The Libertarian Party nominated former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and former Massachusetts Governor William Weld as the party's presidential ticket on Sunday (29 May). Johnson, who won the nomination on the second ballot (55.8%) during the party's national convention in Orlando, Florida, beat The Libertarian Republic magazine founder, Austin Petersen, and anti-computer virus company founder, John McAfee.
According to The Associated Press, Johnson told the delegates he will bring the L ibertarian platform to a level the party has not seen in previous elections. The former governor last won the party's nomination in 2012.
"I am fiscally conservative in spades and I am socially liberal in spades," Johnson told the AP. "I would cut back on military interventions that have the unintended consequence of making us less safe in the world." Johnson also proposes replacing federal income and corporate taxes with a national sales tax.
The Libertarian nominee would eliminate several government agencies and departments, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Food and Drug Administration, the Commerce and Education departments and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Socially, the Libertarian Party supports abortion rights, same-sex marriage, gun rights and drug legalisation.
According to the AP, Johnson served as New Mexico's Republican governor from 1995 to 2003. After a disastrous GOP run in 2012, he registered as a Libertarian and ran for the party's nomination that year. As the Libertarian nominee, Johnson won nearly 1% of the general election vote against President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Johnson's biggest challenge ahead of the November general election will be qualifying for the presidential debates, the AP noted. To do so, the 63-year-old must average 15% in five recognised polls. However, Johnson is banking on the fact that likely Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton poll as unfavourable with voters.
Meanwhile, former Massachusetts Governor, William Weld, won the party's vice presidential nomination on the second ballot, 51% to 47%. Weld served as the Bay State's Republican governor from 1991 to 1997 but, according to Boston.com, Weld faced severe criticism from party members and was referred to as "Republican-lite".
"We are going to deliver for you, not as Republican-lite, but as Libertarian heavyweights," Weld told the crowd at the convention on Sunday (29 May). Weld vowed to remain with the party for life and argued that his name would greatly benefit the Libertarian ticket.