Report: Gary Johnson to quit GOP race, run as Libertarian

By David Edwards
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 9:15 EDT
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Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, wearing a peace t-shirt. Photo: Flickr user Robotclaw666.
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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.

Both NBC News and Politico have confirmed that Johnson will announce his attentions during a press conference in Santa Fe next Wednesday.

“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.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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