Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted verified Wednesday that Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson will appear on the presidential ballot in November. Johnson supporters had to file Johnson as an independent because the Libertarian Party currently is not recognized as a minor party since it did not field a candidate for governor in 2014.
Well, the party did, but Libertarian candidate Charlie Earl was disqualified from appearing on the ballot by Husted. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the Ohio Republican Party spent over half a million dollars to keep Earl off the ballot.
Libertarians originally filed with Earl listed as their presidential candidate, but when Johnson was named the Libertarian nominee at the national party’s convention in May, local Libertarian leaders asked to substitute Johnson’s name. Husted approved the switch.
In order to gain access to the November ballot, Johnson supporters needed to collect 5,000 valid signatures. According to Husted, they filed 7,619.
This is major news for the Johnson campaign, which has already reported a successful month. During its #15for15 money bomb, the Johnson campaign reports raising $1.77 million on August 15 and over $3 million for the entire month of August, more money than he raised throughout his entire 2012 presidential campaign.
Johnson is also doing fairly well in the polls, though the time is running out to qualify for the first presidential debate. According to the Johnson-Weld website, in the 5 polls the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) will use to determine debate inclusion, Johnson is averaging at 10.2 percent. CPD rules require Johnson to be at a 15 percent average, though commission co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf has suggested that the CPD would consider “giving an inch” to a minor party candidate who was close to the 15 percent mark.
The first presidential debate will take place on Monday, September 26, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. Reports suggest that the debate location is preparing to have a third candidate in the debate in the event that Johnson reaches the polling threshold.