Election 2020

Gary Johnson Gets GOP Governor to Join Libertarian Ticket

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson addresses the Republican Leadership Conference on June 16, 2011, in New Orleans, La. (Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock.com)

The likely Libertarian presidential ticket is shaping up to be a two-governor show.

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has tapped former Massachusetts GOP Gov. William Weld as his running mate, the Associated Press reports.

The Libertarian National Convention, going by the hashtag #LegalizeFreedom, kicks off May 27 in Orlando, Fla. There are currently 15 candidates who want to be the Libertarian nominee.

Johnson converted from GOP to Libertarian in 2011. In 2012, the governor got the largest number of votes ever recorded for a Libertarian candidate: 1.27 million. That was almost 1 percent of the popular vote.

Four years ago, his running mate was Orange County (Calif.) Superior Court Judge Jim Gray.

Weld brings a powerful resume: former U.S. Attorney and head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division in the 1980s and two terms as Massachusetts governor in the 1990s, including a record-setting re-election margin of victory.

He was the Libertarian Party nominee for New York governor in 2006, unsuccessfully trying to secure the GOP nomination at the same time.

“We got together and shook hands on it,” Johnson told the AP in an interview in Salt Lake City, the headquarters of his presidential campaign. “It brings an enormous amount of credibility to what it is I’m doing. I’m unbelievably flattered by this and humbled.”

Johnson told the AP that he and Weld sealed the deal last weekend in Vegas.

The formal announcement of their ticket will be Thursday.

“He could be a huge influence when it comes to fundraising. Huge,” Johnson noted of the 2012 fundraiser for Mitt Romney. “That was something that he in fact volunteered — that he enjoys doing it.”

Most of the national polls have not been figuring Johnson into the Trump vs. Clinton or Trump vs. Sanders matchups. A Public Policy Polling survey of Johnson’s home state last weekend found 14 percent support from New Mexico voters. As far as whether he took from Clinton or Trump in the survey, 10 percent of Democrats picked the Libertarian while 16 percent of Republicans went for Johnson.