In a new interview conducted by The Jack News, two-time Libertarian Presidential nominee Gary Johnson says that he may run for office again. When asked if he would run for office, Johnson answered, “I’ve said no but [I’m] not ruling anything out because we need a success story. Maybe in that context I might play a role.”
Gary Johnson served two terms as the Governor of New Mexico as a Republican. But he switched parties to Libertarian running for President in 2014 and 2018. Johnson’s Presidential campaigns met with mixed success. On the one hand, Johnson set the record for most votes for a Libertarian Presidential nominee, nearly tripling the vote totals of any previous Libertarian Presidential candidate. In fact, Johnson received the most votes of any third-party candidate since Ross Perot in 1996.
On the other hand, Johnson’s 2016 run was considered by some as a lost opportunity. Given that the Democrats and Republicans had nominated two very unpopular candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, many libertarians expected better results.
But the fact that Johnson had previously served office as Governor of New Mexico garnered an air of respectability by the mainstream press that no other Libertarian Party Presidential candidate ever received. Johnson’s crowning achievement in his 2018 campaign was receiving the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune.
Johnson says, “I think more than anything that independents, libertarians need to be successful at the ballot box, that people actually need to see a success story, that libertarians actually need to get someone elected. I’m certainly beating that drum and I think that it would make a huge difference if you had a true independent, libertarian in office that was successful, that that would become the template many times over.”
Will Johnson become that template or will someone else? To be sure, Larry Sharpe’s run for New York Governor and Kash Jackson‘s run for Illinois Governor show much promise. Jackson, for example, will appear in a debate along side the Democrat and Republican nominees. This will be the first time ever that a Libertarian candidate will appear in an Illinois Governor debate.
Another rising star in libertarian circles is Claire Ball, also from Illinois, who is running for Illinois Comptroller, the highest accounting position in the state. Ball’s claim to fame is the fact that she’s a professional accountant with a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance. Illinois’s finances are a complete mess and suffers from the highest taxes in the entire country. In Illinois’s 200-year history, there has never been an accountant as Comptroller.
In addition, former Governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld appears to be making a serious run for the Libertarian Party candidate for President in 2020. Like Johnson, Weld’s previous experience as Governor is expected to give him an air of respectability in the mainstream press that other libertarian candidates won’t have.
But Weld is not without controversy. Much to the chagrin of some libertarians, in the 2016 Presidential election, Weld spoke favorably of rival Hillary Clinton.
Obviously, it’s possible that Gary Johnson and Bill Weld will run together again for the Presidency in 2020, perhaps flipping the ticket with Weld running for President and Johnson for Vice-President.
Whether Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, Larry Sharpe, Kash Jackson or Claire Ball will become a template for success remains to be seen.
Regardless, it’s important that libertarians begin laying the ground for the 2020 Presidential election as soon as possible.
If you would like to help Larry Sharpe, Kash Jackson or Claire Ball, all three campaigns are looking for volunteers and donations.
Larry Sharpe for Governor of New York:
Kash Jackson for Governor of Illinois:
Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller:
Says Kash Jackson’s Volunteer Social Media Director, Jim Pragit, “It’s only through hard work and dedication that we can achieve true electoral success.”