The Libertarian Party, which has seen an increased interest from the public as a result of dissatisfaction within the Democratic and Republican parties, has nominated former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson to be its presidential candidate.
Johnson, who also ran as the Libertarian nominee for the 2012 election, fell just short of a majority on the first ballot. He won 55.8% on the second ballot, defeating main rival Austin Petersen, who received just 21.8% of the vote.
Speaking shortly after the vote, Johnson thanked the delegates for their confidence in him and asked them to vote for former Massachusetts Governor William Weld as the party’s vice presidential candidate, which happened later on Sunday.
“Leaving this convention, I think that millions of people are going to be trying to understand what it is to be a Libertarian and it is going to be my voice describing that to the best of my abilities,” Johnson said. “I realize the confidence you’ve put in me to be that spokesperson, and I’m very, very grateful for that.”
Johnson received just 1 percent of the vote in the 2012 presidential election, but the Libertarian Party is hoping for better results this year as large numbers of voters are unhappy with both the Republican and Democratic front-runners, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
In a Fox News poll earlier this month, Johnson received 10 percent against 42 percent for Trump and 39 percent for Clinton. If Johnson succeeds in getting at least 5 percent of the vote, the Libertarian Party would be recognized as a minor party and would be eligible for public funds in the 2020 election.
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