Gary Johnson, the man Libertarians love to hate. When Johnson was running for President in 2016, an often touted criticism was that the man “wasn’t Libertarian enough.” Some even outright disavowed him, saying that he didn’t fit the true Libertarian build. Austin Petersen, a rival nominee seeker, often coaxed Johnson into answering a question of whether a Jewish Baker should be forced to bake a cake for a White Supremacist Nazi (bridging the argument from recent disputes that were in the national spotlight surrounding MasterPiece CakeShop, an establishment refusing to bake cakes for Same-Sex wedding services on religious grounds).
Gary Johnson is by no means a perfect man or a perfect Libertarian, but when people conjure up these images of the perfect person, the ideal person, I defy them to point out the one who WOULD be best suited and have no flaws, and that answer is always the same…there is none.
Gary Johnson may not have won the Presidency, but as a Libertarian (Third-Party) candidate, he did make history, almost hitting 5,000,000 votes (oh lets play a blame game…if it wasn’t for Stein/Baraka, he’d have surpassed that! Did that sound stupid? Good…stop using that lame excuse when your candidate loses and you try passing the buck to third parties…). While it did not achieve a 5% goal vote, it unlocked a lot of potential for the independent wave that is seemingly creeping in the American voter.
Many figured, myself included, that Gary Johnson would kind of just disappear after that. He’s had two presidential campaigns under his belt (2012; 2016), and for all intents and purposes it appeared as though he was not going to throw his hat in for a 2020 Round Three.
The funny thing about his Senate Seat run is that he wasn’t planning it.
According to this KOB4 TV article, The Libertarian Party of NM voted to nominate Gary as their candidate for Senator, after lone candidate Aubrey Dunn dropped his campaign citing that he needed to focus more time on his duties as New Mexico Public Lands Commissioner. Gary hadn’t campaigned, and when interviewed after receiving the LP nomination, stated he was “mulling it over.”
Then he graciously accepted, the media appearances are slowly rolling in, but just Tuesday evening, big news broke for Gary. He got a heavy hitting endorsement:
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul came out and officially endorsed Gary Johnson. Rand stated on his personal twitter account:
@GovGaryJohnson is a true fiscal conservative. As Governor, he reduced the size of government while improving services. He will be an important ally and a critical independent voice in the US Senate.
On the surface, a suppose someone not well versed in politics probably would think “OK, and is this significant or something?” BOY is it.
As you probably saw in the first image of this blog, Libertarian National Committee Chairman AND Libertarian Candidate for Mayor of Phoenix Nicholas Sarwark tweeted the truth: This is the first time a sitting Senator has endorsed a Libertarian candidate.
But what is even more telling is the fact that its a clear breakaway for Rand Paul in towing the GOP line. The current Republican nominee for New Mexico Senate is Mike Rich, and he has yet to secure any endorsements, even President Trump’s, though that could be forthcoming and possibly even stir in more juice to this story.
Without predicting such future moves however, let’s focus on this:
This is without a doubt a big opportunity for the Libertarian Party, even if Gary Johnson isn’t that quintessential Libertarian you want. To earn the endorsement of a Republican Senator known for his impact in the Republican Based “Libery Caucus/Liberty Movement,” who self-describes himself as “libertarian-ish,” is stunning, given the current political environment and absolutism in the current divide of party politics. A good check-up on this is Reason Magazine’s Matt Welch, who noted in this article that Johnson and Rand Paul aren’t exactly “buddy-buddy.”
Presently, Gary Johnson holds three individuals endorsements (his GOP and Democratic opponents hold only endorsements from organizations): Bill Weld, his former VP for the 2016 Presidential Election; Aubrey Dunn, who is already an elected LP official in New Mexico; and now REPUBLICAN SENATOR Rand Paul. Imagine what could happen if Representative Thomas Massie broke ranks and joined Paul in endorsing Johnson. Imagine if Justin Amash did so. Ben Sasse.
It should be noted that Gary Johnson is currently polling competitively against the Democratic and Republican nominees, with many polls still showing a healthy undecided voting body.
If Gary pulled out a victory, he would become the first elected Libertarian US Senator, shattering a wall that to this day mainstream media struggles to hold up, but still holds it up: that the Third Party isn’t legitimate. How often have you heard the words: It’s a wasted vote; Those voters are selfish; Those voters are causing all the problems; Just pick a side.
So with that, Gary my friend, FritzCast endorses you. I may be but a small man building up an independent podcasting network, but you had my vote for President in the 2016 Election, and were I a New Mexican, you would have it for Senate.