“I am honored and I just want to pledge that no one will be disappointed. We’re going to grow the Libertarian Party.” said Johnson.
The ex-governor won roughly 70% of the vote at the convention, easily fending off a challenge from party activist Lee Wrights.
Not since the year 2000 had a candidate captured the LP’s nomination in the first round of balloting. In that year, the nod went to Harry Browne for his second White House bid. Browne scored 439 votes for first place with 56% of the vote. Coming in second was Don Gorman, a former four-term New Hampshire state legislator, who won 166 votes (19%). In third place was Jacob Hornberger, the president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, a Virginia think tank, with 120 votes (13%). Arizona businessman Barry Hess had 53 votes (6%), David Hollist, a past candidate for U.S. House from California, finished with 8 votes (1%), and None Of The Above captured 23 votes (3%).
Conventions in 2004 and 2008 produced highly contentious and multiple rounds of bitterly fought voting. This time around the voting was far less fractured.
“I am convinced that Gary Johnson will be an exceptional candidate, and a very successful President,” said Mark Hinkle, Libertarian Party Chair. “We have an impressive roster of talent this year to challenge our Big Government opponents not only in the race for the White House, but also in state and local races. The major parties offer Americans only one solution: Bigger government. Libertarians will show voters how we can make government small while dramatically increasing jobs, lowering taxes, and scaling back government debt.”
The party’s delegates will now choose a Vice-Presidential nominee to run with Johnson. Former Judge Jim Gray of California is the favorite to win, but is facing a late challenge by supporters of Lee Wrights who want to forge a “unity” ticket between the two men.