The 2012 and 2016 Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, may step into his home state’s 2018 Senate race, the Associate Press reports.
The previous Libertarian nominee for the November Senate contest, State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, dropped out of the race last week, saying in a written statement to the Los Alamos Monitor, “After much contemplation with my family and supporters, I believe I need to focus on my job as Land Commissioner for the remainder of my term.”
Dunn also endorsed Gary Johnson on his way out of the race, exhorting the Libertarian Party’s central committee to nominate the former two-term New Mexico governor to replace him in the race.
By a unanimous vote of the LP of New Mexico, the central committee selected Gary Johnson to be its new nominee and officially offered Johnson the nomination last week.
Johnson has two weeks now to decide whether to accept and hit the campaign trail to win a U.S. Senate election in a state that has already elected him governor twice.
“A major factor is, simply, whether I can win,” Johnson says. “If I run, it will be with the intention to win, and give our state a strong, independent voice in Washington.”
Should he decide to join the race, Gary Johnson would likely be the strongest U.S. Senate candidate ever fielded by the Libertarian Party, and would run against incumbent Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich and Republican Mick Rich, a construction contractor.
Johnson’s consultant, Ron Nielson, told the Associated Press a week ago, just before Dunn withdrew that Gary Johnson was “strongly considering” running if Dunn quit the race.