — Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson won the first round of debates at the National Libertarian Convention on Thursday. After a multi-tiered process that lasted most of the evening, 34 percent of the delegates said they favored Johnson. The process involved multiple debates with the winner moving on to the next round. In the final round Johnson was joined by software anti-virus mogul John McAfee, media entrepreneur Austin Petersen, radio host Darryl Perry and Dr. Marc Feldman. Note: NM Political Report reporter Andy Lyman is in Orlando to follow former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and his attempt for a second consecutive nomination from the party.
While Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders trade insults and barbs in an attempt to gain momentum and supporters, a group of nearly 20 candidates will converge on Orlando, Florida this weekend to sell themselves in an attempt to appear on all 50 state ballots. They are the Libertarian Party candidates. This year’s Libertarian National convention, where the party will nominate their candidate for president, seems to have more riding on it. With Trump as the presumable Republican nominee and Clinton as the Democratic frontrunner, the Libertarian Party is ready to present the United States with a viable, third-party option. See Also: How Gary Johnson went from ‘Governor No’ to third party icon
The Libertarian Party candidates currently in the spotlight are anti-virus software mogul John McAfee, entrepreneur Austin Petersen and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.
In a room with about 100 people—a mix of students and older adults—Gary Johnson signs pocket constitutions, takes selfies with young people and literally kisses the cheek of at least one child. Johnson just finished an hour-long forum at the University of New Mexico hosted by the Young Americans for Liberty. Some of the older people in the crowd ask about his family and reminisce about his tenure as the governor of New Mexico in the mid to late 1990s. “There were no pizza parties,” one woman says, smugly referring to an event in Santa Fe involving beer bottles thrown off a hotel balcony and a possibly intoxicated Gov. Susana Martinez. This piece also appeared in the April 20 edition of the ABQ Free Press.
Gadfly politicians, offensive soundbites and mind-numbing personal attacks are dominating media coverage of the presidential race this election season. And it’s not just in the Republican and Democratic races. Former Republican New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is hoping to capitalize on the negative tones of the Democratic and Republican primaries and legitimize his third party candidacy to voters disgusted with the two-party system this fall. But first he must beat a crop of candidates, some of whom who are more eccentric than a Trump, Sanders, Cruz or Carson could ever dream of being. Currently 15 candidates are vying for a nomination from the Libertarian Party, all pushing for smaller government.
Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson will appear as part of the first nationally televised Libertarian Party debate Friday. The debate, moderated by libertarian host and TV personality John Stossel, will air in two parts on the Fox Business Network, a lower-rated sister channel of Fox News. The two-hour debate was recorded on Wednesday and featured three candidates: Johnson, John McAfee and Austin Peterson. In a phone interview on Thursday with NM Political Report, Johnson seemed optimistic if somewhat vague about how the debate went. “You just do as good as you can,” Johnson said.
A former New Mexico governor who is seeking the Libertarian Party nomination insulted Donald Trump using a vulgar insult, one that Trump himself used last month in reference to Texas Senator Ted Cruz. After bragging about climbing the tallest mountain on each continent, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said, to applause, “Donald Trump’s a pussy.” Johnson dropped the vulgar word as one of five candidates speaking at the second part of a Libertarian Party presidential debate in Biloxi, Mississippi this past Saturday night. His fellow Libertarian Party presidential hopeful John McAfee—the guy who developed the anti-virus program that bears his name—chimed in, “Hear, hear!” The debate wasn’t as glamorous as the presidential debates for the Democratic or Republican parties that appear on national cable channels and broadcast networks.