Report: Gary Johnson to quit GOP race, run as Libertarian
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson will drop out of the Republican presidential race and run for the Libertarian Party nomination, multiple reports said Tuesday.
“I feel abandoned by the Republican Party,” Johnson said in November. “If I’d have been included in 16 of the last debates we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”
But the candidate was only invited to participate in two of the more than a dozen debates this year.
“His exclusion from the debates and lack of acknowledgement from the Republican establishment has been very frustrating,” Campaign spokesman Joe Hunter told NBC News. “His commitment since day one to get his message out.”
Libertarian Party Chairman Mark Hinkle called the switch “the worst kept secret,” noting that Johnson had been in talks with party officials for months.
“It looks like it’s definitely going to come to fruition here,” Hinkle told Politico.
As the Republican governor of New Mexico, Johnson often worked with Libertarians and remained a dues-paying member of the party.
He is known for his support of marijuana legalization and abortion rights.
Watch this video from KOB, broadcast Dec. 21, 2011.