The 2012 and 2016 Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, announced Thursday that he will be joining the 2018 New Mexico U.S. Senate race on the Libertarian Party ticket.
After the previous Libertarian nominee for the November Senate contest dropped out of the race a week ago, the Libertarian Party of New Mexico’s central committee decided by unanimous vote to nominate Gary Johnson should he wish to run.
In an interview Thursday on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” Gary Johnson touted his independent record of governance and views about national politics, telling Cavuto he would represent independent voters in the U.S. Senate:
“I’d like to think I’m aligned with most people. Let’s not forget that the majority of Americans today, 45 percent of Americans that register to vote are registering as independent.
Where’s the representation when it comes to Democrats and Republicans? [,,,] Paraphrasing George Washington, he said, look, if our country ever devolves into political parties, we’re done for!”
Johnson is also excited by the possibility of being a swing vote in the U.S. Senate to hold back the growth of unprecedented expansions in federal spending over the last two decades.
“The swing vote might actually determine senate outcomes. That’s terribly exciting in my opinion,” he said.
In what may have been a swipe at his most challenging opponent in the three-way race, incumbent Senator Martin Heinrich (D), Gary Johnson said he wouldn’t go to the Senate to be a “wallflower,” but a vocal deficit hawk:
“We’re looking at trillion dollar deficits, and where is the senator pounding the table and saying that this is unacceptable? I am not intending to go to the U.S. Senate and be a wallflower.”
That aggressive and relevant parliamentary style, especially for a new junior senator, would be more in line with the approach of US Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT), who were elected during the Tea Party wave in 2010, and went to Washington to pound the table and demand fiscal restraint.
Johnson further articulated the libertarian ethos of his third-party bid, saying, “The private sector does everything better than the public sector. Everything! And yet we continue to expand government. We expect government to do things that really it’s incapable of doing.”